Gavin Skelton said he was happy with how Carlisle’s reserves stuck to their task despite admitting their draw with Wigan was a “poor spectacle”.

Charlie Barnes scored in added time to earn a 1-1 draw for the Cumbrians' second string after Charlie Jolley’s 89th-minute goal for the Latics.

In the game played at Penrith’s Frenchfield Park yesterday, Carlisle struggled to create chances for most of the game with frontmen Elias Sorensen and Olufela Olomola finding it hard to make any impact on the visiting defence.

United’s better efforts came further back with Louis Gray making good saves and youngster Tom Wilson impressing at centre-half.

It kept the Blues second in their Central League Cup group table, the game getting the go-ahead despite the effects of heavy rain on the pitch.

Assistant head coach Skelton said: “As a spectacle it was poor, I can’t deny that, but result and effort-wise I can’t complain.”

Head coach Chris Beech watched the first half from the stand before joining Skelton and academy manager Eric Kinder at the dugout after the break.

Mo Sagaf and Christie Elliott completed 90 minutes with Sorensen substituted after 70, and Olomola replaced just before the hour mark.

The latter had picked up a knock in the first half and Skelton said his withdrawal was partly as a precaution, adding: “There was no point risking it and making it any worse. He did get a knock but he felt fine and could have carried on.”

Nick Chadwick’s Wigan under-23 side had the better of the chances and Skelton said the Championship outfit were tough opponents.

He added: “Credit to Penrith for hosting us and getting the pitch ready – they were excellent hosts again and we were pleased to get the game on.

“It wasn’t the most entertaining game, it was pretty drab at times, but commitment and effort was there.

“Overall we’re really pleased with the result because they [Wigan] are a team who play together every week, a lot of them have grown up together through the [under] 18s etc. Our reserve team is a lot of 18s plus lads that didn’t play [against Forest Green], and we got something from it, and in the end it was a pleasing result.

“It’s a competition game, a cup game, so we didn’t want to get beaten. It’s nice, when you concede so late, to come back and score and the lads will get a lift from that.”

Carlisle included youth team trialist forward Jayden Major, a second-year scholar who is on work experience from Burnley. He set up Barnes’ close-range equaliser.

Skelton said: “He’s on trial with the 18s; it was the first time myself and the manager had the opportunity to see him. He set the goal up so we’re pleased with that.”

The coach said youth-team players Wilson and Liam Lightfoot had impressed at centre-half and also praised two of United’s senior men for the way they approached the game.

He said: “In the second half especially the two experienced lads, Mo Sagaf and Christie Elliott, were excellent. They applied themselves really well.”

United’s next game in the competition is at Blackpool next Monday before they face Fleetwood in January.