Aspatria 1 Carlisle United 4: Substitute Dan Hopper was the hero for a young Blues side in their Fred Conway Cumberland Cup second round tie.

Midfielder Hopper, the son of United legend Tony, came off the bench to score twice in the space of three minutes.

It helped Carlisle complete their comeback at Bower Park after Kieran McCluskey had shot the home side ahead before Josh O’Brien fired United level.

After Hopper's quickfire brace, Freddie O’Donoghue went on to score a fourth as Mark Birch’s side progressed to the third round of the county senior cup.

United’s teenage side were given a tough test by Aspatria before the teenagers eventually pulled clear of the Cumberland County Premier League side.

The game was played in front of a good crowd at the home of Aspatria Rugby Union Club, who allowed the town’s football club to use their floodlit ground to keep the game as a midweek home tie.

United’s first-team boss Paul Simpson, who watched the game at Bower Park, declined to send any of his first-team players, not wanting to risk his senior squad on the rugby pitch.

Instead the Blues largely used their under-18 side, with goalkeeper Gabe Breeze the only professional in the visiting ranks.

The young Blues made the early running with Sam Hetherington going close and O’Brien forced a good save from home keeper Sean Haughan.

But Aspatria then delighted their fans by taking the lead against the run of play in the 16th minute when, after an attack down the right, McCluskey sent a composed low finish past Breeze and into the bottom left corner.

United tried to respond with Romeo Park firing a shot too high, before McCluskey saw another Aspatria attempt blocked.

The hosts lost left-back Matthew Rudd to injury on 39 minutes, Ashley Haughan replacing him.

And United then found a way back when, after a well-worked free-kick down the left, O’Brien saw an initial shot blocked before volleying his second attempt high into the net.

Aspatria then went close to another as Harry Creighton’s header forced Breeze into a good save shortly before the break.

United brought on O’Donoghue for Will Maddison at the break, before Blues captain Jake Allan was hurt after going up for a corner early in the second half.

The midfielder was down receiving treatment for several minutes before being helped to his feet, Allan being replaced in the 52nd minute by Hopper.

The substitute was soon into the action with a blocked shot from the edge of the Aspatria box.

Then home keeper Haughan excelled with an impressive save to deny Hetherington.

United thought they’d gone in front when Park’s cross dipped over Haughan, but the ball missed the target by millimetres.

O’Donoghue then had a shot charged down as the young Blues tried to get on top, a last-ditch challenge then denying Park in the box.

The visitors’ pressure then told in the 66th minute when a well-worked move saw Hetherington go past his man before his low cross found Hopper, whose well-timed run was followed by a clinical low finish inside the left-hand post.

Haughan tipped a Park shot over the bar as Mark Birch’s side looked to kill the tie, and then Hopper grabbed his second goal in impressive style, arriving at the edge of the box to rifle a powerful shot in off the post.

Park almost added a fourth as Aspatria tired, Robbie Swinburn also missing a good opportunity late on for Carlisle before O’Donoghue wrapped things up, slotting home after Park had hit the post.

Aspatria: S Haughan, Harrison, Rudd (A Haughan 39), Dixon, Varty, D Creighton, Clark, Graham, Hudson (Fearon 75), H Creighton (Iredale 63), McCluskey. Not used: Law, Parker.

Goal: McCluskey 16.

United: Breeze, Maddison (O’Donoghue 46), O’Brien, Fleming, Fitzpatrick, Murray (Hodgson 82), Allan (Hopper 52), Hetherington, Chapman, Swinburn, Park. Not used: Randall, Nicholson.

Goals: O’Brien 43, Hopper 66, 69, O’Donoghue 80.