With a quarter of the season gone Carlisle are up to fifth, only a point off third place.

The win against Newport on Tuesday night was a great way to bounce back from their six-game unbeaten run ending at Exeter last Saturday.

Chris Beech will be over the moon with the response.

His side showed a lot of character to bounce back from losing a game they could have won in Devon by beating the league leaders three days later.

It sounded as if it should have been over at half time on Tuesday, the number of chances and the amount of possession that Carlisle had.

Beech will be disappointed to concede two late goals. He’ll be drilling into them how to run the game down.

Even at Exeter, Carlisle could have won it in the first half. Apart from the opening game at Cambridge, United have been really strong in terms of possession and chances.

From the first whistle, they seem to be taking the game to the opposition, even in away games.

Jon Mellish scored another two goals against Newport. It’s incredible – I remember he took a lot of stick after the defeat at Scunthorpe when his loose pass led to their winning goal. If he carries on like this, fans will be lucky if he’s still at Carlisle when they’re allowed back in.

Bigger clubs will be looking at him. And good luck to the lad.

Hopefully we’ll go to Hayes and Yeading in the FA Cup on Sunday with the same attitude we’ve shown in the league games.

The hardest part against non-league teams is the first 20 minutes or half an hour. They’ll come out with so much enthusiasm.

They’ll have built themselves up since the draw was made. If there’s going to be a shock it’s usually in the opening stages.

The longer the game goes on the longer you expect the league side’s fitness to show. Especially with a side like Hayes and Yeading, who are three steps down the pyramid from Carlisle.

They would have had a packed house. Playing behind closed doors should benefit Carlisle.

As a player I don’t think I ever lost to a non-league side. But the possibility is in the back of your mind.

You see managers lose to non-league sides then lose their jobs. As a player, it’s pride. Carlisle have a good record against non-league sides. But you always get shocks in the FA Cup, and that’s part of its magic.

Next Tuesday is the only one this month without a match.

The last few weeks have seen a lot of games and a lot of travelling, a lot of physical and mental energy used up.

I think Beech will be glad of a few days to clear up any niggles.

A lot of people say we’re lucky to have football going on during lockdown.

Watching games on TV or the internet will be hardened supporters’ highlight of the week. If they’re feeling down, they’ll always have that in mind.

I’ll be watching plenty of sport. Lockdown is hard for people, especially at this time of year. Whatever opinion you have of it, all we can do is make the best of it and get through it.