After just short of two years, Chris Beech’s reign as Carlisle United head coach is over.

Here is a look back at the timeline of his tenure at Brunton Park.

November 26 2019 – Former Rochdale No2 Beech is appointed Steven Pressley’s successor on an 18-month deal. It is announced he will work with the current backroom staff. United are 21st in League Two. Chairman Andrew Jenkins said his appointment followed a “thorough process” and Beech’s reputation for working with young players is highlighted. Jenkins adds: “He has a proven track record in the identification and recruitment of players and he was known at Rochdale for strengthening the squad under budget to replace those players sold at a premium.”

November 30 2019 – Beech’s reign begins with a 2-2 draw at Forest Green in the FA Cup second round. Nathan Thomas scores the first two goals of the Beech era while Aaron Hayden is promoted to the defence.

News and Star: Beech arrives for his first game in charge (photo: Barbara Abbott)Beech arrives for his first game in charge (photo: Barbara Abbott)

December 7 2019 – His first league game is a 1-1 draw at Morecambe, where Hallam Hope’s opener is cancelled out by ex-Blues man John O’Sullivan.

December 29 2019 – At the fifth attempt, United win their first league game under Beech, as Harry McKirdy’s late header earns a 2-1 victory at Walsall.

January 1 2020 – Beech’s first signing is confirmed: Wolves loan midfielder Elliot Watt.

January 12 2020 – United sell star teenage defender Jarrad Branthwaite to Everton for a substantial fee. They later recruit Derby defender Max Hunt in a month which also sees the arrivals of Joshua Kayode, Callum Guy, Marcus Dewhurst, Nick Anderton, Lewis Alessandra and Omari Patrick, while Hope is sold to Swindon and others including Christie Elliott leave.

January 15 2020 – After beating Forest Green in a replay, Beech’s United gain an impressive 2-2 draw at Cardiff in the FA Cup third round, before going on to lose an entertaining replay 4-3.

January 28 2020 – Amid a much-needed five-game unbeaten league run, Nathan Thomas fires a superb hat-trick in a 4-1 win at Forest Green as Carlisle’s relegation worries finally start to ease.

February 12 2020 – Beech fields out-of-favour defender Jon Mellish as a midfielder in a friendly at Kendal. He scores a hat-trick and duly gets his chance in a central position in the league.

March 10 2020 – A 2-0 home win over Newport proves the final game of the Covid-curtailed 2019/20 season. United’s scheduled trip to Grimsby on March 14 is postponed as football comes to a halt. Eventually the League Two table is calculated on points-per-game, leaving United 18th.

May 20 2020 – Top scorer McKirdy is one of several players released by the Blues. “Harry wasn’t happy – he lives in Harry’s world,” says Beech. Others to go include Mo Sagaf, Stefan Scougall, Nathaniel Knight-Percival Adam Collin, Mike Jones and Jack Iredale, while Byron Webster, Gethin Jones and Jack Bridge turn down new deals.

August 1 2020 – Steve Collis, who had been working with Beech the previous season, is officially confirmed as United’s goalkeeping coach, replacing Craig Wight.

August 3 2020 – Former Manchester United defender George Tanner becomes the first of a host of new signings ahead of the Covid-delayed 2020/21 campaign. Others to join include Joe Riley, Magnus Norman, Paul Farman, Dean Furman, Jack Armer, Danny Devine, Rod McDonald, Brennan Dickenson, Gavin Reilly and Gime Toure.

News and Star: Beech with George Tanner (photo: Amy Nixon)Beech with George Tanner (photo: Amy Nixon)

September 1 2020 – The new season, which starts behind closed doors, begins with a 3-1 home defeat to Fleetwood in the Papa John’s Trophy. Carlisle go on to lose 3-0 to Oldham in the Carabao Cup and by the same scoreline to Cambridge in their league opener.

September 3 2020 – Carlisle hand promising teenage winger Lewis Bell, 17, a professional contract. He goes on to make his debut against Sunderland in the Papa John’s Trophy the following month, a night loanee Ethan Walker suffers a shoulder injury and returns to Preston.

September 19 2020 – United gain their first league win – 2-0 over Southend – in front of a Covid-limited 1,000 crowd as part of a “test game”. Patrick and the returning Kayode get the goals.

September 26 2020 – Beech defends Mellish after an error allows Scunthorpe to score the only goal at Glanford Park.

October 3 2020 – Mellish heads the winner against Barrow, his first Carlisle goal – starting a remarkable goalscoring run which would bring him 12 goals in 14 games.

November 12 2020 – Beech brings in former Rochdale and Peterborough defender Rhys Bennett, a free agent.

