Paul Simpson was satisfied with a “professional” first pre-season showing from his Carlisle United players.

The Blues eased back into action with an 8-0 win at Penrith on Friday evening.

The game saw a first Carlisle goal for new signing Cameron Harper, while Dan Butterworth and Taylor Charters scored two apiece.

There were further strikes from Luke Armstrong plus teenagers Sam Hetherington and Freddie O’Donoghue.

As well as Harper, the game also saw first outings since their summer moves for Aaron Hayden, Charlie Wyke, Terell Thomas and Ethan Robson.

Simpson said: “I thought it was a very, very professional job by them – and I've got to say they've been absolutely professional from the day one of coming back in, in terms of how they’ve gone about their business.

Dan Butterworth scores a free-kick at PenrithDan Butterworth scores a free-kick at Penrith (Image: Ben Holmes)

“This has been a volume week of real high numbers in terms of the workload, so it was always going to be a bit of a challenge to go and get them running around tonight.

“But I thought it was a real good workout for them. We passed the ball well, talked well, organised each other, pressed together as a unit, and showed signs of what it is we're hoping to do this year.”

Simpson was pleased to see his side take so many of their chances against Darren Edmondson’s Northern League Division One side.

“I thought there were some good finishes,” he added.

Aaron Hayden pictured on his first United outing since rejoining the clubAaron Hayden pictured on his first United outing since rejoining the club (Image: Ben Holmes)

“That was good to see, but it was more about the areas – so it was good to see Cammy Harper and Taylor Charters both getting in at the far post and scoring.

“It was good to see wing-backs getting in and getting crosses in.

“I thought Hoppy [youth team player Dan Hopper] put a great ball in [during the] first half.

“It was good to see Butts getting two good strikes, Luke Armstrong getting a goal as a striker, and then really good to see the two young boys [Hetherington and O’Donoghue] getting goals as well and showing real good calmness in the 18-yard box.”

Taylor Charters scores from the spot at PenrithTaylor Charters scores from the spot at Penrith (Image: Ben Holmes)

The game also saw a number of players make a successful return having ended last season injured.

“It was really good to see Josh Vela, because I thought he looked really smooth the way he was running,” said Simpson.

“Maybe he was carrying something before he picked up the injury last season. But I'm hoping that Josh will be a real big player for us this season. “I think he was one of the good signings we made in January that unfortunately the results just didn't reflect that.”

Luke Armstrong scores Carlisle's fifth goal at PenrithLuke Armstrong scores Carlisle's fifth goal at Penrith (Image: Ben Holmes)

Simpson, meanwhile, could take another look at the teenagers who impressed in United’s first outing of pre-season.

Hopper, son of Blues legend Tony, played in the first half along with defender Josh O’Brien, who is on a third year scholarship deal.

Sam Hetherington scores a well-taken late effort at PenrithSam Hetherington scores a well-taken late effort at Penrith (Image: Ben Holmes)

Hetherington, another third-year scholar, came on for the injured Wyke in the first half and remain on for the full second half, with Aran Fitzpatrick, Jake Allan and youth team prospect O’Donoghue completing the second 45 minutes.

“I thought it was really good for them,” said Simpson of the teenagers.

“A couple of the younger ones, Hoppy and Freddie, were brought in at the last minute because of the couple of players who weren't available and I thought they came in and did really well.

Freddie O'Donoghue scores United's eighthFreddie O'Donoghue scores United's eighth (Image: Ben Holmes)

“They might get another run out on Tuesday [at Kendal Town] depending on what we've got available but they certainly haven't done themselves any harm.”