Manager frustrated as the Vale exit the Emirates FA Cup following 3-2 defeat to Exeter City.
- Darrell Clarke | “It was frustrating because the second half was nowhere near the standards we have set”
- Port Vale manager reflects on his side’s 3-2 defeat to Exeter City in the Emirates FA Cup First Round
- Clarke: “I am really pleased with how we are developing as a group; one bad half an hour is not going to ruin how are developing as a group. I am excited for the future but the players have got to learn and they have got to learn quickly, they have to hit the standards – they know that – and we have to do better.”
Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke was frustrated by his side’s second half performance as they exited the Emirates FA Cup at the First Round stage following a 3-2 defeat to Exeter City.
Dennis Politic gave the Vale a 25th-minute lead before Jevani Brown controversially equalised before the interval when it looked as if the ball may have gone out of play in the build-up. Brown’s second gave the Grecians the lead before Danny Butterworth equalised three minutes from time for Clarke’s side. However, Archie Collins restored the visitors’ lead immediately to secure Exeter’s place in the Second Round.
“Second half was nowhere near good enough,” Clarke said post-match. “They got the goal before half-time, which was two yards out of play but we didn’t get that [decision] and then we didn’t reset and get ourselves going.
“We were flat in the second half which is not acceptable and we only have ourselves to blame that we are out of the Cup.
“I am frustrated because I love the FA Cup; the second half was nowhere near the standards we set.
“We got sloppy in possession, they were over-running us at times and it took the changes to get the impetus back into the game. It was too late in the half for me.
“Four of the last five goals we have conceded that have come from outside the box, so the keepers need to do better with shots from outside of the box, that is what they are paid to do.”
Clarke looked to influence the game from the bench through second-half substitutes and while his side probably created more and better chances within the game, they found themselves on the wrong side of the result.
“We started to get a little more impetus and control following the changes, it is disappointing to get the equaliser, look to go on and win it and then we give a 25-30 yards goal away.
“That was frustrating and then their keeper pulls off a great save through bodies on a day that we didn’t produce that bit of quality.
“We had great chances within the game still, first-half we should have been more ruthless; we had a one-on-one, we hit the crossbar, Dennis then scored, Gavin Massey and Rory Holden at the end, we had good chances in an open game – too open at times.”
However, while clearly frustrated, Clarke said a disappointing 30-minute spell was not going to dampen the progress the club continue to make.
“I am really pleased with how we are developing as a group,” Clarke continued. “One bad half an hour is not going to ruin how are developing as a group. I am excited for the future but the players have got to learn and they have got to learn quickly, they have to hit the standards – they know that – and we have to do better.”