Vale got off to the perfect start to life in League Two, as they picked up a win on the opening day away at the Checkatrade Stadium.
First goals for Michael Tonge, Antony Kay and Dan Turner were enough to see off the hosts and secure Michael Brown a win in his first game as permanent manager.
It was a quiet start to the game, with the first chance not coming until the 6th minute, when debutant Michael Tonge picked up the ball from range and tried his luck, but the effort when just over the bar.
Next time however Tonge would make it count as three minutes later, the midfielder had a free-kick which was deflected past Glenn Morris and into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Vale.
Vale didn’t stop there and continued to press to try and double the lead and Cristian Montano had an effort from a tight angle inside the box, but it went over the bar.
Crawley had their first effort on target moments later, Dannie Bulman captialised on a loose ball and drilled a shot at Rob Lainton, which went wide of the goal.
However, the Crawley pressure didn’t last long and Vale doubled their lead after 26 minutes, when that man Tonge was involved again with a free-kick crossed in and comfortably headed in by the skipper, Antony Kay.
Harry Kewell’s side looked to start a comeback and Enzio Boldewijn got it past Lawrie Wilson, then when he let rip a heroic Nathan Smith put his body on the line and blocked the shot from going towards goal.
Some excellent play from Vale in the 39th minute, Montano switched play to Harness who did ever so well, he then set it up to Wilson, who played it back to Harness and his ball found the head of Montano, but he couldn’t direct it on goal.
That was all for the first half and as the teams came out for the second period, there was a change for Michael Brown’s side, with Motnano coming off for Dan Turner.
The hosts made an early breakthrough in the second half to get a goal back, Boldewijn went on a solo run and was able to get a shot away which he fired into the bottom corner to make it 1-2.
Crawley were almost level a few minutes later, Jordan Roberts was played through and he fired an effort which skimmed the side netting.
Another chance followed in the 62nd minute. A long direct ball fell straight into the path of Lewis Young inside the box and the defender tried a first-time volley which went over the bar.
67 minutes on the clock and Crawley continued to press for the equaliser, Boldewijn was looking for the bottom corner and his second of the game, but his shot went inches wide of the post.
Crawley continued to battle and Vale soaked up the pressure and were rewarded for their super defensive display.
Marcus Harness does well down the right, he put in a great cross and it was met by Dan Turner for his first ever Port Vale goal to make it 3-1.
Vale were able to keep Harry Kewell’s side at bay for the remainder of the second half and pick a win on the road.
Attendance: 2,270 (432 Vale Fans)
Crawley Town: Glenn Morris, Lewis Young, Josh Lelan, Mark Connolly, Cedric Evina, Dannie Bulman, Josh Yorwerth (Josh Payne ’55), Mark Randall, Enzio Boldewijn (Lewis ’76), Thomas Verheydt, Jordan Roberts (Cox ’65).
Subs: Yusuf Mersin, Josh Payne, Dean Cox, Andre Blackman, Matt Harold, Kaby Djalo, Dennon Lewis.
Port Vale: Rob Lainton, Lawrie Wilson, Antony Kay, Marcus Harness (Whitfield ’84), Danny Pugh, Tom Pope, Cristian Montano (Dan Turner ‘46), Nathan Smith, Anthony de Freitas, Gavin Gunning, Michael Tonge (Reeves ’65).
Subs: Sam Hornby, Joe Davis, Anton Forrester, Billy Reeves, Dan Turner, Rekeil Pyke, Ben Whitfield.