Bring your boots and get a game was the tale of the tape for Carlisle at Creighton this evening with eight players unavailable, Tom Berwick, Kyle Dempsey and Brad Staunch down at Morecambe with the first team, schoolboy Connor Hammill and non-contract Danny Hodgson unavailable, Jack Lynch injured, Declan Watson ill and trialist Ross Madden from the Queen of the South and Blackburn games having been let go being the story of the squad.
The good news though is that Pat Brough and Alex Salmon are both back from their injury lay-offs, with striker Salmon having to fill in an attacking midfield role due to the lack of numbers, with Danny Dixon and Connor Thomson also in the engine room. As for the visiting Annan side, well it was a younger side than may have been expected that came down, but their lads ranging between the ages of 15 and 17 acquitted themselves well early on before fitness really began to tell.
4 mins - Greg Peel back to Salmon, 18-yard drive parried away by Athletic goalkeeper Jake Gemmill.
5 mins - Jamie Clarey cross in from the right, Peel heads over from 8 yards out.
7 mins - Clarey cross in from the right, Pat Brough header from the middle of the box goes wide of the far-post.
9 mins - Brough to Salmon, 15-yard curler straight at Gemmill.
11 mins - Dale Minor shot from just outside the penalty area pulled across goal and wide of the left-hand post.
13 mins - Brough corner in, Brandon Gwinnutt header over the top from 8 yards out.
14 mins - Peel pounces onto a loose ball, drags 15-yard strike wide of the target.
15 mins - Salmon 12 yards out in the left-hand channel slides a shot across Gemmill and into the far corner of the net, 1-0.
16 mins - Salmon shot over the top from the Annan 'D'.
16 mins - Before the goal-kick Lewis Brass comes on for Jordan Parker in the United goal, first-choice Parker being rested with what looks like a quiet evening ahead of him.
17 mins - Brough to Peel to Salmon to Brough, Brough 12 yards out fires over the top.
19 mins - Foul by Mikey Thompson on Peel 25 yards out, Salmon fires the resultant free-kick over the top.
20 mins - Peel to Salmon inside the box, shot blocked by Scott Norman, breaks to Peel for a 12-yard half-volley that is saved by Gemmill.
21 mins - Peel back to Dixon for a 22-yard drive over the top.
24 mins - Dixon corner over to the far-post, Gwinnutt heads wide from 8 yards out.
25 mins - Thomson cross in from the right, Dixon volleys it over Gemmill's crossbar from the middle of the box.
26 mins - Dixon corner in, Gwinnutt header from 8 yards out parried away by Gemmill. Salmon hammers the rebound onto the underside of the bar from close range and Annan manage to clear their lines.
27 mins - Brough and Salmon work a short corner, Brough puts a cross in which Clarey heads home from 10 yards out, 2-0.
29 mins - Salmon 20-yard shot blocked by Kieran McCrudden, breaks to Brough 12 yards out, his shot is parried behind by Gemmill. Brough and Salmon work the short corner, Brough ball over to the back-post which Gwuinnutt heads wide from 8 yards out.
32 mins - Brough and Salmon work yet another short corner, Salmon runs in but mishits his cross wide of the near-post from just inside the box.
33 mins - Lovely Salmon ball over the top and down the left-hand channel for Brough 15 yards out. Brough stretching though and his volley on goal is an easy one for Gemmill to take.
34 mins - Salmon fouled by McCrudden out on the left, Minor and Salmon work the free-kick short and Salmon races into the box before seeing his 15-yard drive go straight at Gemmill.
35 mins - Dixon curler from the 'D' goes narrowly wide of the Annan left-hand post.
40 mins - Gwinnutt deep ball across from the right to Brough 10 yards out at the back-post, Brough though hammers his volley into the ground and over the top of the goal on the bounce.
43 mins - Clarey to Peel for a 15-yard shot that deflects away from danger off Thompson.
44 mins - Dixon and Thomson this time work the short corner, Thomson hits a low ball in which is flicked through the legs of Gemmill and into the net by the boot of Clarey 6 yards out, 3-0.
46 mins - Annan make three changes during the interval as Ryan Jack comes on for Gemmill in goal, while outfield-wise Alex Jamieson and Craig Thomson come on for Jamie Campbell and Shaun Dunbar respectively.
46 mins - United only have one substitution available, and Blues boss Eric Kinder makes it as Evan McEvoy comes on for Dillon Morse at centre-half.
