Port Vale fell to defeat on Good Friday as John Coleman’s Accrington Stanley netted three times to secure all three points in Lancashire.
Two first-half goals, plus an Aaron Pressley penalty in the second period, were enough to secure a priceless victory for the ‘Owd Reds in their quest for League One survival.
The first goal of the game went the way of the hosts in bizarre fashion when Jack Stevens could not keep hold of Liam Coyle’s cross, and the ball dropped narrowly over the line.
Eight minutes later, Accrington added their second through Harvey Rodgers, after Ethan Hamilton laid it on a plate for their number 16 to fire home from close range.
Stanley sealed a much-needed win in the 67th minute when Pressley slotted home from the spot after the referee awarded a penalty for a trip inside the area.
Matters got worse for the Valiants in stoppage time when Funso Ojo was shown a straight red card following an altercation.
Darrell Clarke made four changes from the side that fell to defeat against Cambridge United last weekend, with Stevens, James Wilson, Gavin Massey, and Danny Butterworth all coming into the starting 11.
After a cagey start to the match, Vale’s first opportunity fell to Matty Taylor, but his deflected effort from 20 yards out drifted just wide of the post.
Minutes after going behind, James Wilson nearly produced a moment of magic to bring the Valiants level, however, Lukas Jensen was alert to palm away his spectacular volley.
Jensen then produced a superb save low to his right 10 minutes after the interval to deny Sammy Robinson as Vale looked to halve the deficit.
Unfortunately, the Valiants could not find the back of the net and will now be looking ahead to Easter Monday’s fixture against Oxford United at Vale Park.
Accrington Stanley | Jensen, Clark, Hamilton, Coyle, Whalley (89' Longelo), McConville, Sangare, Rodgers, Butler-Oyedeji, Pressley (89' Lowe), Tharme (74’ Nottingham)
Unused Subs | Savin, Nolan, Adedoyin, Martin
Port Vale | Stevens, Donnelly (74’ Benning), Smith, Wilson (58’ Proctor), Ojo, Forrester, Massey, Taylor (57’ Harrison), Pett, Butterworth (58’ Politic), Robinson (58’ Worrall)
Unused Subs | Stone, Conlon
Attendance | 3,444 (1,173 Valiants)