Chris Beech said his Carlisle United players should be commended for the way they bounced back to winning ways against Crawley.

The Blues secured a much-needed 2-0 win at Brunton Park last night thanks to goals from Joe Riley and Omari Patrick.

It halted Carlisle’s recent slide and sent them back up three places in the League Two table.

Head coach Beech said his players deserved to enjoy the winning feeling after a tough spell.

“I thought we played some really good football and scored two great goals,” he said.

“I’m really pleased with the players for their efforts.

“They have to deal with a lot of things on and off the pitch, but when they turn up and represent us like that – very pleased.”

United went ahead when Riley’s 17th-minute shot hit a divot in the Waterworks End goalmouth and spun past wrongfooted keeper Glenn Morris.

Patrick then doubled the lead with a superb 30-yard effort.

Beech said of Riley’s second goal of the season: “Yeah, it’s fortunate, but if you don’t shoot you don’t score.

“He did hit it with a bit of power and it took a wicked bounce off the turf – I can’t deny that to the opposition goalkeeper. I wouldn’t say he’s made a rick, he’s been unfortunate.

“But we definitely deserved to be 1-0 up at that point.

“[I was] encouraging Joe to take the extra touch to get nearer goal. If you noticed in the second half he did his curler; he had one touch and curled it.

“I’d prefer him to take the second touch after that because it sets up a different type of shot. He did that on the actual goal.”

Patrick then hit his fifth of the campaign in style, during a first half when United got firmly on top of John Yems’ visitors.

Beech said: “We didn’t let them breathe but we’ve done that to so many opponents, to people that have four or five times as much money as we have.

“It’s not something new, it’s just something that’s great to get back to. We’d have liked to have done it more regularly with what we’ve been through.

“I asked the midfield, especially Joe Riley, to take an extra touch and be more composed; in his play I thought he was excellent, he really marshalled that midfield, especially because we had a man down, because Crawley started with a diamond.

“They must have watched us on Saturday and thought they’d match us, but we changed our shape from Saturday to start this game.

“Tactically, [left-back] Jack Armer had a free game. Crawley didn’t really do anything about that in the first half. He was constantly out in front of me in front of the dugout, and his quality of crossing, etc, was very good.

“If anything…I told him, in his contract, it doesn’t say you’re not allowed to score. He can shoot stronger, better himself and he could have had a couple of goals as he had that much freedom on the shape Crawley were playing.

“But I have told the players there’s freedom within the structure and framework we have, and if you take a different choice, make sure it works, take responsibility.

“It’s very difficult as a manager sometimes because your plan and prep for games is always very good, but it’s unopposed. Then when it gets questioned and put on its back foot…what we did [in this game] is not allow that. The players have to take great credit for that.”

Leading 2-0 at half-time, the second half was a less impressive spectacle but United saw the win safely home.

At the break Beech said his message was: “Just make sure everybody’s comfortable. No issues on set-plays against.

“Sometimes I plan them pre-game off knowledge [about an] opponent and give people jobs. If there’s an anomaly we can sort it out, but there wasn’t.

“Stay calm, because we’re in control.

“It’s not like playing a normal home game because there’s no wind. Just continue on the same path, try and create more chance.

“I said to Ozzy [Zanzala] – because he doesn’t half get pushed around, I know he gives out – at the point of that I asked him to play on, not look to the ref to try and give him an advantage because the refs seem to be ignoring him. I won’t go on too much about that.

“He did, then got in on goal because of it, and it’s unfortunate he didn’t score. The goalkeeper makes two great saves off his header and the rebound. I don’t know how it’s not gone in. Great saves.”

Beech was also pleased United secured their first clean sheet in 14 games.

It was their first since the 1-0 win over Exeter in late January.

“I’m pleased for Paul [Farman, United’s goalkeeper],” the Blues boss said. “It’s his 10th [clean sheet].”

“In his communication, I’ve talked to him, [saying] we can get to the same point but in a different way.

“But he’s a real honest lad. All of them are. I’m really pleased for them.”