John Askey's former side come back to haunt him as Macclesfield Town run out 1-0 winners at Vale Park in our final home game of the 2018/19 campaign.
David Fitzpatrick gave Sol Campbell’s men the lead with 66 minutes played as his curled effort from the edge of the box found the far corner and Askey's Vale, despite their efforts, failed to respond.
Despite having their Sky Bet League Two status for next season confirmed, John Askey named a strong starting 11 against his former Macclesfield side as Tom Pope returned to the team.
In a quiet opening 10 minutes with minimal chances for either side, Leon Legge came closest to opening the scoring. The big man was up highest to meet David Worrall’s free-kick to the back post but couldn’t get the purchase needed to direct goalward.
Worrall remained lively in the opening exchanges and yet again found a Vale man inside the opposition box but this time, Luke Hannant couldn’t steer his header on target.
Vale maintained their foothold as the half ticked on, though both sides struggled to create any clear-cut chances as the rain streamed down on Vale Park.
Fiacre Kelleher had a half chance following a Reece Cole cross, only to direct his header wide of Scott Brown’s far-post. To sarcastic cheers from the Vale fans, Carl Boyeson brought a rather uneventful first-half to an end.
Despite coming out the stronger in the second-half, Vale almost found themselves behind with just six minutes played. A direct ball found the first-half substitute, Cole, one-on-one with Brown, however, Vale’s number one did brilliantly to tighten the angle and make an important save.
Michael Rose was next to go close for the visitors as Sol Campbell’s men really pushed for the first time in the affair. The midfielder took hold on the edge of the box, but with an on-rushing Luke Joyce, could only smash wide of the near post. Harry Smith then had an effort saved as Macc enjoyed their best spell of the game.
And for all of their positive play in the second half, the visitors took the lead through Fitzpatrick with just under half-an-hour to play. The ball fell kindly to the left-back on the edge of the box and he made no mistake to curl into the far corner beyond Brown in the Vale net. Chants of ‘we are staying up!’ from the away fans shortly followed.
In search of an equaliser, Askey introduced Ben Whitfield to the fold and the little midfielder had Vale’s best chance following the opening goal. From 25 yards, Whitfield took aim but could only direct his strike straight at Macc stopper, Kieran O’Hara.
Although Vale threw everything at the visitors, Askey's side couldn't muster a response as Macclesfield bolster their bid for safety with a 1-0 win at Vale Park.
Vale now look ahead to the last game of the season when they travel to promotion-chasing, Bury.
Port Vale: Brown, Montano (Whitfield, 74), Joyce, Legge, Worrall (Elliott, 65), Pope, Hannant, Crookes, Smith, Conlon, Clark
Unused subs: Kay, Hornby, Rawlinson, Vassell, Edser
Macclesfield Town: O’Hara, Fitzpatrick, Kelleher, Durrell, Smith, Stephens (Cole, 38), Evans, Rose, Cameron, Jules, Ntambwe
Unused subs: Marsh, Wilson, Welch-Hayes, Whitaker, Idem, Martis
Attendance: 5414 795