Port Vale were unable to end the season with a victory, after we suffered a 3-0 defeat to Mansfield Town on the final day of the season.
Mansfield took the lead after just ten minutes with the first chance of note in the game, when Stephen McLaughlin’s effort from 25-yards flew into the bottom corner, with Scott Brown having no chance of keeping it out.
The Stags hit the post after 13 minutes, when Jordan Bowery’s close-range header was flicked onto the outside of the woodwork, before rolling wide for a goal kick.
And the visitors were denied again five minutes later after a stunning stop from Brown denied Bowery inside the box, when the latter was through on goal in a one-on-one situation.
Stephen Quinn doubled the visitor’s advantage on the half-hour mark, after George Lapslie broke through down the right-wing, before cutting inside in the box and finding Quinn, who was on hand to despatch the ball into the back of the net.
Vale were baffled as to how they didn’t pull a goal back with ten minutes of the half remaining, when Harry McKirdy’s dinked effort over Jamie Pardington was cleared off the line, before Devante Rodney’s follow up effort was also blocked and cleared away from danger.
And Alex Hurst was unlucky not to half the deficit with the last kick of the half, when his stunning strike from 30-yards rattled the top of the bar, before the ball was cleared from danger, meaning the Valiants faced a two-goal deficit at the break.
The Valiants came out re-energised at the beginning of the second-half and almost halved the deficit when Pardington parried away Hurst’s initial effort before James Clarke’s last-ditch tackle prevented Tom Conlon from having a tap-in.
Tom Pope’s powerful header from inside the box tested the palms of Pardington on the hour mark, but the goalkeeper gathered Pope’s effort well.
But with 63 minutes of the contest gone Mansfield added a third, when Stephen McLaughlin’s free-kick from the edge of the box went over the wall, and into the back of the net.
Tyrese Sinclair almost grabbed another for the visitors, when his inswinging free-kick struck the inside of the post, before being cleared away with 12 minutes of the game remaining, but with that, the game petered out as the visitors took the three points in the final game of the season.
Port Vale: Brown, Hurst (Worrall 66’), Olagunju (Whitehead 57’), Brisley, Smith, McKirdy (Swan 66’), Joyce (Robinson 66’), Burgess, Conlon, Rodney, Pope (Amoo 66’).
Unused subs: Scott, Guthrie.
Mansfield Town: Pardington, J. Clarke, McLaughlin (Charles 81’), Perch, Sweeney, Maris (Ward 81’), O. Clarke (Charsley 74’), Lapslie, Quinn (Law 51’), Sinclair, Bowery (Reid 74’).
Unused subs: Stone, Gordon.