Reece Brown's second-half brace condemns Vale to their first loss in five games as Forest Green Rovers run out 2-0 winners at Vale Park.
Brown smashed home from close-range to give the visitors the advantage with 69 minutes on the clock, before lifting the ball over Scott Brown with just seconds to play in the 90 minutes to well and truly end proceedings.
John Askey named one change to the side that drew against Swindon Town last weekend as Cristian Montano came into the starting 11 for the recently ill, Luke Hannant.
With James Gibbons ruled out through illness, Connell Rawlinson regained his place on the bench for this afternoon’s league clash.
Following a quiet opening 15 minutes of the game, it was Vale who fashioned the first attempt on goal and were unlucky not to take the lead. Montano found an inch of space inside the box and fired at goal, but Lewis Ward was on hand to palm away. The Colombian then forced the Rovers stopper into a double-save as Ricky Miller couldn’t turn home the follow up.
Vale maintained their pressure in the first-half and Tom Conlon almost saw a beauty of a strike curl into the top corner from the edge of the box. A neat Montano lay-off found the Vale midfielder but his strike crashed into the netting above the goal. Conlon found himself in a similar position just a couple of minutes later, but this time his attempt was well high.
In a rare sight of goal for the visitors, Christian Doidge fired wide from close-range – his effort not worrying the in-form Brown.
Manny Oyeleke and Miller both had attempts towards the end of the first-half but couldn’t find the target as Paul Marsden called time on the first-half at Vale Park.
Askey’s side refused to relent following the break as the Valiants came flying out of the blocks in the second period. Conlon’s effort from the edge of the box was blocked and put away for a corner, before Leon Legge had a looping header saved by Ward.
With half-an-hour to play, Miller worked a brilliant opening for the Vale, but once again, Ward stood strong. The little forward wriggled free inside the box and smashed across the ‘keeper, only to be palmed out and away from danger.
Brown, for the first time in the game, came under pressure as second-half substitute, Junior Mondal, came flying down the left-hand side only to drag his effort wide of the far post, but just 10 minutes later, Brown was beaten.
The visitors enjoyed their first spell of dominant possession following the chance and took the lead through Brown. Rovers knocked the ball from left to right before it fell kindly to the young forward inside the box, who made no mistake to rattle the ball into the back of the net beyond the helpless Brown.
Looking for an immediate response, Askey introduced Hannant and Mark Harris, and he thought his side were back on level terms as Montano slammed home a Mitch Clark cross, only for the linesman to flag for an earlier foul – an extremely harsh decision.
Tempers began to flare inside Vale Park as Clark was booked for a late challenge on the Rovers full-back. Vale kept pushing for an equaliser, though were caught on the break with just seconds to play as Brown dinked over the on-rushing Brown to secure a 2-0 victory for the visitors.
Port Vale: Brown, Montano, Joyce, Legge, Worrall (Harris, 81), Oyeleke, Miller, Crookes, Smith, Conlon (Hannant, 71), Clark.
Subs: Hornby, Kay, Rawlinson, Whitfield, Howkins.
Forest Green: Ward, Shephard, James (Mondal, 54), Fawson, Winchester, Doidge, Brown, Gunning, McGinley, Digby, Reid (Williams, 54)
Unused Subs: Montgomery, Grubb, Pearce, McCoulsky, Godwin-Malife.
Attendance: 4429 (179 Forest Green)