Ten man Port Vale suffered late heartbreak for the second time in a week as Newport County scored a dramatic 96th minute winner on Saturday.
John Askey made two changes bringing Cristian Montano and Devante Rodney into his starting line-up. The Valiants got off to a decent start in an exciting first-half. Leon Legge picked up an early yellow card before Vale put pressure on the home side. David Worrall drew a good save, Nathan Smith headed wide and Tom Conlon’s shot was saved during a period of good Valiants pressure.
However, League Two leaders Newport remained dangerous. Jamie Proctor missed from close range while Shepherd had three chances to open the scoring only to find Port Vale keeper Scott Brown in top form. One save which pushed a Shepherd drive onto the woodwork was inspired.
It was goalless at the break but Vale were forced into a reshuffle as David Fitzpatrick replaced the injured Tom Conlon. There were half chances for Cullen and Rodney but the home side began to dominate possession. Things got even worse for Vale when Legge was dismissed for a second yellow with twenty minutes still to play.
Askey’s side looked to have battled to a worthy draw as a fine defensive display, with sub Shaun Brisley prominent, looked to have done enough to earn a clean sheet. Newport had come close with sub Amond coming closest to breaking the deadline but fluffing his free header.
However, in the sixth minute of stoppage time, Vale’s nemesis Kevin Ellison, on as a sub, fired home from an acute angle to secure all three points for the home side. It was another sickener for the Valiants after Tranmere’s late winner last Saturday and Vale will now need to pick themselves up for Tuesday’s game against Stevenage.
Port Vale: Brown – Clark, Legge, Smith, Montano (Crookes) – Oyeleke, Burgess, Conlon (Fitzpatrick) – Worrall, Cullen (Brisley), Rodney (Robinson)
Subs not used: Visser, Hurst, McKirdy