Port Vale’s recent revival came to a halt with a disappointing home defeat to Swindon Town on Saturday.
Neil Aspin made two changes bringing in Cristian Montano for the injured Ben Whitfield and brand-new signing Dimi Evtimov becoming the fifth goal keeper of the season. Evtimov replaced Kelle Roos who was injured in training on Friday.
The game had a slow start with the first-half chances being reduced to set-pieces for both sides.
However, Swindon did make one of their free-kicks count in the second period when Matt Taylor netted on 57 minutes. Vale then had their best chance from open play when Harness went close with a shot before the visitors doubled their lead when an error by debutant Evtimov gifted Paul Mullin a goal on 71 minutes.
In the closing quarter, Aspin’s side were still struggling to create any real opportunities and the visitors scored a breakaway goal in the closing stages when Harry Smith beat Evtimov and set up substitute Kellan Gordon to seal a very disappointing defeat for Aspin’s men.
In the dying moments, Vale finally had a couple of chances with Pope going close and Stobbs forcing a fine save from the keeper. But it was far too little, too late for the Vale side.
The new manager has certainly had an impact but he has consistently said that the first priority is to stay up. After this defeat ended the honeymoon period, it appears Aspin was right and the Valiants still face an almighty fight to escape the bottom two places in League Two.
Vale: Evtimov, Gibbons, Smith, Anderson, Gunning, Montano (Barnett), Kay (Stobbs), Pugh, Harness, Worrall, Pope
Subs: Boot, Davis, Tonge, Turner, Denton