Skipper Danny Grainger hopes his last-gasp stunner for Carlisle United has put an end to their recent struggles.

The captain returned from injury in dramatic style with his 93rd-minute winner against Newport.

And Grainger wants Carlisle’s much-needed home victory to be the start of a better run of form.

“It’s a tight league this year and anybody who puts a run together can be right up there,” he said.

“Hopefully this is our little bump in form and we can pick up a bit of consistency and climb the table.”

Grainger’s goal, after Jamie Devitt’s first-half double, saw Carlisle jump from 16th to 11th.

The 3-2 victory also brought an end to their five-match, eight-hour league goalscoring drought at home.

It was Grainger’s first outing since August because of a calf injury and the defender paid tribute to United’s physio Neil Dalton and conditioning coach Paddy Maher for their help in getting him back on the pitch.

“It’s been a long while, I’ve been in the physio room and gym a lot with Dolly and Paddy, and I can’t thank them enough,” the Cumbrian defender said.

“They know what I’m like, chomping at the bit to get going.

“When I first did my calf I didn’t envisage being out this long, and the recurrence was probably my fault, trying to be too eager.

“But they have pushed me on days when I’ve been tired, and settled me down when it’s been needed too, and to be able to go into a tough shift at left wing-back and play 90 minutes is credit to those guys.”

Grainger’s strike was voted goal of the day on Sky Sports and the captain said it capped a Carlisle display full of character.

It also came after Newport had come from 2-0 down to level the game in the closing stages.

“It was nice to see the ball hit the back of the net. Afterwards I just felt like lying on the floor for 20 minutes,” said the 32-year-old.

“I’m sure the fans would take a 3-2 win every day, but a few of us would take a scrappy 1-0 one day. Three points is the main thing, though.

“Right through the team there were good performances and it got rewarded. It was an entertaining game – we probably shaded it on chances and deserved to win.

“We could have been out of sight at half time, so we came in knowing they were gonna have a go at us, but we’re delighted to get three points.

“There’s a good bunch of lads in there and we’ve always said that we can’t get too high when we win or too low when we lose.

“The home form has been disappointing but the majority of the time the fans have been right behind us and they stuck with us again when it went to 2-2. You could still hear them singing and trying to push us through.

“The first thing to get off our back was scoring goals, which we did, and after that it was making sure we got three points.”