Both teams began the half not only battling each other, but the elements as well as the wind had a major part to play in the game.
It took just four minutes for the Vale to adapt to the weather and to try and use it to their advantage as they were kicking with the wind behind them.
Ben Whitfield thought that he would test the ‘keeper’s awareness with a blistering shot from 35-yards which Pym tipped over the bar in dramatic fashion.
Exeter fought back with a spell of pressure themselves between Hiram Boateng and Dean Moxey. Their link-up play on the left earned the home team a corner which was taken by Lloyd James, but Kelle Roos was on hand to pluck the ball from the air.
Vale began using the wind to their advantage more and more whilst the Grecians struggled to combat it.
Chances for Pugh, Harness and Pope saw Vale rise to ascendancy that paid off in the 25th minute.
Tom Pope it was who got the goal, which made it 6 in 4 for the big man. It was initially great play from Worrall on the right who delivered a low cross into the box which Pope met and slotted away to the ‘keepers right.
Moments before, Exeter had a great chance to go ahead through Jayden Stockley whose header flew just wide of the far post.
Later in the half, Whitfield, again, tried his luck from range, aided by the wind. This time it was from a 40-yard freekick which was destined for the top corner of the net, but for Pym’s heroics. The ‘keeper came flying across the face of the goal to tip it just over the bar.
This was the last major action of the half as Tom Pope’s seventh goal of the season sent Neil Aspin’s black and white army into the break with a 0-1 lead.
HALF-TIME: Exeter City 0 – 1 Port Vale
Vale came straight out of the blocks for the second half creating from the off. First Whitfield was the creator who earned Vale a corner, which lead to nothing.
Then it was Gibbons leading the Vale attack down the right after Whitfield’s shot rebounded out to him. He delivered a great cross that was comfortably collected by Pym.
Exeter had the wind behind them in the second half and were looking to use this at their every opportunity.
Roos came out a number of times as the Grecians tried to play on the break and play over the defence, and swept up any danger.
City came closest in the half as Boateng’s delivery from the left was met by Stockley more or less underneath the crossbar. He somehow managed to head over.
Roos was called into action yet again after James floated a freekick in from the right, which was met with a header. The big ‘keeper managed to get his hand to the ball and palm away.
Liam McAlinden was introduced with 20 minutes to go and was amidst the action straight away, as a ball rebounded out to him on the edge of the box on the left, but is effort was wild and flew way over the bar.
Vale’s defence stood resolute and the three points were in sight.
Exeter on the other hand, were pushing everyone forward at every chance leaving them vulnerable in defence, which Vale maybe should have capitalised upon.
Vale created chance after chance on the break in the final 10 minutes but did not manage to grab that elusive second goal. And did not need to.
Montano had the best of the chances as the ball was worked from right to left, finally with Pugh setting him up for his effort to be parried away from danger.
Another game on the road. Another clean sheet. Most importantly, another win.
FULL-TIME: Exeter City 0 – 1 Port Vale
Port Vale: Roos, Gibbons, Anderson, Smith, Gunning, Kay, Pugh ©, Worrall, Whitfield (56), Harness (72), Pope.
Subs: Boot, Davis, Reeves, Stobbs, Montano (56), Barnett (72), Turner
Exeter City: Pym, Sweeney, James, Stockley, Moore-Taylor ©, Moxey (87), Taylor, Edwards (70), Reid (87), Brown, Boateng
Subs: Hamon, Archibald-Henville, McAlinden (70), Jay (87), Wilson, Byrne, Sparkes (87)
ATTENDANCE: 4,258 with 243 travelling, noisy Vale fans.