Harrogate Town 1 Carlisle United 0: Carlisle United slipped to defeat at Harrogate Town as their heavily-interrupted season finally got back under way. 

The Cumbrians went down to a 1-0 defeat at the EnviroVent Stadium thanks to Josh March’s penalty. 

The home attacker beat Paul Farman from the spot having been brought down in the 28th minute by United skipper Nick Anderton.

United were short of their best in their first game for two weeks and only their fourth in 2021, slipping a place to ninth in League Two.

Boss Chris Beech had fit-again George Tanner back in his side, the boss also giving a full debut to Brennan Dickenson with Ethan Walker also coming in for a start. 

Lewis Alessandra had United's first chance, chipping over the bar after an error from keeper James Belshaw.

Josh McPake went close in response while the hosts narrowly failed to convert a corner before eventually going ahead when Anderton slid in late on March, who made no mistake from the spot.

United almost gifted a second to Harrogate on 34 minutes when a miscued clearance put Simon Power in, but keeper Farman stood up to the shot.

The Blues, in response, forced very few first-half chances from their aerial play and set-pieces.

Dickenson had an attempt pushed away by the keeper in a better start to the second half, while sub Offrande Zanzala almost set up Kayode.

For Harrogate, Aaron Martin was denied from a good position by Rhys Bennett's block, while Zanzala saw a shot deflected wide for the Blues.

Gime Toure also came on for United, with ex-Blues striker Mark Beck on for the hosts in the second half.

The Blues forced a number of set-pieecs, while sub Omari Patrick added late threat, but Harrogate held them off to secure the points in a game which was finally completed at the third attempt after previous postponements.

Heavy rain lashed the pitch in the build-up but had abated in time for kick-off.

Harrogate: Belshaw, Falkingham (Kerry 84), Smith, Burrell, Thomson, Martin, Hall, Francis (Lawlor 77), March (Beck 72), McPake, Power. Not used: Kiernan, Muldoon, Minter. 

Goal: March 28pen 

Booked: Francis 

United: Farman, Tanner, Anderton (Patrick 75), Hayden, Bennett, Guy, Riley (Mellish 75), Dickenson, Walker (Toure 64), Alessandra (Zanzala 57), Kayode. Not used: Norman, McDonald, Armer. 

Booked: Tanner 

Ref: Sebastian Stockbridge .