A disappointing afternoon for the Valiants as after a positive first half, it is the visitors who take all three points.
Vale looked to build one their two excellent results against Grimsby and Forest Green with a great chance early on for Shaun Brisley but his header looped over the bar after four minutes following a David Worrall cross. Just two minutes after that chance the Valiants conceded when Elijah Adebayo ran onto a loose ball outside the area and slotted it past Scott Brown with six minutes on the clock.
The Saddlers were on a poor run of form coming into the game but almost doubled their lead on 20 minutes when Tyreik Wright got the ball in the area before David Fitzpatrick came across and forced Wright to blast his effort wide. Conlon was controlling the midfield in the early stages and when the visitors defence opened up for him, he did not shy away from taking on a shot from outside the area on 22 minutes. His effort produced a clean save from Walsall keeper Liam Roberts.
Vale were trying to make up for the reverse fixture against Walsall which ended in a 4-3 defeat and continued to create chances in the first half with Zach Mills putting his effort wide with 32 minutes played. The equaliser came two minutes later from captain Tom Conlon. Another free kick goal to add to his collection and a second this season against Walsall. He placed the ball from range and smashed it hard and low past the wall and through Liam Roberts’ legs to get the Valiants level, 11 minutes from half-time. Just before half-time Worrall tried to replicate Conlon’s strike but dragged his shot just wide of the post in the last action of the first half.
The visitors started the better in the second half, Wesley McDonald got a shot away from inside the area on 50 minutes but it went well wide. That effort was followed by Elijah Adebayo’s second goal of the game. A cross from Hayden White found the head of Adebayo to restore Walsall’s lead. 68 minutes played and the Saddlers extended their lead with a mix up in the defence, David Fitzpatrick’s back pass ended up in the back of Vale’s net. With 15 minutes left McDonald picked up a loose ball and drove at the Vale defence but got into a tangle with Nathan Smith and the Vale defender picked up a yellow card.
A flurry of chances for Vale in the last ten minutes looking for a goal that would halve the deficit. Conlon and Worrall worked the ball well on the right but were unable to find an opening. Mark Cullen did find the net in stoppage time following Worrall’s corner but was deemed to be in an offside position after a flick on from Kurtis Guthrie. Vale had another promising attack moments later with Conlon’s effort blocked before Guthrie’s shot suffered the same fate. The Valiants will look to bounce back from this result quickly as they travel to Scunthorpe United this coming Tuesday.
Port Vale: Brown, Mills (86’ Gibbons), Smith, Brisley, Fitzpatrick, Joyce (72’ Cullen), Conlon, Taylor (86’ Burgess), Amoo (66’ Hurst), Worrall, Guthrie
Subs not used: Crookes, Bailey, Collinge
Walsall: Roberts, Jules, Sadler, Scarr, Kinsella, Gordon, Adebayo (70’ Lavery), Bates (62’ Sinclair), McDonald, White (75’ Vincent), Wright (70’ Norman)
Subs not used: Cockerill-Mollett, Osadebe, Reid