November 17 2020 – After a two-year injury nightmare, promising Cumbrian midfielder Josh Dixon is handed his debut by Beech in an EFL Trophy game against Aston Villa.

November 21 2020 – Bennett scores in a 3-0 win at Crawley, one of the most impressive displays of the Beech era as the Blues climb the table.

December 15 2020 – Patrick’s goal earns a 1-0 win over Mansfield: a fourth straight win, sending the Cumbrians second in League Two.

December 25 2020 – Carlisle use Christmas Day to announce that Beech has signed an extended deal along with No2 Gavin Skelton, keeping them at the club until the summer of 2022. Director of football David Holdsworth praises the “strong, knowledgeable and experienced” head coach and says it is a “pleasure to work on the identification and recruitment of players" that fit Beech’s “ethos”.

News and Star: United announce Beech's new deal on Christmas DayUnited announce Beech's new deal on Christmas Day

December 26 2020 – United surge into a 3-0 half-time lead against Bolton in front of 2,000 fans allowed at home games this month under tiered Covid rules – but are pegged back to 3-3 after the break.

December 29 2020 – United fall behind to an early goal at Harrogate, before concerns over the pitch see the game abandoned. The return trip in January falls victim to a power cut.

January 2 2021 – A 2-0 win at Walsall, thanks to goals from Patrick and Kayode and an impressive display by young midfielder Taylor Charters, sends Carlisle to the top of League Two. “Our players have to continue to believe and understand the strengths of our attributes,” Beech says. “If they do that over a longer period, then I’m interested in the league table.” It is later confirmed that loanees Micah Obiero, Connor Malley and Marcus Dewhurst will return to their parent clubs.

January 8 2021 – Carlisle sign striker Offrande Zanzala from Crewe, in a month which also sees the arrivals of Morgan Feeney and Hebburn Town trialist striker Cedwyn Scott, plus the loan return of Ethan Walker. Bennett also extends his deal for the rest of the season, while Reilly and Hunt depart.

January 9 2021 – United’s home game with Leyton Orient is frozen off: the first of six consecutive games they have postponed, including three because of a Covid-19 outbreak in the squad.

January 30 2021 – After nearly a month sidelined, with the team’s outdoor training facilities having also often been out of action due to the winter weather, Beech’s side return with a 1-0 win over Exeter thanks to an Alessandra goal.

February 2 2021 – Forest Green inflict a 2-1 defeat on United, who then have another two weeks on the sidelines because of further postponements.

February 16 2021 – Carlisle finally get their game on at Harrogate, and lose 1-0 thanks to a first-half penalty.

News and Star: Chris Beech at Harrogate (photo: Richard Parkes)Chris Beech at Harrogate (photo: Richard Parkes)

March 6 2021 – United’s form nosedives, bringing a run of five defeats in six games, including a 3-1 loss at Morecambe, for whom ex-Blues man Cole Stockton is among the goals. Another defeat at Colchester in heavy fog sees Beech bemoan an overturned penalty decision for his side. “It hurts,” Beech says of recent results, which send his side below the play-off places. “It’s our job to make sure we represent correctly, and we have to work very hard to get the representations back to where we want them.”

March 9 2021 – A last-gasp goal against struggling Grimsby sees Zanzala finally off the mark as United stop the run of defeats. The striker goes on to inspire Carlisle to a 3-1 win over Bradford.

March 20 2021 – Injury-hit summer signing Dickenson, who only made his debut in January, sees his season curtailed by another injury at Stevenage as Carlisle begin a three-game losing run.

April 6 2021 – Carlisle string together three 2-0 wins, including a victory at Southend that sees a superb Zanzala solo goal, to keep their dwindling play-off hopes alive.

April 27 2021 – United draw five games in a six-match winless run, and their promotion hopes finally end at Cheltenham despite a valiant 1-1 draw against their title-bound hosts.

May 8 2021 – After a 3-2 win at Orient and a drab goalless draw with Walsall, Carlisle end the 2020/21 campaign in 10th place, seven points below the play-off places. Beech, referring to the challenges United have faced such as Covid and postponements, says: “We’ve got to celebrate what we’ve achieved because in theory it shouldn’t really happen.”

May 14 2021 – United release five first-year pros along with Furman and Scott, the latter failing to get a single start since his January move. Anderton, Patrick, Farman, Zanzala and Feeney are offered new deals, with players including Guy, Riley, Alessandra and Toure having activated extensions for the new season.

