Following Vale’s draw away to Yeovil Town on Saturday, Ned Kelly admitted that ‘frustration and disappointment’ were the two overriding emotions upon hearing the full-time whistle.
He and Chris Morgan watched on as the Valiants put in a positive performance, only for the home side to earn a share of the spoils through Otis Khan’s second-half strike.
Tom Pope had fired Vale into the lead with his first goal of the season just before the half hour mark and Kelly was quick to praise the striker, along with the rest of the team.
“We got plenty of balls into Popey and we worked quite a few good chances on goal, which is great as we had worked on it,” said Kelly.
“I’m really pleased for him. He was excellent in training on Friday and he scored four or five, so we had an inkling that it might be the day his luck would change.
“It was a super Tom Pope header wasn’t it! A great cross into the box from Tyler (Denton) and a lovely finish so I’m pleased.”
On the overall performance, Kelly said: “I am disappointed, pure and simply because I thought we were excellent and we deserved to win.
“We had the lion’s share of possession and the opportunities to score, but we’ve shot ourselves in the foot a little bit.
“During the first half we were excellent, having worked hard on the training ground this week. We changed the shape slightly and I thought we were brilliant.”
On a day where plenty of positives were to be taken from the game, Tyler Denton did have to be substituted through illness whilst debutant James Gibbons was sent off.
Following the game, Kelly spoke about both incidents and provided some clarity on them, eradicating any confusion.
“Tyler had got a sickness bug, one which none of us knew about, including himself, until fifteen minutes into the game,” explained Kelly.
“He was sick two or three times in the first half, we asked him how he was and he was fine to carry on, but then he was sick again in the second half so we thought it was time to swap him over.”
On Gibbons’ red card, he said: “It was his first ever start in professional football, but he will learn from it.
“I thought the tussle had nothing in it really and it didn’t really deserve a yellow card, but when he kicks the ball away, that’s a young boy not knowing the men’s game.
“But he has been great Gibbo, he was superb in training all week and that’s why Morgs (Chris Morgan) and I decided to go with him.”
The point moves Vale out of the bottom two in Sky Bet League Two and that is something Kelly and the rest of the group are pleased with.
He said: “We should have won, but we are now out of the bottom two which is really good news. It’s a small step in moving forward again.”