Other than those two splendid goals, one of the moments of Carlisle United’s victory over Bradford City came in the second half, when the ball was propelled down the right hand side of the pitch, towards the Warwick Road End, in front of the Paddock.

It was a 30-70 race, at best. Omari Patrick then lit the wick attached to his boots. From there, it wasn’t much of a race at all.

The substitute approached, caught up with and then glided past the Bradford defender who, in that moment, looked a little like he was trying to backpedal against a treadmill.

Surging pace is one of Patrick’s inbuilt traits but, without reading too much into a single gallop, there also looked to be something else in that urgent dash. That something else which was seen a short while later, when Patrick turned a hopeful high ball out of defence into a goalscoring opportunity.

If Jordan Gibson’s opener was a goal-of-the-season contender then Patrick’s solo feat is close to its heels. Then came the celebration: a cruising run back down the pitch, ears cupped, a little something given back to supporters Patrick (and Gibson) had felt unfair in their criticism in times past.

News and Star: Patrick, right, memorably scored on his second debut last weekendPatrick, right, memorably scored on his second debut last weekend

It will be hard to top that cameo for pure adrenaline. Patrick and United will need to begin again this afternoon against Crawley Town. One thing it’s safe to say, though, is that the forward is pleased to be here, ardently pleased to be back.

The Blues have a reasonable history of players who give Brunton Park a go for a second spell. Now and again something pulls them once more. Often, though, it’s wise not to buy into the most romantic talk of love and loyalty.

With Patrick, though, one senses something different, given the way he practically sprinted up the M6 when given the opportunity to end a Burton Albion spell from which he learned plenty but did not advance his career in the manner intended.

“A part of me always knew that I’d come back,” he said last week. “It actually feels like I’ve come back to a home, basically.”

News and Star: Patrick rejoined United from Burton Albion last week (photo: PA)Patrick rejoined United from Burton Albion last week (photo: PA)

This was better to hear than normal, because there also been so many occasions when players or coaches have come to Carlisle and only at that point discovered where it sits on the map.

The travelling was too much, they say upon departure, having finally calculated that Carlisle is a city at the north end of Cumbria, England. In other words: Brunton Park will do until we get a better offer.

And, being realistic, that is frequently the way of things in a short career. If there is a better step to be taken, only the naïve would think someone would not take it, more often than not.

When Ian Harte left United for Reading in 2010, it was only a few days after he had been anointed as a club “ambassador”. The ceremonial offering may have backfired on the Blues but who, realistically, would have expected anything to tether Harte to the building when an opportunity in the Championship had suddenly come up?

Even the longest-serving outfield player in the club’s history, Peter Murphy, tested the water when out of contract one summer.

There is a difference, though, between regarding United as a place of convenience and a genuine home. The commitment of such as Murphy to the shirt, the club, could never be questioned. Harte, although here much shorter, certainly did not hold back when representing the Blues.

News and Star: Patrick said rejoining United feels like coming "home" (photo: Barbara Abbott)Patrick said rejoining United feels like coming "home" (photo: Barbara Abbott)

What is pleasing about Patrick’s return is that he also knew United, its environment and its limitations, and then motored back towards the place the minute he had the chance.

He will not have done so out of charity, or for the good of his health. Carlisle’s terms will have needed to be acceptable too, likewise the challenge set out by Keith Millen.

But Carlisle were also very close to the League Two relegation zone when he made that decision. Had Patrick hedged his bets, he might well have found opportunities further up the division.

The fact Offrande Zanzala has just bagged a move to Exeter suggests the best of United in 2020/21 is remembered by plenty of managers, even if things tailed off rather steeply.

You don’t always get this in a fleeting profession, even less so when you’ve been to the depths United have reached this season. So when Patrick tore at his former club a week ago, it had a highly refreshing effect.

Sometimes, with certain players and clubs, it just works. United have known enough cases of an individual performing wretchedly in blue but with pizzazz elsewhere; how rewarding it would be if Patrick should prove the opposite case: someone who raced back up, who wanted to play for Carlisle again because it was the best thing for all concerned, and who thoroughly delivered in the process?

Give me that attitude, that possibility, and plenty more of Patrick’s joyous bursts of acceleration in the outside lane, over the fly-by-nights who come here purely to pass through. Football’s a cynical place, but it can still be a game of the heart.