May 26 2021 – Anderton reveals he has turned down Carlisle’s new terms and joins Bristol Rovers. He is followed out of Brunton Park by Farman and Zanzala, who join Barrow, while Patrick goes to Burton. Bennett says on a live gaming stream that he had received a “quite disrespectful” offer from United. Holdsworth, at a forum, says players should not air details of talks whilst playing “Space Invaders” with fans. Bennett later apologises and speaks of his respect for the Blues, and later joins Gillingham. Fellow defender Feeney puts pen to paper with United.

June 14 2021 – United finally make their first summer signing in the form of ex-Leyton Orient and Newport striker Tristan Abrahams. “He’s a quality player and exciting to watch,” says Beech. He is soon joined through the door by ex-Bolton star Zach Clough and former Liverpool defender Corey Whelan with Burnley loan keeper Lukas Jensen joining later, along with trialist striker Manasse Mampala.

News and Star: Beech with new signing Tristan Abrahams (photo: Amy Nixon)Beech with new signing Tristan Abrahams (photo: Amy Nixon)

June 28 2021 – Carlisle confirm pro deals for youth trio Sam Fishburn, Gabe Breeze and Scott Simons as Beech talks about the importance of a “pathway” for young players. “It’s something we did very well at my last club [Rochdale] and I think it’s extremely important for clubs like ours," he says.

July 12 2021 – Beech appoints Callum Guy as captain following Anderton’s departure, while Aaron Hayden retains the vice-captaincy.

August 7 2021 – On the morning of the opening league game of 2021/22, it emerges that big-spending National League club Wrexham have bid for Hayden. He is not involved in Carlisle’s 0-0 draw with Colchester, and a day later a reported six-figure transfer is confirmed.

August 21 2021 – A 1-1 draw with Leyton Orient sees United unbeaten in their first four league games, with three draws and a win (at Swindon). “Well done for the effort and the hunger,” Beech says. “If we keep doing those things we’ll eventually get it right.”

August 28 2021 – A poor display sees Carlisle beaten 2-1 at Hartlepool as Beech tries a five-man defence. Clough gets his first goal but United’s performance attracts strong criticism from fans.

August 30 2021 – George Tanner is sold to Bristol City for a six-figure fee. United replace him with experienced Kelvin Mellor on a free transfer. The Blues also pay a small fee for Sligo Rovers winger Jordan Gibson and land Arsenal loan defender Jonathan Dinzeyi before the August 31 transfer deadline. Holdsworth says Beech got the players he wanted during the window, adding that the Blues had maximised the deals for Hayden and Tanner once it became clear they wanted to leave. Asked if he felt United’s squad was as strong as 12 months earlier, the director of football says: “Me personally…yes. I do.” Beech claims Tanner's head had been turned, leading to a poor performance at Hartlepool. Bristol City's Nigel Pearson criticises the United boss for his comments, which included Beech's claim that he had to teach Tanner how to take throw-ins.

September 4 2021 – Dickenson and Mellish earn a 2-1 win over Salford as Mellor impresses on debut and United sit eighth. “I’m really pleased for everybody,” Beech says.

September 25 2021 – After a last-gasp 2-1 defeat at Crawley and a late comeback draw against Scunthorpe, United are annihilated 4-0 at League Two newcomers Sutton – their worst league defeat for seven years. Beech apologises to fans for the “unacceptable” showing.

News and Star: Beech applauds fans after the thrashing at Sutton (photo: Richard Parkes)Beech applauds fans after the thrashing at Sutton (photo: Richard Parkes)

October 2 2021 – United follow a Papa John’s win over Everton U21s by losing 2-0 at home to leaders Forest Green. Despite mounting criticism over Carlisle's worsening form and performance levels, Beech says he is not a “beaten man” and insists Carlisle will win games playing that way.

October 9 2021 – Carlisle slide to a 3-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers – a third loss on the spin without scoring. They have taken one point from five games and sit third bottom in League Two. Calls for Beech’s head intensify, as does criticism of the club hierarchy. Carlisle have won just seven of their last 35 league games since February.

October 10 2021 – Beech’s reign comes to an end with United in 22nd place – one position lower than when he was appointed in November 2019. Carlisle release a short statement saying the head coach has left with immediate effect, with assistant boss Gavin Skelton and youth coach Eric Kinder taking temporary charge. Supporters’ trust CUOSC say the club had “little alternative but to terminate his contract” after the “depressing” run of form, but thanked Beech for his service. He presided over 75 league games, winning 25, drawing 24 and losing 26 – an overall win percentage of 33 per cent. In the cups, he oversaw 13 games, winning three, drawing four and losing six over the respective 90 minutes.