Carlisle United 0 Fleetwood Town 4: Two bursts of quickfire Fleetwood goals consigned Carlisle to a heavy defeat and an early exit from the FA Youth Cup.

The first round tie saw the visitors two ahead after 17 minutes, before two more in the space of four minutes after the break punished the young Blues.

The harsh realities of cup football were dealt out in ruthless fashion by the visitors and United, despite some spells of brighter football, were never clinical around the Fleetwood box.

It meant disappointment, and a few tough lessons, under the lights at Brunton Park in front of a 453 attendance.

A Mikey Lane penalty gave Fleetwood the lead before Kayden Hughes powered them further ahead. Zane Marsh hit two more to secure the visitors’ place in the second round, and United were left to regret some poor defensive moments that cost them when they came under pressure.

News and Star: United's Lewis Boyd is beaten by Mikey Lane's early penaltyUnited's Lewis Boyd is beaten by Mikey Lane's early penalty (Image: Barbara Abbott)

The visitors secured a second-round trip to Stockport County, who beat Harrogate Town 2-1 in their first round tie.

United’s line-up included two players with recent first-team experience in Nic Bollado and Ryan Carr, with Kai Nugent – another who’s been around Paul Simpson’s first-team squad – also included.

That trio were expected to be key men as the young Blues lined up against a Fleetwood side who have yet to be beaten in the same EFL Youth Alliance North West Division.

The frustration as the opening spell of the game unfolded was that United made the brighter start, forcing two good early chances, yet then found themselves two goals behind with only 17 minutes gone.

Carlisle appeared to settle the quickest and in the third minute might have opened the scoring, when Mason Hardy crossed well from the right and Bollado arrived, but the forward couldn’t steer his header past Fleetwood keeper Stephen McMullan.

After Nugent almost opened something up on the left, Carlisle came again as Romeo Park did well to feed Bollado, who dropped a shoulder and shot from an ankle, McMullan making the save for Fleetwood.

News and Star: Ryan Carr on the ball for UnitedRyan Carr on the ball for United (Image: Barbara Abbott)

It looked promising – but the bright start was then ended bluntly by Matt Lawlor’s visitors.

Their opener came in the tenth minute, after the tall figure of Marsh broke United’s defensive line on the left. He fed the ball back, and the resulting cross was intercepted by the raised arm of Jake Allan.

Ref Chris Joyce was quick to point to the spot despite Carlisle’s protests, and Lane sent home keeper Lewis Boyd the wrong way with a clinical penalty.

It was a blow for the young Blues, and then another came just seven minutes later. This time they were their own worst enemies from a set piece, as Kyle King’s inswinger found Hughes free, and he powered a header high past Boyd.

News and Star: Kai Nugent on the attack for CarlisleKai Nugent on the attack for Carlisle (Image: Ben Holmes)

Some static defending had cost Birch’s side and they had to work hard to avoid going under at this point. Josh Kearns was a danger in the 20th minute as he dropped into space and fed Marsh, but Boyd was in the way of this shot.

Carlisle gradually came into things as they resettled, and had an argument for a penalty on 25 minutes when Nugent won the ball back and fed Bollado, but a tug on the forward’s shirt was ignored by the officials.

A more competitive spell from the young Blues eventually came but real opportunities were scarce despite the hosts working their way into some positive areas. Park tried his luck from 30 yards but did not trouble McMullan, while another promising move ended when Hardy was tackled on the edge of the box.

Fleetwood remained a threat with some strong breaks through the middle and out wide, the visitors finding profitable spaces as they did so, United having to dig in to see off a number of dangerous runs in the wide areas of their box.

News and Star: Romeo Park on the ball for UnitedRomeo Park on the ball for United (Image: Barbara Abbott)

Birch’s youngsters had 45 minutes to rescue their hopes, and it required a serious step up in terms of clean creativity in the final third.

Yet before they could even consider a comeback, Fleetwood pulled two goals further clear. First, some indecision at the heart of United’s defence allowed Marsh to attack a high ball before turning in from the left and sending an excellent low attempt spinning into the bottom corner.

Four minutes later, Marsh was there again to meet a Brad Arthur cross and head past Boyd.

Fleetwood’s place in the second round was now essentially secure, and it rendered a better United spell from there futile. Allan couldn’t convert a searching Carr free-kick, before Sam Hetherington came close to setting up Mason Hardy.

Hardy himself hit a shot narrowly wide on the hour mark and, after the Blues denied Marsh a hat-trick opportunity, went closer through Nugent and then Bollado, as a flick took a Park cross a fraction out of the forward’s reach.

Another chance came Bollado’s way, as a Carr free-kick bounced in the box, but his header cleared the bar, while a late scramble involving sub Robbie Swinburn somehow stayed out, summing up a night where nothing at all went United’s way.

United: Boyd, Potts, Bell, Carr, Nugent, Allan (Walsh 69), Bollado, Hetherington (Swinburn 66), Hardy, Park, Hill (Fitzpatrick 56). Not used: Barry, Voortman, Fleming, Sharp.

Fleetwood: McMullan, Jones (Daha 78), Arthur, Khela, Johnson, Hughes, Kearns, Morrison, Lane (Richmond 68), Marsh (Brown 83), King. Not used: Imasuen, Cragg, Roberts, Brown, Namputu.

Goals: Lane 10pen, Hughes 17, Marsh 47, 51.

Crowd: 453.