John Askey’s Port Vale side found themselves the victims of red hot striker Paul Mullin as they lost to Cambridge United.
Askey made one change in preferring striker Theo Robinson upfront in place of Devante Rodney. However, the Valiants got off to a disastrous start when there was a contentious penalty in favour of the home side. However, in-form Paul Mullin made no mistake from the spot-kick to make it 1-0.
On ten minutes, the home side came desperately close to a second when the influential Hoolihan made a good run but his shot hit the post. Undeterred, Vale came back strongly and when Theo Robinson was brought down in the box the visitors had a penalty of their own. Robinson stepped up and made no mistake from the spot to level the scores.
The goal spurred the Valiants on and there was a good chance for Danny Whitehead but he volleyed over. Vale were to rue that miss as sloppy defending in the second-half gifted the home side the lead. Dunk got the better of Clark and his cross was met by Mullin who made no mistake.
Vale countered with a Theo Robinson shot blocked on the line but the home side also had a further chance for Mullin but he was unable to get his hat-trick that time.
Vale were struggling to find the killer final ball and despite the introduction of both Devante Rodney and Tom Pope they were unable to find an equaliser. In the dying moments, Mullin scored a deserved hat-trick as he rounded Brown and netted from an acute angle to make the result safe.
It was a disappointing second-half showing from the Vale with too little penetration in the final third. The lack of a goal threat will be something that the Valiants will need to address over the rest of the season as will the defensive lapses present in this game.
Port Vale: Brown, Clark, Smith, Legge, Fitzpatrick, Joyce, Whitehead (Rodney), Conlon, Montano (Pope), Robinson, Worrall
Subs not used: Visser, Brisley, Crookes, Burgess, Cullen