Gavin Skelton admitted Carlisle United’s familiar failings cost them as they went out of the FA Cup.

The Blues failed to take good first-half chances as they were beaten 2-1 by League One side Shrewsbury Town in the second round at Brunton Park.

Skelton felt United’s general performance was positive but conceded that their work in the final third again came up short.

The assistant manager said: “There was some really good play involving the strikers making some good runs, getting us high up the pitch, but it’s that final bit, be it a pass, a cross, the finish or getting in the right areas.

“I’m not saying anything new unfortunately.”

Tom Bloxham shot the Shrews ahead before Brad Young squandered a great chance, opting to shoot when Tristan Abrahams was free to his left in front of an open goal.

Ex-Blues striker Ryan Bowman then doubled the visitors’ lead against his home-city club before sub Jordan Gibson hit a late United consolation.

News and Star: Assistant Gavin Skelton, left, with manager Keith MillenAssistant Gavin Skelton, left, with manager Keith Millen

Skelton said: “We’re obviously disappointed with the result because we’re out of the FA Cup, but in terms of the performance and effort, on top of what the players have already done this week, that was pleasing.

“I thought the performance level was really good at times and we had them camped in through most of the second half. Unfortunately we’ve come out on the wrong end of the result.

“We kept going, banging at the door without really opening it. We kept hoping, and at 1-0, they were edgy, you could tell that from their bench.

“They made a formation change which showed [we were doing] the right thing, and I did feel from the last two games we had that belief.

“We were patient at times – I know people get frustrated because they want the ball forward all the time, but when [Shrewsbury] were behind the ball I felt we played an extra couple of passes to get out the other side, so we had an overload in wide areas with them playing wing-backs.

“I thought it worked really well first half, and in the second half, until they changed it, and clogged it up and made it difficult.”

United found it harder to create openings after the break and Skelton added: “It’s important at any level. Especially at the moment, when you do get opportunities, you want to make the most of them.

“We had lots of efforts on goal but neither keeper’s had loads of saves to make.”

Skelton, meanwhile, insisted he and the rest of United's coaching staff were not distracted by the tennis-ball and banner protests seen at various stages of the game.

Balls were thrown onto the pitch in both halves, while some young fans were removed from the Paddock after displaying an anti-board banner.

“We were just focused on the game, totally,” the coach said.