James Wilson’s second-half penalty handed improving Port Vale a hard-earned 1-0 victory against Carlisle.

Andy Crosby’s side have now won three and drawn one since their opening-day hammering at Barnsley.

Carlisle, meanwhile, remain winless this term after promotion via the play-offs in May.

The hosts bossed the early stages, with Nathan Smith and Wilson both going close.

Eventually Carlisle replied, with Owen Moxon firing just over the top following Callum Guy’s smart pass.

Guy himself went close soon after, with his terrific strike from distance being superbly beaten out by Vale keeper Connor Ripley.

Vale thought they had scored shortly before the interval but Ethan Chislett was thwarted by an assistant referee’s flag.

The hosts did strike shortly after the restart, from the penalty spot. Carlisle keeper Jokull Andresson tugged back Chislett in the box, leaving Wilson to coolly slot home from the spot.

The lead was almost doubled soon after when Alex Iacovitti lashed a shot just over.

Carlisle almost levelled when Sean Maguire headed Jack Armer’s cross inches wide.