Chris Beech insisted Carlisle United did themselves credit with their display in “horrific” weather at Crawley.

The Blues failed to capitalise on heavy second-half pressure in Sussex in Saturday’s goalless draw.

But Beech said the way his side played as Storm Dennis took its toll on the game was impressive.

The head coach said: “We missed some gilt-edged chances, but I’m very pleased with how the team went about the game in horrific conditions.

“For us to keep a clean sheet, be the dominant team, pass it more than the opponent, create more chances…I’m pleased with the efforts.”

United kept their first clean sheet on the road since August, Crawley’s Ashley Nadesan hitting the post against his former club.

The Blues, though, had the lion’s share of play, Jon Mellish going close in a new midfield role and Nathan Thomas causing plenty of danger.

Carlisle came away without a goal for the second successive game but Beech said their efforts at the back should not be underestimated, given the conditions.

He said: “I was encouraged by the way we defended against it, bar the first five minutes, when Nadesan hit the post. [Ollie] Palmer’s also a handful – what a player for this level, he gets away with his pulling, tugging, pushing, I don’t think he will do playing higher but seems to here.

“That helps them attack but I was proud of how we defended and encouraged by the way we attacked.

“We ended up dominating possession and fought hard for that domination, but didn’t get the breakthrough.”

Mellish caught the eye in midfield, the centre-half having been tested in the new position by Beech in a friendly at Kendal the previous Wednesday.

The ex-Gateshead man made his first appearance for a month and Beech hinted he will continue in the position.

He said: “I felt as though in midfield we hadn’t won enough headers and tackles.

“Jon has that North East attitude, needs a bit more football intelligence, but he’s a great lad, he’s good at getting about.

“You’ve seen him play left back and centre-half, but you often see him left wing, right wing, which is not what I want in my defenders.

“I thought in midfield that would free him up a bit. Maybe he’ll grow into that and become a dominant midfield player.”

Beech said home keeper Glenn Morris made one of the best saves he has seen for a long time to deny Mellish in the second half.

He added: “In the first half we passed left far too much, in the second half we got the balance right between left and right, got a lot of balls going down the right to Nathan who had the full back on toast. What we didn’t do is capitalise on those chances.”

Beech has given his players an extra day off after their exertions with the squad due back in training on Tuesday.

He said: “They deserve it.

“The supporters will be tired, never mind players - they came a long way to try and cheer on the victory and they would be a bit jet-lagged getting home in this weather.

“I hope everyone got home safe. It’s a long journey, and I’m thankful they’ve come and supported the boys.

“The boys have lived it, dealt with it physically, and just need a bit of rest.”

United’s youth team thrashed Port Vale 5-0 with Elliott Day scoring a hat-trick and Jimiel Chikukwa and Charlie Barnes also on target.