Carlisle United 1 Walsall 0: Tristan Abrahams ended the Blues' Brunton Park drought with a dramatic late winner against Walsall.

The substitute scored from close range in the 88th minute to give Keith Millen's strugglers a much-needed first victory in 13 league games.

It was enough to take the Cumbrians out of the League Two relegation zone as they finally ended a five game run of home league games without scoring.

Abrahams, who had come on for Brad Young, volleyed home when Rod McDonald cushioned a Callum Guy free-kick into his path.

The sub sprinted to the dugout to celebrate as Millen gained his first league win since taking charge.

It was a huge shot in the arm on a day when some of the 3,795 crowd chanted against the Blues hierarchy and, for long stages, it looked like being another barren afternoon.

Jordan Gibson hit the post in a first half which saw Joe Riley go off injured, but Abrahams finally won it.

Manager Millen handed Sam Fishburn his full debut amid four changes to the side that started Tuesday's defeat to Harrogate.

The striker, who turned 18 on Friday, was joined in the side by the fit-again pair of Jack Armer and Riley, while Morgan Feeney was also recalled.

Brennan Dickenson was out of the squad while Abrahams, Zach Clough and Danny Devine dropped to the bench.

Walsall boss Matt Taylor made one change, Otis Khan coming in for the sidelined Brendan Kiernan.

The visitors almost found a way through inside the first minute, as Conor Wikinson ran unchallenged into the box, his eventual finish saved and breaking for Khan, who shot just wide.

Further chances were scarce for some time afterwards.

Feeney almost put Gibson in with a long ball down the right, but visiting keeper Carl Rushworth got there first.

Emmanuel Osadebe's run was intercepted by the Blues, whose first shot came in the 26th minute - and almost resulted in a spectacular goal.

Saddlers left-back Stephen Ward lost the ball and Riley pounced, shooting immediately from close to the centre circle, the ball sailing over keeper Rushworth and just off target.

United came closer 10 minutes before the break when ref Scott Oldham played an advantage and Callum Guy fed Gibson, who slotted across goal from the left but hit the outside of the post.

The Blues then suffered another injury blow when Riley went down a second time and had to be replaced, the midfielder leaving the pitch holding his arm as Taylor Charters came off the bench.

Moments later a Guy free-kick broke for Fishburn but the teenager failed to connect properly with his shot from a promising position.

As United ended the half on top, Gibson then sent a free-kick over the bar after Charters had been brought down, Joss Labadie glancing a Khan free-kick wide for Walsall in the last action of the first period.

Fishburn combined with Young as the latter had a shot blocked early in the second half as United searched for the elusive goal.

Some fans in the Warwick Road End chanted "Sack the board" as things went on.

Walsall broke on the 57th minute, George Miller testing Mark Howard from a tight angle, the keeper then getting behind a low Labadie effort.

Carlisle carved of their own on the hour when Guy drove down the left and Young laid his cross to Charters, but the sub fired over the bar.

Abrahams then came off the bench to replace Aston Villa loanee Young, some fans booing his introduction, with Charters again firing over as he cut in from the right.

Miller headed a Ward cross wide as Walsall tried to snatch the points 15 minutes from time, Emmanuel Osadebe then going close after a Miller lay-off and Kieran Phillips seeing a shot blocked after dinking the ball into space.

Millen brought on Manasse Mampala for Fishburn in the closing stages - and United finally struck in the 88th minute.

Guy floated a free-kick to the edge of the box, McDonald cushioned a volley over the Walsall defence, and Abrahams timed his run perfectly to steer his fourth of the season past Rushworth.

The Saddlers saw a cross hit the bar in the 90th minute but United held on to move up to third bottom.

United: Howard, Mellor, Armer, McDonald, Feeney, Whelan, Guy, Riley (Charters 37), Gibson, Young (Abrahams 63), Fishburn (Mampala 85). Not used: Simons, Devine, Dinzeyi, Clough.

Goal: Abrahams 88

Booked: Guy, Armer

Walsall: Rushworth, White, Ward, Monthe, Menayese, Labadie, Khan (Phillips 65), Earing, Osadebe, Wilkinson, Miller. Not used: Rose, Taylor, Kinsella, Leak, Perry, Shade.

Booked: Menayese

Ref: Scott Oldham.

Crowd: 3,795 (293 Walsall fans)