Kendal Town 0 Carlisle United 3: A header from Terell Thomas and the first two goals of what it’s hoped will be many from Charlie Wyke in his second Carlisle United spell earned the Blues victory against a well-drilled Kendal in this second pre-season friendly.

United, in between Thomas’ opener and Wyke’s first goal back in a Carlisle shirt, struggled to add potency to their inevitable dominance of the ball against their non-league hosts.

But eventually Wyke, with two calm finishes, opened up a gap as Paul Simpson’s team added three more goals to the eight they took at Penrith in last Friday’s pre-season curtain-raiser.

The game also saw first appearances for Archie Davies and Jude Smith, and a first outing of the summer for Jack Ellis, as Carlisle’s players were again given 45 minutes apiece on a rainy night in south Cumbria

Terell Thomas gave United the leadTerell Thomas gave United the lead (Image: Ben Holmes)

United’s squad had lost but also gained a player between their first friendly and this one: Jack Armer gone, to Burton Albion, and Davies in, from Dundalk, and straight in for his first appearance here, hours after his move was confirmed.

Smith, another recent addition, started in goal but much of the action, as one might hope and expect, was at the other end as Carlisle set about building territory against Jimmy Marshall’s home side, who are preparing for life in Northern League Division One.

Harrison Neal, from a second-minute Taylor Charters corner, provided the first test with a header, then the midfielder hammered a shot against a home defender.

United, raiding down the left with Charters, Jon Mellish overlapping and Aran Fitzpatrick offering some good supply from midfield, kept up the pressure down that side before Dan Butterworth headed a Mellish cross too close to home keeper Chris Cheetham.

Archie Davies in action on his first United outingArchie Davies in action on his first United outing (Image: Ben Holmes)

On a slippery pitch, which saw players lose their footing a number of times, the hosts were making Carlisle work for their chances – then almost nabbed one of their own, when Butterworth slipped when trying to attack a low Charters corner, and Kendal sent it forward.

This brought Smith out of his box in an attempt to clean things up but he was beaten to the ball and had to retreat as Kendal, forced left, centred, an airborne Thomas clearance eventually seeing Smith given a free-kick as he struggled to claim it.

James Bailey, leading the line for Kendal with former Carlisle City man Jordan Palmer to his left, were keen to pressure United’s back line but the Blues then took the lead: a good Charters corner from the right and a smart Thomas run followed by a powerful header which Kendal couldn’t keep out.

An early example of the aerial power United will hope to rely on with Thomas, who was also composed on the floor. Kendal offered moments of threat through the middle, Bailey Kenny testing Smith from outside the box before Mellish and Sam Hetherington failed to complete promising moments with the necessary Carlisle finish.

Davies, operating steadily at right wing-back, was then alert to prevent Kendal making the most of a moment in United’s box, before the unlikely figure of Ben Barclay slalomed past three Kendal men before unselfishly serving Luke Armstrong, whose shot was saved.

Cheetham, the home keeper, was often defiant when tested, saving again from Butterworth as United’s finishers struggled to get their eye in. The second half brought Ellis on for his first outing of July as part of an entirely new XI, Wyke also in it – unscathed from Friday’s knocks at Penrith.

It was Ellis who was at the heart of United’s first serious second half inroad, as he controlled a diagonal Josh Vela ball smoothly but saw his shot saved. Home keeper Cheetham was then reprieved by the post when Blues youngster Freddie O’Donoghue charged down his kick.

Terell Thomas heads homeTerell Thomas heads home (Image: Ben Holmes)

Carlisle remained without real potency in the last third, Vela driving onto a ball from the back but declining to shoot and failing to supply a team-mate from a great position. There were, on the right, some good combinations involving Jake Allan, Cameron Harper and O’Donoghue, a scare at the other end as Sam Lavelle bailed out Aaron Hayden’s slip – but then Wyke’s rapid double.

United’s second goal was grounded in some good work by Allan on the left as he cut inside defenders and was then brought down. With an advantage played, Wyke received the ball in a position which home defenders expected to be greeted by an offside flag – yet it stayed down, and Wyke casually dinked it home, Kendal not best pleased but Carlisle two up.

Charlie Wyke scores as Kendal players appeal for offsideCharlie Wyke scores as Kendal players appeal for offside (Image: Ben Holmes)

Six minutes later, Wyke finished smoothly from the left after being played in by Ethan Robson. Finally United had put some distance between themselves and their tiring hosts, who introduced some of their younger players against Carlisle’s pros, as Robson was denied by sub keeper Zach Lee right at the end of a well-contested workout.

Kendal: Cheetham (Lee 87), Russell (Thornley 74), Thomas (Turton 74), Kenny, Holden (Wilson 82), Stanley, Dickson (McDonald 76), Cowperthwaite (Wilson 61), Bailey (Pinington 71), Dudley (Clark 82), Palmer (Marques 76).

United (first half): Smith, Davies, Thomas, Barclay, Mellish, Fitzpatrick, Charters, Neal, Hetherington, Butterworth, Armstrong. Not used: Hopper.

(second half): Breeze, Lavelle, Hayden, Ellis, Harper, McGeouch, Robson, Vela, Allan, O’Donoghue, Wyke. Not used: Hopper.

Goals: Thomas 17; Wyke 68, 74.

Crowd: 651.