Port Vale’s long unbeaten home record since December 2019 is over, after Jon Mellish’s second-half goal secured a 1-0 defeat for the Valiants.
Tom Pope also saw his second-half penalty saved by Carlisle goalkeeper Paul Farman just a few minutes before Mellish gave the Cumbrians the lead.
Vale started the game brightly, and created the first opportunity of the afternoon five minutes into the contest, when Cristian Montano’s close-range effort was saved by Paul Farman before Scott Burgess’ following effort on the volley was fired just over the bar.
Just two minutes later, it was Scott Brown who was tested when he pushed Gime Toure’s long range effort away from goal before the Vale defence averted any oncoming danger.
Toure’s effort seemed to inspire the Cumbrians as wide-man Lewis Alessandra tried to slide the ball into the bottom corner before his effort was blocked by Mitch Clark, who was making his third debut for the club.
But the best chance of the game until that point fell to the Valiants after 15 minutes, when Montano’s floated ball into the box was met by the head of Devante Rodney, who’s close-range flew wide of the target.
It was almost a dream return for Clark, after he burst into the box with the ball, but his effort glided just over the bar with ten minutes remaining until half-time.
David Worrall had a half-chance to give Vale the lead just on half-time but his header following Rodney’s cross was at too tight of an angle to trouble Farman, meaning that the contest was goalless at half-time.
Vale quickly came out of the blocks at the start of the second-half and after a David Worrall corner caused chaos the Carlisle defence, the ball found itself back at Worrall’s feet before he was brought down and the Valiants were awarded a penalty.
Tom Pope stepped up to take the penalty, but Farman guessed the right way and pushed the shot away with Cumbrians clearing any potential rebounds for the oncoming Danny Whitehead.
And that penalty proved costly after Scott Brown’s initial save from Gavin Reilly fell straight into the path of Jon Mellish, who stabbed it home to give Carlisle a second-half lead.
Vale pushed for an equaliser throughout the second-half and put numerous balls into the box, but the Cumbrians dealt with the Vale attack’s well.
Gime Toure almost killed the game with eight minutes remaining, when his shot on the angle curled just wide of Brown’s post.
Toure had another chance to finish the game with just four minutes of normal time left on the clock, when Legge’s back-pass was seized upon by the Carlisle forward, but Brown was there to block the shot and keep Vale in the game.
Vale could have earnt themselves a point in the last minute of normal time, but Whitehead’s effort from Clarke’s cut-back was high and wide over the bar, and meant that it just wouldn’t be Vale’s day.
The Valiants are back in action next weekend when we take on Salford City at Vale Park in a Sky Bet League Two clash next Saturday.
Port Vale: Brown, Clark, Legge, Crookes, Montano, Whitehead, Burgess (Conlon 59’), Worrall, Rodney, Pope (McKirdy 59’), Robinson.
Unused subs: Visser, Brisley, Fitzpatrick, Joyce, Hurst.
Carlisle United: Farman, Taner, Anderton, McDonald, Hayden, Guy, Mellish, Alessandra, Riley (Malley 90’), Toure, Reilly (Devine 76’).
Unused subs: Norman, Hunt, Armer, Furman, Bell.