Chris Beech hailed Carlisle United’s never-say-die spirit after the Blues’ dramatic late fightback at Mansfield.

The new-look Cumbrians extended their unbeaten run to four league games after Joshua Kayode grabbed a 93rd-minute leveller.

Carlisle were trailing 2-0 with just nine minutes to go before Elliot Watt and Kayode salvaged a 2-2 draw.

The comeback capped a positive period for the Cumbrians after some improved results and significant additions in the transfer window.

Head coach Beech said their mentality to play to the end was a good sign.

He said: “It gives me heart when you see disadvantage in a game.

“If the lads can keep doing that, it will show that we’re never dead, we’re not lying down."

Watt scored his first Football League goal with a cross that deceived home keeper Bobby Olejnik.

The Wolves loanee then turned provider as Rotherham loan forward Kayode netted his second goal in successive starts.

Beech also said the way he tried to save the game, with substitutions and tactical changes, paid off.

He said: “You saw how many players were in the box, Aaron Hayden playing up front, me trying to make those [changes], as we did against Cardiff at home in the FA Cup, to try and win the game.

“I did exactly the same thing here. It won’t always work, I’m not naïve enough to think that, but while I’ve got the cojones – or whatever the right words are without swearing – I’m gonna try my best to do it.”

Beech admitted United conceded two poor goals as Nicky Maynard put the Stags into a seemingly dominant position.

Their fightback, though, took them 11 points clear of the relegation place ahead of next Saturday’s visit of leaders Swindon.

Beech said: “I was disappointed we weren’t winning in the first half, with the wind, utilising the conditions – they were horrendous.

“It was a difficult pitch, a difficult wind to play with, but we had lots of corners, a couple of shots, Nathan had a great freekick, we had a lot of wide free-kicks, a couple of shots from midfield, Jack Bridge came to life as the first half wore on, so we were really looking to wear Mansfield down.

“I said to the players at half-time that going against the wind will help you, being able to play a bit more football against it rather than the ball running away from us, but be wary of those conditions, and their goal came from the conditions.

“It’s a goal kick, bigger than normal, it shouldn’t catch us out because we’ve just played with it for 45 minutes. I’m disappointed with it, it looked very soft – both their goals were – but to come back, I’m really pleased with the boys’ character.”

On the goals that saved a point, Beech added: “Elliot says he meant to do it – I’m not sure he did – but, again, the conditions affected the match.

“They didn’t affect the last goal, though – we work the ball wide, it was good that Harry [McKirdy] came on, he manipulates the ball well, gets a free kick, and with Elliot on the pitch still, he has the quality to put it in a good area, and JJ [Kayode] is in the right place at the right time, the right man in the six-yard box, and gets his second goal in his second full start.

“We definitely didn’t deserve to lose and I’m really pleased with these characteristics of coming back.”

Beech also believed United’s recent additions to the squad have raised the standard at Brunton Park. He added: “If the squad wasn’t as strong as it was, I don’t think we get back in that game.”

Callum Guy came off the bench for a second-half debut while deadline-day arrivals Marcus Dewhurst and Omari Patrick were not in the squad, despite travelling with United to Field Mill.

Patrick was not registered in time to play while Beech stuck with Louis Gray as sub keeper ahead of Dewhurst. Both new boys took part in the warm-ups.

Ryan Loft, meanwhile, was the latest United player to be ruled out with illness.