Carlisle United 2 Harrogate Town 0: Brunton Park's all-time lowest crowd saw two-goal Jordan Gibson keep the Blues' Bristol Street Motors Trophy hopes alive.

Just 716 fans were at the northern group C game - comfortably breaking the previous record of 859 which had stood since 1992.

The tiny attendance saw Gibson strike early and late in the game to give Carlisle their first win over Harrogate in nine meetings.

It means they still have hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages, but still need Accrington Stanley to defeat Nottingham Forest by three goals next Tuesday.

The attendance was the lowest point yet at Carlisle since the Trophy's 2016 revamp which saw the introduction of Premier League clubs followed by a boycott by some fans.

On the pitch, though, it was a more positive night after recent league struggles and United's mounting injury list.

Simpson made two changes to his line-up, Corey Whelan and Alfie McCalmont coming in for the sidelined Paul Huntington and Owen Moxon.

United's depleted senior numbers led Simpson to include three youth team players among his subs, with Aran Fitzpatrick, Josh O'Brien and Romeo Park getting the call.

Harrogate's line-up included the former Blues defender Rod McDonald, with both sides seeking a result to keep their qualification hopes alive.

And it was United who made a rapid start, opening Harrogate up with a slick move in the third minute as McCalmont and Joe Garner combined to send Jon Mellish through.

News and Star: Jordan Gibson celebrates his openerJordan Gibson celebrates his opener (Image: Ben Holmes)

Keeper Jonathan Mitchell parried his shot, but Gibson arrived from the right to slam in the rebound.

Gibson, in the right wing-back position, took his tally to six for the season and United then survived a Jeremy Sivi shot as Harrogate tried to fight back.

Abraham Odoh failed to make the most of a chance down the middle before George Thomson tested Tomas Holy from a counter-attack.

Carlisle had penalty shouts waved away by ref Dale Baines as Mellish went down in the box under close attention from Dean Cornelius.

Both sides struggled to create clear chances for a further spell, Garner almost sliding in Luke Plange as United looked for a second.

Both sides had players in the wars as, first, the visitors' Stephen Dooley took the full force of a Thomson pass in the face, while Jack Armer for Carlisle needed his head bandaging after an aerial collision with a Harrogate man.

Both were able to continue, as the Cumbrians reached half-time with their 1-0 lead intact.

Harrogate looked for openings after the break with Cornelius wasting a good shooting position as he fired high over the bar from the left of the box.

Visiting boss Simon Weaver brought on Luke Armstrong for the final 25 minutes, Thomson the heading a left-wing cross over Holy's bar.

Simpson introduced Dan Butterworth and Terry Ablade for the closing stages, Garner and Dylan McGeouch replaced, Butterworth almost putting Armer in and McCalmont testing Mitchell with a well-struck volley following a Gibson corner.

Carlisle, though, then did double their lead in the 79th minute when, after Armer's cross was headed goalwards by Ablade and McDonald cleared off the line, Gibson was alert and sent a cool low finish into the net from close range.

Dooley came close to getting one back for Harrogate with Holy then saving well from Cornelius and Liam Gibson, United keeping the League Two side at bay to prevail.