Tuesday 1st April 2014
Port Vale v Crawley TownAt Vale Park
Attendance: 3,755 including 29 visiting supporters
PORT VALE:Sam Johnson, Richard Duffy, Chris Robertson, Joe Davis, Daniel Jones, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Chris Lines, Billy Knott, Doug Loft, Gavin Tomlin, Tom Pope. SUBS: Adam Yates, Louis Dodds, Chris Birchall, Rob Taylor, Carl Dickinson, Anthony Griffith, Jordan Hugill.
CRAWLEY TOWN:Paul Jones, Mat Sadler, Mark Connolly, Billy Clarke, Rory Fallon, Andy Drury, Josh Simpson, Joe Walsh, Dannie Bulman, Mike Jones, Paul Connolly. SUBS: Sergio Torres, Jamie Proctor, Sully Kaiki, Hirman Boateng, Jeffrey Monakana, Jonny Maddison, Gary Dicker
Second half goals from Billy Knott and Doug Loft were enough to see Vale come from behind to take the three points against an impressive Crawley outfit at Vale Park.
It was enough to see Vale record the double over the Red Devils, helped by the fact that the visitors had been reduced to ten men in the second half when Dannie Bulman picked up a second yellow card.
Vale were also reduced to ten men in the 89th minute when defender Chris Robertson was shown a straight red card.
Vale made one change to the starting eleven, with Jennison Myrie-Williams being recalled to replace Chris Birchall. Carl Dickinson returned from a one-match suspension but had to be content with a place on the bench.
It was a nervous opening couple of minutes from the Valiants and Vale survived an early scare when Rory Fallon’s shot was blocked, with the visitors looking to get their noses in front with less than two minutes on the clock.
The visitors continued to cause Vale problems and it took a timely intervention from Richard Duffy to prevent Mike Jones from getting in a free shot at goal after the ball was chipped over the Vale defence into the box.
Vale then had a chance to take the lead when Chris Lines ran from the halfway line and from 20 yards out sent the ball across the box, where it was picked up by Jennison Myrie-Williams.
The Vale winger stepped inside to tee himself up but his low drive was saved quite comfortably by Crawley ‘keeper Paul Jones.
Play switched to the other end, with Josh Simpson crossing for Billy Clarke to try a shot, but Duffy was well positioned to clear off the line.
The visitors were playing some great passing football and they were almost rewarded midway through the first half when Simpson found space for a shot, but unfortunately for Crawley he fired inches over the crossbar.
Vale began to get more and more of the ball but their play lacked quality at times and they couldn’t seem to make any headway, especially in the final third of the pitch.
GOAL:The visitors finally got the goal their play deserved when Joe Davis brought down Rory Fallon inside the box and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. BILLY CLARKE converted the penalty, sending Johnson the wrong way in the 35th minute.
Billy Knott went close to levelling the scores just moments later, showing some great footwork to make an opening for himself, before eventually firing over the crossbar.
To their credit, Vale kept plugging away, but had nothing to show for it when the half time whistle blew and they went in trailing at the break.
GOAL:Vale got themselves level five minutes into the second half with a terrific BILLY KNOTT strike from outside the area which lifted over the ‘keeper on its way into the net.
Vale were looking more lively than they had in the whole of the opening forty five minutes, yet they still looked vulnerable whenever Crawley pressed forward.
Fallon went close to restoring the visitors’ lead with a sweetly taken, almost delicate volley on the hour, lifting the ball a couple of inches over the Vale crossbar.
Johnson did well to save with his feet to keep out Billy Clarke after the visitors played a neat one-two in the 66th minute and seconds later the visitors were reduced to ten men.
Crawley’s Dannie Bulman went in with a very late challenge on Billy Knott to earn himself his second yellow card of the game, and of course subsequently his marching orders.
Vale made a triple substitution on 78 minutes. Off went Myrie-Williams, Knott and Tomlin and in their place came Chris Birchall, Rob Taylor and Jordan Hugill.
GOAL:Vale went in front for the first time in the game in the 83rd minute when a 20 yard effort from DOUG LOFT squirmed its way under the body of Crawley ‘keeper Paul Jones, who initially looked to have made the save.
Five minutes later Crawley had the ball in the Vale net but the goal was rightly ruled out with the referee’s assistant flagging for offside.
Joe Davis went down after a late challenge and the players reacted immediately. In the melee that followed, Vale’s Chris Robertson ending up earning himself a straight red card.