Port Vale boss Micky Adams admitted he was about to make a triple substitution before his strikers Ben Williamson and Tom Pope scored in the space of five minutes to turn the game against Carlisle United on its head.

Carlisle led at half-time through Courtney Meppen-Walter's header and it needed a brilliant save from Vale goalkeeper Chris Neal to deny Liam Noble early in the second half.

But Williamson and Pope, with his 14th goal of the season, struck either side of the hour mark to turn the tables and end Vale's run of three straight defeats.

Adams said: "Chris' save was terrific and I was just about to make a triple substitution when Ben scored. I was going to make the changes to try to inject some life into us, so the goal came at a good time.

"I'm delighted both of our centre-forwards scored because they are judged on their return of goals. Tom's strike rate is good, but Ben's is not so good so that should give him a boost.

"Ben ran the channels really well in the second-half and he's got to understand the qualities he's got. Sometimes he doesn't quite do that.

"No-one has been more disappointed than me with how things had gone in recent games and the lads had got a bit down on themselves. Players can lose confidence and belief when a run of results go against them, so this should give them a lift.

"Results have gone for us (on Saturday) too and we've now got a nice buffer of 11 points above the relegation places. We should now start to look up the table again instead of down."

Carlisle manager Graham Kavanagh was pleased with the application of his players and felt the Cumbrians deserved something from the match.

He said: "It's a very disappointing result. I can't fault the lads for effort because they gave everything, but it wasn't to be.

"We created the chances to go 2-0 up and we've paid the price for not taking them. Goals change games and change mentalities and when Vale equalised it affected the moral of our players.

"It's a shame because we were in front at half-time and had our tails up. We played well at the start of the second-half, but have conceded a goal on the break and then the course of the game changed.

"We've got a good group of players who give their all and we've now got to dust ourselves down and bounce back. The lads have done that before and I'm sure they can do it again.

"It's going to be a big period for us now because after going to Sheffield United on Wednesday we've got several games against teams who are around us near the bottom."