A spirited Port Vale were cruelly denied a point at league leaders Newport County, after Kevin Ellison’s goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time meant the hosts won the game 1-0.
The first genuine chance of the game came for the hosts in the sixth minute of the contest, when Scott Twine’s free-kick from the edge of the box looped over the wall, but was pushed away from goal by Scott Brown.
But it was the Valiants who created the first big chance of the game in the 14th minute, when Mitch Clark’s long throw into the box was flicked on by Nathan Smith, before being met by the boot of David Worrall, whose half-volleyed effort was saved well by Newport goalkeeper Nick Townsend.
And Vale kept applying the pressure, when Tom Conlon’s left-footed curling effort from the edge of the box had to be plucked out of the sky by Townsend, with Vale comfortably on top of the game.
Mark Cullen had a good chance to give Vale the lead when he met Worrall’s ball into the box with his head, but he couldn’t get a clean contact on his effort, as the ball looped over the bar.
With just over ten minutes of the first-half remaining, Vale continued to look for the opening goal, and a period of Vale dominance ended up in Townsend making another good save, this time from Cullen, as his swivelled effort in the box was kept out by the Exiles goalkeeper.
Vale had to keep their wits about them though, and Scott Brown reacted well to Liam Shephard’s well-struck effort from the edge of the box, before Leon Legge had to clear an effort off the line from a corner.
And Brown was on hand to deny Shephard again with four minutes of the half remaining, as he charged the Newport winger’s effort down, before the ball deflected off the post and back into our number one’s grasp.
Newport came close in first-half stoppage time when Shephard’s effort from just inside the box flew just wide of Brown’s far-post, meaning that the game remained goalless at the break.
It was the Exiles who had the first chance of the second-half, when Brandon Cooper’s point-blank range header from a corner, went over Brown’s bar.
And the momentum was with the hosts when Tristan Abrahams’ effort was crucially deflected over the bar by Mitch Clark, before the hosts had a headed effort from the resulting corner drift inches wide of the post.
But after that scare it was the Valiants who again began to dominate proceedings, with substitute David Fitzpatrick putting in a multitude of good deliveries into the box and David Worrall causing the hosts trouble through the middle of the park.
But the Valiants were dealt a blow with just over twenty minutes remaining when skipper Leon Legge received a second yellow card, when his foul on the far side of the pitched was adjudged to be worthy of a second booking.
With Vale being down to ten men, they had to dig deep as the hosts looked to apply the pressure, substitute with Robbie Willmott’s effort testing the palms of Scott Brown with ten minutes of normal time remaining.
Padraig Amond came close to a late winner for the Exiles, when his header squirmed past Brown’s far post, with then the ten-man Valiants clinging onto a point.
And it was then Brandon Cooper’s turn to come close to breaking the deadlock, when his glanced header from a corner drifted wide of Brown’s post.
But in the last minute of stoppage time, substitute Kevin Ellison fired the ball into the roof of Brown’s net and cruelly denied the ten-man Valiants a point.
Vale travel to Stevenage on Tuesday evening where they will hope to bounce back from today’s defeat.
Port Vale: Brown, Clark, Smith, Legge, Montano (Crookes 88’), Oyeleke, Conlon (Fitzpatrick 45’), Burgess, Rodney (Robinson 66’), Worrall, Cullen (Brisley 70’).
Unused subs: Visser, McKirdy, Hurst.
Newport County: Townsend, Demetriou, Dolan, Cooper, Shephard (Willmott 71’), Haynes (Ellison 84’), Sheehan, Devitt (Labadie 63’), Twine, Proctor (Amond 63’), Abrahams.
Unused subs: King, Baker, Bennett.