Port Vale kicked off their League season with a comfortable home victory over Crawley Town thanks to a double strike from forward Mark Cullen.
Technical glitches mar game for fans
As the game was played behind closed doors, fans were reliant on a live stream from iFollow which annoyingly for some fans was not very reliable at all. A tweet from Vale has outlined how fans can raise a complaint if affected:
Manager John Askey opted for Cullen as the central forward while he also handed League debuts to Devante Rodney, David Fitzpatrick and Zak Mills.
The Valiants had the best chance of the opening third of the game as Worrall set up an unmarked Cullen but the forward could only head straight at keeper Morris. However, the forward made no mistake on 39 minutes when a superb turn and run from debutant Rodney set him up for the opener.
It was a deserved lead for the Vale and arguably they would have been further ahead at the break if the referee had spotted a clear elbow on Nathan Smith inside the box. The visitors were restricted to isolated chances with Smith and Legge looking dominant at the back and Scott Brown alert to any pot shots.
With a solitary goal lead, Vale still had to be wary and in the second-half goalkeeper Scott Brown again had to make several sharp saves from the visitors. However, the home side made it safe on 66 minutes when Conlon’s shot hit the woodwork and Cullen was on hand to score from close range.
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In the closing stages, Askey brought on Montano for a tiring Rodney who had shown flashes of real skill on the left flank, and Theo Robinson for a tiring Cullen. Nevertheless the Valiants could have stretched their lead in the closing stages with Conlon and sub Theo Robinson both having chances. The visitors also had a chance headed off the line by debutant Fitzpatrick. However, as the Vale showed some tired legs in the final exchanges, the game drifted to a home win.
A clean sheet and a win represents a good start for John Askey’s side for whom Leon Legge and Nathan Smith were in outstanding form at the back. With the likes of Tom Pope, David Amoo and James Gibbons yet to taste first-team action, things are looking bright for the Valiants this season.
Port Vale team
Brown – Mills, Legge, Smith, Fitzpartick – Joyce, Conlon, Burgess – Rodney (Montano), Cullen (Robinson), Worrall
Subs: Visser, Crookes, Whitehead, Oyeleke, Brisley