Chris Beech said Carlisle United’s determination to gain a point at Salford was “exceptional”.

The Blues drew 1-1 at the Peninsula Stadium after home sub James Wilson cancelled out George Tanner’s opener.

It saw the Cumbrians pick up a point against one of their promotion rivals in their second game back from their latest enforced lay-off.

Keeper Paul Farman was in fine form for the Blues and Beech said: “He had a couple of 1v1s, used his body very well, then they got in, but they will do – they’ve got some excellent football players. Championship standard players in League Two.

“They’re always going to question any opposition and there’s no divine right to win any game but I was very proud of our performance in terms of what we gave.

“We’ve had an unbelievable period, which is probably unique in football, with the weather, coronavirus and the amount of time we’ve not been able to train or play.

“So to come back here and get back into some sort of rhythm and do that is exceptional.”

Tanner got his second goal of the season in the 11th minute.

It came against a former loan club – as had his previous strike in 2020/21 which came against Morecambe.

Beech was frustrated ninth-placed United could not hold on for victory but was pleased with the efforts his team put into the game at the Peninsula Stadium.

“The commitment and energy was very good to see,” he said.

“There were good tackles, heading and a clean, controlled performance in terms of defending.

“We started the game great playing in a situation where they are unbeaten at home.

“That wasn’t really any motivation for us, we were just concentrating on trying to gain three points. We couldn’t do it; they have excellent support in a team that’s starting, and one of the substitutes came on and put the ball in the back of the net.”

On right-back Tanner’s scoring run against his old clubs, Beech said: “He scored against Morecambe as well. I told him I wished he’d signed for everybody else in League Two and he’d be top scorer in the league…”

Beech said United had to work hard against a Salford side that included high-quality players like Paul Coutts, Robbie Gotts and Richie Towell.

Of Farman’s display, the head coach added: “I’m really pleased to see him play as well as that because, in the first few games of the season when we conceded a few goals, he didn’t hardly have any shots to save.

“He got asked a few more questions here but answered them. He even answered the goal, he did really well with that to save the initial shot, but unfortunately it went straight back to the player who could put it in the net.”

Beech brought Omari Patrick and Jon Mellish back into his side and believes midfielder Mellish is steadily getting back into his stride after a challenging period.

“Jon’s had coronavirus, had a calf injury before his coronavirus, and then played back-to-back games Saturday-Tuesday against Exeter and Forest Green, and he wasn’t the Jon Mellish we know him to have become,” he said. “I think by bringing him out, and he’s worked a bit harder in training, and [with] time, he’s getting back to where he was.”