Port Vale were knocked off top spot in League Two after a shock home defeat to Morecambe at Vale Park.
Liam Chilvers was ruled out with the flu so in the absence of the injured Joe Davis and John McCombe, Richard Duffy moved to centre-half and Adam Yates was drafted in at right-back. There was also a minute’s applause for former Chairman Bill Bell before the game kicked off.
The Valiants had a chance in the opening 30 seconds, but Ryan Burge was unable to open the scoring. After that chance, Vale had their customary slow start and it was a scrappy first-half with chances few and far between.
The second-half continued in the same patchy manner and a Purse mistake nearly gifted the visitors the lead as Vale struggled to build up any momentum.
The home side suffered another near miss as Redshaw set up Ellison, but the midfielder, so often Vale’s nemesis, was unable to open the scoring.
Goals: Allessandra (63 mins)
Bookings: Myrie-Williams, Burge, Redshaw, Burrow
But Morecambe weren’t going to pass up any other chances and on 63 minutes they took the lead when Neal was unable to hold on to McDonald’s cross and Alessandra bundled the ball home. It was the first home goal that Vale had conceded in 2013.
Vale retaliated as Purse had an effort cleared off the line. And as the home side tried to get themselves back into the game, Ben Williamson replaced Lee Hughes.
With Vale rallying, Morecambe’s Andrew Wright did the visitors no favours as he was sent-off for a second yellow card with twenty minutes to go.
Morecambe keeper Roche then had to pull off a save after a shot from the impressive Daniel Jones as Vale pushed for an equaliser. And Roche was alert again as Ryan Burge broke free.
The Vale continued to huff and puff and Pope had an effort cleared off the line and Jones saw another effort flash wide. But the visitors’ resilient defence held out as Vale failed to find the target for the second game in a row.
Vale: Neal, Yates (Shuker), Duffy, Purse, Jones, Myrie-Williams, Loft, Burge, Vincent (Andrew), Pope, Hughes (Williamson)
Subs: Taylor, Dodds, Morsy, Birchall