Port Vale 3-0 Grimsby Town: the Valiants put on a much improved performance to end their winless run and give caretaker manager Danny Pugh three points in his first game in charge.
Pugh made five changes to the side as the Valiants reverted to a 4-4-2 formation. It meant Devante Rodney was paired with Tom Pope while Tom Conlon was handed the captain’s armband.
Early Grimsby pressure saw Pollock hit the woodwork but Vale made the visitors pay for that miss when good work from the returning David Worrall got the ball to Tom Pope and his knock-down was driven into the net by defender Shaun Brisley to give Vale the lead after just seven minutes.
The visitors had the ball in the net from a free-kick but it was disallowed for offside and the Valiants made them pay as they doubled their lead on fourteen minutes. More great work from Worrall saw his cross headed home by Devante Rodney. It was the striker’s seventh goal of the season.
It could have been three as the first-half ended but great work by Cristian Montano went unrewarded when his shot was well saved by the Grimsby keeper.
Vale made a change at the break as Scott Burgess replaced Rodney and the visitors had the majority of the early possession but without overly troubling the Vale defence. On the hour mark, Pugh’s side made the game safe when Worrall beat the offside trap and his cross was put into the net by Grismby defender Luke Waterfall with Tom Pope lurking.
The game was now safe but goalkeeper Scott Brown made sure there was also a clean sheet with a fabulous save on 77 minutes. Brown somehow managed to change direction to save a deflected shot.
It was a much improved Port Vale performance with more intent on display all over the pitch. The 4-4-2 formation in the first-half seemed to suit Vale particularly with Worrall and Hurst supplying Pope and Rodney. It was all caretaker Danny Pugh could have hoped for from his side and fans will be hoping for more of the same after the terrible performances of recent weeks.
Full-Time: Port Vale 3-0 Grimsby Town
Port Vale: Brown – Mills, Smith, Brisley, Montano – Hurst (Amoo), Joyce, Conlon, Worrall (Whitehead) – Pope (Robinson), Rodney (Burgess)
Subs: Visser, Campbell-Gordon, Cullen