Chris Beech says Carlisle United will come up against an “aggrieved” Harrogate Town tonight.

The Blues return to the EnviroVent Stadium for their rearranged League Two clash (kick-off 7pm).

It comes two weeks after the original encounter was abandoned after 10 minutes with the hosts leading 1-0.

League leaders Carlisle could go four points clear at the top of the table with victory tonight.

Head coach Beech says the frustration of that pitch-related abandonment could be on the home side’s minds.

He said: “I think they’ll be very up for a fighting chance and they’ll be doing their best to give us a challenge.

“They’ll feel aggrieved, I would imagine.

“They were winning, but a lot of their players did suggest it shouldn’t have taken place anyway.

“They did come up and tell me that when we fisted hands at the end of the game.

“They were [1-0 up] but they did warm up in the iciest part [of the pitch], and when we won the toss they changed ends, so they knew what was pretty hard to defend in.

“They used that to their advantage, quite right if they wanted to, but the ref called it and that’s the way it is. It was nothing to do with us, it was just unplayable for the players.

“I expect them to feel slightly aggrieved and motivated.

“I know they’ve made a couple of signings and they’ll be ready to start the game fast, if not faster than the other day, and we’ll have to be ready for that.”

Beech is likely to have a number of extra options tonight than he did on December 29, when he named a very inexperienced bench.

New signing Offrande Zanzala could come into the reckoning, while skipper Nick Anderton and Gime Toure are available after periods of Covid-19 self-isolation.

Jon Mellish is also set to return after injury. It means Beech has a number of selection posers, with United having impressed in their last outing at Walsall.

The boss must decide whether to give teenage midfielder Taylor Charters another start.

Anderton, meanwhile, will be hoping to regain his place from Jack Armer, who has performed well in the captain’s absence at left-back.

Zanzala, who joined last Friday, could also be in the squad and Beech said: “I think Ozzy’s the type who will want to impress.

“He’s been a little bit frustrated with the lack of game time at Crewe, but we can’t thank Crewe enough for how they’ve enabled this deal to take place.

“It fits us and it fits his opportunity, he has been promoted before with Accrington and he wants to try his best to be involved in a squad that has good things said about it.”