Chris Beech insisted he was pleased with the way Carlisle United battled back for a point at Barrow – after causing their own problems earlier in the game.

Offrande Zanzala’s 78th-minute penalty earned a draw for the Blues after the hosts’ Scott Quigley and Patrick Brough had overhauled Jack Armer’s early opener.

The 2-2 draw keeps United within three points of the play-off places.

Carlisle were given an often uncomfortable afternoon by Rob Kelly’s hosts.

United head coach Beech said: “We started the game well and it was a great goal from Jack.

“We were in a commanding position, but we [then] played the extra pass at the back when we didn’t need to.

“It causes our own issue from no issue, from ourselves, and it gives them a lift. And then you find yourselves in the opposite position after starting stronger than your opponent.

“From that point of view it was disappointing, but from an attitude and team spirit point of view to try and get something out of nothing, that was excellent.

“I’m pleased we managed to battle back from being a goal down to getting it level.”

Young defender Armer’s first senior goal had put United into an early ascendancy but Kelly’s side turned things around through Quigley and ex-Blues man Brough.

It came amid a spell when the home side unsettled Carlisle’s defence.

Beech said of the Bluebirds’ fightback: “They took advantage of stuff that I don’t want us to do.

“It reminded me of the Oldham game where we were very comfortable.

“It’s almost like, ‘This is gonna be a really comfortable day’, but football’s not like that, I don’t coach like that, players generally don’t play like that.

“It seemed to drift from a position of control.

“But what was good was that we finished strong, and after we scored we looked like the team that [could] get the third.”

While United could still leap into seventh place with victory at Newport on Thursday, Barrow remain six points above the drop zone.

There was controversy in the first half, meanwhile, when ref Seb Stockbridge declined to show a second yellow card to Barrow’s Neal Eardley for a challenge on Lewis Alessandra.

“I was a bit disappointed with the referee,” Beech said. “I think he’s helped them out a lot there.

“However he wants to explain it, I’m not that interested. He’s allowed a player who’s committed a foul to not be reffed.

“And then Rob [Kelly] is intelligent – he brings him[Eardley] off and he’s allowed to keep 11 players on the pitch. But there’s nothing I can do about it.

“I’m pleased we battled back against things like that and against good opponents in Barrow.”

Beech, meanwhile, was delighted United got what he felt was a long-overdue penalty.

“We’ve had more touches than any League Two team in the box. And we [finally] got a penalty,” he said.

United’s boss said there were signs of his players being “a bit jaded” in the game and accepted that Barrow had given his side a good examination.

“I actually thought there was more football than I [expected], because they’re pretty direct now – the opposite of the team we played at home [in October] when they were rolling it out from the back in their own box,” he said.

“They still play the same formation, the three centre-halves, that allows an extra player on the pitch that can help the set-plays for and against.

“They play with the old fashioned flicker and runner up front, but ironically it’s Luke James who flicks more and Quigs runs. It kind of works out alright. But that’s what they do, so well done to them.”

There were spells, particularly in the first half, when Barrow frontman Quigley unsettled United’s defence with his streetwise approach.

On that aspect, Beech said: “I think our players are learning in that too. But I just felt as though, however you want to judge what went on, they really benefited from us not being us in playing fast, attacking, forward football, and by turning our passing backwards.

“It enables something else to happen rather than what we were, which was ascendant, strong and in a commanding position.

“Without taking too much away from Barrow, I felt we were playing better than them, but it turns because of goals.”