It was an afternoon to forget at Whaddon Road, as Port Vale fell were defeated 5-1 away to Cheltenham.
Port Vale started brightly and piled the pressure on from the get go, winning a corner and a free kick inside the opening minute. Vale kept Cheltenham pinned in their own half, with Raglan coming closest with a header but failed to make the vital connection.
Despite the pressure, Cheltenham scored the opener after just 13 minutes, coming against the run of play. Mohammed Eisa finishing neatly in the bottom corner after Sanmi Odelusi split the Vale defence wide open. Eisa cut inside onto his right foot and slotted past Lainton to put Cheltenham 1-0 up.
Port Vale looked to respond quickly, and had another great chance. Luke Hannant cut inside and whipped in a brilliant ball, but keeper Flinders just beat Tom Pope to it.
The game seemed to quieten down and no real chances were created. David Worrall won a free kick right on the edge of the box after a long ball was played up field. Tongue lifted the ball in, but put too much on it and it drifted out for a goal kick.
Shortly after and Vale won a penalty, 10 minutes before the half time interval. Hannant made a driving run into the Cheltenham box and he was brought down with the referee having no hesitation to point to the spot. Captain Tom Pope placed the ball on the spot and finished it comfortably into the bottom corner.
The Valiants looked to be going in at half time at 1-1, but a looped ball over by Cheltenham’s defence created confusion at the back for Vale. After a mix up between Raglan and Lainton in the defence, it fell to Eisa yet again who profited and scored his second of the afternoon.
Vale started the second half brightly, with Hannant doing well down the left flank and managed to hang up a cross, but Flinders managed to punch the ball clear with Pope closing in. Amazingly, the referee pulled it back for a free kick, leaving Pope and manager Neil Aspin in disbelief.
Pope had a half chance 60 minutes in after Nathan Smith held the ball well in the opposition box. The defender teed the ball up well to Pope who hit the ball on low and hard, but the Cheltenham keeper collected it comfortably.
Forrester and Tongue were replaced just after the hour mark by Donovan Wilson and Ben Whitfield, and despite the bright start to the second half, Cheltenham added a third. Substitute, Elijah Adebayo was slipped through and finished past Rob Lainton to extend Cheltenham’s advantage.
Cheltenham could’ve added a fourth. Eisa found himself in behind the Vale defenders and looking to complete his hat trick, but Rob Lainton got down well to smother the ball from his feet.
Vale looked to respond with a quarter of an hour remaining, however any hope of a comeback was ended when Eisa completed his hat trick. Vale failed to clear their lines, allowing Eisa to cut in from the left hand side and bury the ball in the right hand corner to make it 4-1.
It got worse for the Valiants, as Cheltenham added a fifth. Will Boyle met a deep Cheltenham corner and nodded it past Lainton to add more misery to the afternoon. Vale will host Exeter Tuesday night, still looking for their first precious league win in 2018.