Goals from Marc Richards and Louis Dodds proved to be not enough as Vale’s ten men suffered an away defeat to promotion-chasing Crawley Town.
Micky Adams made two changes with Clayton McDonald replacing the departed Lee Collins and Sam Morsy coming in for the suspended Anthony Griffith. Adam Yates and rookie centre-half Joe Davis were named on the subs bench.
The home side had the first real chance of the game as the impressive Billy Clarke struck the woodwork, but Vale took the lead on the half-hour mark through another excellent Richards strike. It was the captain’s 72 goal for the Valiants.
But the home side equalised ten minutes later when Torres headed home and at the break the game was nicely poised at one apiece.
Vale were immediately under pressure in the second-half as McDonald was shown red for a second yellow card just seconds into the second period. Rookie defender Joe Davis was immediately brought on by Micky Adams.
Just minutes later, with the home side piling on the pressure, Louis Dodds scored an excellent goal with Vale’s first attack of the half. And Vale could have made it 3-1 as Rigg went one-on-one but the forward took too long to put a shot in.
Rigg’s miss was to prove costly as errors in the Vale defence saw the ball fell to Alexander and the Crawley striker netted from close range.
Then with less than ten minutes left, the home side secured all three points as Alexander scored his second of the match.
Vale will now have problems in defence as McDonald’s imminent suspension leaves John McCombe as the side’s only available experienced central defender.
Vale: Tomlinson, Loft, McCombe, McDonald, Taylor, Rigg, Morsy, Marshall (Davis), Shuker (Yates), Dodds, Richards
Subs: Pope, James