Newport Co 2-1 Port Vale: an injury ravaged Vale side were unable to hold out after Ben Garrity scored once again as they conceded two second-half goals to a strong Newport side.
Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke made three changes to his line-up as injuries continued to bite. Devante Rodney and David Worrall were both ruled out and replaced by Leon Legge and Brad Walker while Lucas Covolan replaced Aidan Stone in goal. With the likes of Proctor, Wilson, Amoo, Lloyd and Taylor already ruled out, midfielder Ben Garrity partnered Dennis Politic upfront. Youth team striker Eden Bailey was named on the bench as the only fit recognised central forward at the club.
It was a strong start by the home side as they put the Vale defence under considerable pressure for the opening twenty minutes but the Valiants managed to stay strong, clear their lines and restrict the opposition mostly to half chances. The Vale were reduced to only occasional breaks as Newport largely dominated possession.
However, completely against the run of play, Vale took the lead on 25 minutes. Dan Jones hit a long-range shot which the Newport keeper could not gather. It bounced into the path of the onrushing Garrity who pounced from close range to hit his seventh of the season and third in two games since moving upfront.
It remained largely one-way traffic for the remainder of the half with Lewis going close with a long-range drive which went just over the bar and Azaz forcing a good save from Covolan with another. However, the Valiants held on to keep the lead at the break.
Half-time: Newport Co 0-1 Port Vale
Newport continued to push in the early stages of the second-half with Brad Walker heading over his bar to clear one early effort.
On fifty minutes, Azaz was sent clear but his ball to an unmarked Telford in the box was poor and Vale were able to clear. It continued to be backs to the wall as Pett cleared another attack with an acrobatic effort. Telford was next to threaten as he curled his effort wide on the hour mark.
The pressure finally told on 68 minutes when Telford converted a low cross from close range to bring the scores level. It was in fairness, due reward for the near constant pressure from the home side.
Six minutes later, the home side doubled their lead with an excellent strike from Azaz whose curling effort beat Covolan. In fairness, it was due reward for the home side who had dominated most of the match.
In the closing minutes, Vale’s day got worse as defender Dan Jones was sent-off when he was adjudged to have committed a high challenge on a Newport player. Despite seven minutes of added on time, there were no further goals as Vale left South Wales pointless.
It was a battling performance by the Valiants, but the lack of options due to their crippling injury list was laid bare as they were well beaten on the day by the home side. Darrell Clarke will be hoping for no more knocks and counting down the days to the transfer window re-opening.
Full-time: Newport Co 2-1 Port Vale
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Port Vale: Covolan; Smith, Legge (Benning), Jones; Cass, Walker (Burgess), Pett, Conlon, Gibbons; Garrity, Politic (Bailey)
Subs: Stone, Martin, Johnson, Amos
Port Vale bookings: Walker, Pett, Covolan
Port Vale sending-off: Jones
Attendance: 4,074 (340 away)