Caretaker manager Mark Grew felt a much-improved second-half display "saved Port Vale's season" as they came from behind to beat Lincoln 2-1 to move into the play-off places.
The Imps dominated the early stages and went ahead through Gavin McCallum, but Vale retaliated and Marc Richards equalised with his 100th career goal in the 59th minute before Doug Loft cracked home a stunning winner in the 70th minute.
"It's a great result, so who cares if it was a mixed performance? We are in the top seven again with seven games to go," Grew said. "The final scoreline is everything at this stage. We were super against Bury on Saturday and had to settle for a draw when we should have won in comfort.
"It's the first time we've been one down and come back to win which proves what we have always known - these lads have great spirit. I knew it was going to be difficult when I saw their team-sheet and they were going to set up 4-5-1.
"Lincoln played very well in the first half and were the better side. Our two midfield players found the going tough, but I didn't want to change it and alter our shape.
"We told the players at half-time that they had 45 minutes to save their season and they have gone out and done the business. We scored two great goals and have got three great points."
Disappointed Lincoln manager Steve Tilson said: "I thought over the 90 minutes we deserved something out of the game and I'm gutted to come away with nothing.
"In the first half we were the best side by miles and could have put the game to bed. We had some great chances and could have been three goals up. We still had our chances in the second half, but we've lost the game because of a lapse of concentration for the first goal and a bad decision for the second goal.
"Marc Richards has scored 20 goals this season and he's a good finisher. We allowed him to score against us because we didn't get out and gave him a header too close to goal. The positive is we had a great reaction from the lads after a heavy defeat by Rotherham on Friday. The lads gave their all and I've got no complaints in that department.
"Danny Hone has suffered a shoulder injury and he's another one on the list. The amount of injuries we've had is ridiculous and we are running out of bodies at a time when we can't bring anyone in."
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