Chris Beech was delighted to give Carlisle’s returning fans something to cheer about with a 2-1 win over Salford.
Two thousand home fans were in the stands as goals from Lewis Alessandra and Rhys Bennett secured the points at Brunton Park.
Manchester United loanee Di’Shon Bernard bagged his first goal for the club with a stoppage-time consolation.
“I’m delighted for everybody. When you have the fans back you want it to go well and the boys have put in the work to make sure that happened,” beamed boss Beech.
“It was just fantastic to hear them cheer for every tackle and you could see that it gave the lads an extra yard when they needed it.
“The fact that we’ve been able to share big moments with them is what this game is all about. The roar when the goals went in, you’d think there were 20,000 people here.
“We’ve missed this and, like I say, to be able to reward those people who have waited so long to back their team is the most special thing about it.
“The supporters have been unbelievable through what has been a very tough period and they needed this.
“Our performance has introduced the players to them in the flesh and they’ve now been able to see first-hand what we’re trying to build.
“We’ve beaten a good side and played some very good football. The disappointment is that we conceded late, but that’s how these games go.
“Hopefully this is just the start for the fans as we get more and more back, right across the country, because that’s what this game is really about.”
Victory propelled Carlisle into the play-off spots and just a point off the automatic promotion spots.
But defeat left the ambitious Ammies five points off the promotion places and two points shy of the top seven.
Frustrated boss Richie Wellens admitted: “We weren’t good enough. We huffed and puffed at times but on the whole we weren’t good enough.
“Our decision making and game management was poor.
“It was really disappointing and it was a bit of a step back for us. We are where we are and we’re going to get setbacks.
“We showed some good energy but I’d rather that was from the first whistle and not when we’re two goals behind.
“We need to be better and we need to start games better.
“We’ve got some experienced players, players who have played at a higher level and hundreds of games.
“But my best players were Di’Shon Bernard who is on his first loan, Luke Burgess who is a young player and Bruno Andrade who is a flair player.”