Carlisle shook off the after-effects of an opening home defeat in midweek to put manager Greg Abbott in a more upbeat mood as they saw off Portsmouth in a 4-2 thriller at Brunton Park.
Carlisle looked to be heading for a 2-0 victory until a late burst of goals and a Portsmouth fightback, which had the Cumbrians reeling for a time.
Abbott said: "I asked for a response from Tuesday's defeat against Tranmere and I got it. The players showed more effort and in the first 20 minutes they showed what we are all about.
"Everyone has been working for this result since Tuesday. As long as the players give that honesty and level of performance I will be happy."
It all looked straightforward when Carlisle's new loan signing Jake Jervis headed them in front in the 13th minute and skipper Danny Livesey headed number two straight after half-time.
All the real action came in a six-minute spell at the end of the game as Portsmouth's Ashley Harris headed home from a corner, James Berrett restored Carlisle's advantage and visiting substitute Conor Clifford slid the ball home from 18 yards to test the home side's nerve - only for Paddy Madden to make it 4-2 to the Cumbrians bang on the final whistle.
Abbott added: "Was it a classic? Definitely not. Was it full of effort and determination? It surely was. Compared to Tuesday it was chalk and cheese."
Pompey manager Michael Appleton admitted his side's late fightback was a case of "too little, too late."
Appleton said: "We didn't start well enough and the second half began in the same vein after saying all the right things at half-time.
"All four Carlisle goals were preventable. It was all a bit kamikaze by a lot of our players. There's a lot of work to do, but you learn from your defeats and I learnt a lot about the players."