Salford 1-0 Port Vale: Darrell Clarke’s winless run as Valiants manager continued as the side slipped to a narrow loss on Tuesday night.
The Vale manager made four changes including starts for former Salford duo Devante Rodney and Danny Whitehead. The Valiants then put on a determined first-half display although one where the side lost both wingbacks James Gibbons and Cristian Montano through injury.
Vale put the home side under pressure with a number of free-kicks and corners but yet again they were unable to find the target. Defender Nathan Smith came closest when he hit the post while the Salford keeper had to clear from both Alex Hurst and Theo Robinson. Devante Rodney could also have done better when sent clear with another good ball from Conlon.
However, despite their pressure, Vale were dealt a sucker point on 41 minutes when Salford took the lead. A good ball sent Hunter clear on the left and his cross found an unmarked Ian Henderson who headed home.
It could have been even worst early in the second-half but a second Salford goal was disallowed for handball. To their credit Vale continued to battle but once again they were unable to put the key pass or shot together. Darrell Clarke made three more changes as he continued to switch formations and players in search of a goal threat. However, it was not to be and Hunter arguably came closer to another goal when his fierce shot went just wide. In contrast, Vale’s best move in the closing stages saw Nathan Smith blaze well wide.
It was another bitter defeat for the Valiants who remain winless under Darrell Clarke and are slipping deeper and deeper into the relegation zone. It’s astonishing to see such a decline in the side’s fortunes since the start of the season as Vale look a team sadly devoid of confidence and threat. Right now, everyone associated with the club will be desperate to see a win to help secure their Football League status.
Full-time: Salford 1-0 Port Vale
Port Vale: Brown – Legge, Smith, Crookes – Gibbons(Brisley), Conlon, Joyce (Cullen), Whitehead (Taylor), Montano (Hurst) – Rodney, Robinson (Guthrie)
Subs: Scott, Burgess