Chris Lines scored his first goal for the Valiants as caretaker Rob Page won his first match as Port Vale manager. Read our match report.
The Valiants made it two wins in a row with a deserved away win over Tranmere Rovers.
Vale caretaker boss Rob Page brought in Ben Williamson and Chris Birchall after their impressive cameos against Coventry.
Vale had the better of the opening stages with captain Doug Loft hitting the post and Ben Williamson netting only to be flagged offside. Tranmere then rallied and put Vale under pressure but it was Loft who had the best opportunity of the opening twenty minutes as he ran clear of the Rovers defence, but he put his shot wide with only the keeper to beat.
Then Vale had a glorious opportunity to take the lead. Loanee Ridehalgh was sent-off for fouling Chris Birchall when the winger had a clear goalscoring opportunity. The left-back was shown the red card and Vale were awarded a penalty. But Tom Pope’s low shot was expertly saved by keeper fon Williams.
Vale had had plenty of opportunities to take the lead and Loft again went close with a diving header as the first-half drew to a close.
The Valiants continued to press in the second half and took the lead on 50 minutes through a great free-kick by Chris Lines, his first goal for the club.
Tranmere rallied after that goal and Akpa-Akpro nearly equalised on 70 minutes when Neal fumbled.
But Vale rallied and Pope almost made it 2-0 in the final minutes, only for fon Williams to make a great save. Then in a dramatic period of injury time Ash Taylor hit the crossbar but Vale managed to hang on and earn an excellent three points.
Vale: Neal, Yates, Robertson, Chilvers, Dickinson, Birchall (Myrie-Williams), Griffith, Lines, Loft, Williamson (Hughes), Pope
Subs: Johnson, Duffy, Dodds, Mohamed, Davis
“Sometimes it’s harder playing against 10 men and Tranmere really came into it in the second half. We could have used the ball a bit better at times but there are lots of positives because we have won the game and kept a clean sheet.”
– Rob Page
“Owain fon Williams has made some fantastic saves and kept us in the game but we can’t keep shooting ourselves in the foot. We lost to an unbelievable free-kick but October could make or break our season now.”
– Ronnie Moore