46 mins - Peel shot over from 22 yards out.
47 mins - Salmon low drive from the edge of the box dragged across goal and wide of the Annan right-hand post.
49 mins - Clarey to Peel to Thomson down the right-hand channel, Thomson low ball across to the far-post which is slammed into the roof of the net by Brough from close range, 4-0.
54 mins - Annan attack. Nice pass through the middle by McCrudden for Ally Barnes to race onto, Barnes 15 yards out lifts a neat toe-poked shot over the top of a diving Brass and into the Carlisle net, 4-1.
56 mins - Salmon to Brough, his low ball ball in breaks to Thomson for a 15-yard drive which is parried away by Jack.
58 mins - Dixon to Peel, shot from the middle of the box goes across Jack and into the far corner of the visitors net, 5-1.
59 mins - Foul by Thompson on Peel over in the far corner. Brough free-kick over reaches Clarey at the back-post who blazes a drive high over the angle from 10 yards out.
59 mins - Jack manages to hold on at the second attempt to a 22-yard Salmon shot.
60 mins - Brough cross in from the left sees Peel volley goalwards from 10 yards out, Jack does well to get down quickly and push the ball away to his right.
61 mins - Dixon to Peel in the middle of the Annan box. Peel hammers a shot from there which bounces miles out off the underside of Jack's crossbar.
61 mins - Clarey across to Peel 12 yards out, Peel on the turn places a low effort into the far corner of the net, 6-1.
64 mins - Clarey cross in from the right, which seems to roll all the way down the body of Brough at close range at the back-post before going into the net off his knees, 7-1.
65 mins - Peel shot from 18 yards out fumbled behind by Jack, Brough's resultant corner in produces nothing for United.
67 mins - Salmon's 20-yard drive on goal is parried away by Jack.
68 mins - Annan bring on Jordan McGinlay for McCrudden.
70 mins - Brough cross in from the left, Peel stretching for it a little 10 yards out heads wide of the target.
71 mins - Dunbar is the only man on the night to get two separate stints on the pitch as he comes back on for Josh Usher.
73 mins - Thomson to Salmon for a 15-yard drive on goal which Jack parries down in front of himself, that allows Peel to pounce and hammer the rebound in from close range, 8-1.
74 mins - Annan attack. McGinlay back to Athletic skipper Zac Caldwell for a shot from just outside the United box which which is pulled wide of the Blues right-hand post.
76 mins - Nice one-two through the visitors defence by Peel and Salmon, Peel easy finish past Jack from 8 yards out, 9-1.
77 mins - Clarey to Salmon who ghosts past three defenders before hammering a 12-yard strike past a motionless Jack and into the net, 10-1.
79 mins - Dixon shot from 18 yards out disappears away too high over the angle of near-post and bar.
81 mins - Clarey and Brough work a short corner which Brough clips over to the far-post, Salmon though heads onto the base of the upright and behind from close range.
82 mins - Both sets of coaching staff agree to declare at 10-1 and referee Chris Backhouse blows the final whistle.
That's it for the youth team's pre-season campaign then, with the good news of the return of Brough and Salmon coming just in time for the start of the football proper on Saturday at home to Accrington in an 11am kick-off at Creighton Rugby Club. That game hopefully seeing just Jack Lynch having to sit on the sidelines through injury as the lads look to get the first of two victories against Stanley for Carlisle United on the day.
United line-up :
Jordan Parker (Lewis Brass 16), Brandon Gwinnutt, Dale Minor, Dillon Morse (Evan McEvoy 46), Jake Chisholm, Danny Dixon, Connor Thomson, Alex Salmon, Jamie Clarey, Greg Peel, Pat Brough.
No unused substitutes.
Goals - Greg Peel - 58, 61, 73 and 76. Pat Brough - 49 and 64. Jamie Clarey - 27 and 44. Alex Salmon - 15 and 77.
Annan line-up :
Jake Gemmill (Ryan Jack 46), Scott Norman, Kieran McCrudden (Jordan McGinlay 68), Jamie Campbell (Alex Jamieson 46), Mikey Thompson, Zac Caldwell (c), Josh Usher (Shaun Dunbar 71), Ross Hunter, Ally Barnes, Shaun Dunbar (Craig Thomson 46), Kieran McKie.
No unused substitutes.
Youth Team Table : Click here