Micky Adams’ brave decision to give youth a chance was vindicated as Port Vale recorded an excellent away win over Crawley Town.
Micky Adams brave decision to trust in youth paid dividends as Vale recorded an excellent away victory over Crawley.
Adams sprung a major surprise by naming development squad striker Jordan Hugill in his starting line-up in place of Tom Pope. It was one of four changes to the Port Vale line-up.
And debutant Hugill was involved in the move that saw Vale take the lead just nine minutes into the game as Louis Dodds took advantage of a defensive mix-up to score his second of the season.
The home side rallied and the Vale defence had to be resiliant to defend a number of attacks.
But Hugill showed great composure to set up Doug Loft for his fourth of the season as Vale made it 2-0 on the half-hour mark.
It was a terrific debut by the youngster who was proving himself worthy of his first-team place. It was also vindication of a brave decision by Micky Adams.
A terrific ball by Lines then set up Hugill whose shot forced a good save from the Crawley keeper. Then Doug Loft set up Ben Williamson for a chance as Vale nearly made it three.
After the break, the Valiants did make it three as Williamson scored the goal that his play has deserved this season to make it 3-0 for Vale.
Hugill went off after 70 minutes to a thoroughly deserved standing ovation from the Vale following.
The Vale closed down the game in the final fifteen minutes to preserve their clean sheet and take a welcome three points back to Burslem.
Vale: Neal, Yates, Robertson, Chilvers, Dickinson, Dodds, Griffith, Lines, Loft, Hugill (Pope), Williamson (Birchall)
Subs: Johnson, Hughes, Duffy, Myrie-Williams, Shuker
Attendance: 2,748 (208 away)
“It was a terrific performance. All departments looked solid and sharp. I changed the team around and we got our just rewards.”
– Micky Adams
“They came and watched us and tried to do a job on us and to be fair to Port Vale they have done.”
– Ritchie Barker