Port Vale’s season ended in embarrassing fashion as they were swept away by a rampant Walsall side at Vale Park.
Amid all the usual end-of-season distractions such as the unveiling of next season’s kit, the match was played in a carnival atmosphere as over 3,000 Walsall fans made the visit to Burslem.
Manager Rob Page brought back Remie Streete and AJ Leitch-Smith into his starting line-up and Vale made a bright start as Leitch-Smith hit the woodwork. But that turned out to be the highlight of Vale’s match as the away side soon took a commanding lead.
Walsall swept into a two goal lead before the half-hour mark as Downing and Bradshaw netted. It was 3-0 by half-time as Forde scored with the Valiants offering very little upfront.
Rob Page made a change at half-time with Sam Kelly coming on for McGivern but soon afterwards Remie Streete pulled up which meant Adam Yates coming on and Purkiss moving to centre-half.
It was still one-way traffic and Walsall hit two more well-worked goals as they swept Vale aside. It was not enough to see Walsall promoted as Burton’s draw elsewhere saw them have to be content with a play-off spot.
But from a Vale perspective, it was an embarrassing and humiliating end to what had otherwise been an encouraging season.
Vale: Alnwick, Purkiss, Streete (Yates), McGivern (Kelly), Duffy, Dickinson, O’Connor (Moore), Foley, Brown, Hooper, Leitch-Smith
Subs: Boot, Birchall, Robinson, Turner
Attendance: 8,595 (3,359 away)