Crawley Town 1, Port Vale 3: Reds undone as Vale record third straight win

Port Vale recorded their third straight win as Crawley Town came undone at the People's Pension Stadium.

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 5:14 pm
Port Vale celebrate. Picture by UK Sports Images Ltd/Jamie Evans

It was the Valiants who broke the deadlock when Tom Conlon drilled a sweet strike into the corner, before Ashley Nadesan’s flicked header equalised for Crawley on the stroke of halftime.

Nathan Smith restored Port Vale’s lead when he came forward from a corner, and David Worrall pounced on a defensive mix-up to wrap up a productive afternoon for the Valiants.

Ashley Nadesan and Tom Nichols started in attack, while David Sesay made a return to the Reds’ starting line-up.

Crawley survived an early scare when Emmanuel Oyeleke did brilliantly to dispossess Jack Powell and slide a ball through to Theo Robinson, but Glenn Morris pulled off a great close range save to keep the forward out with a strong palm.

David Sesay dragged a shot just wide, before Morris pulled off a good save from Devante Rodney’s mis-hit cross, tipping over the bar.

Soon after Port Vale’s good start eventually paid off when Leon Legge headed across goal, with Crawley unable to scramble the ball clear. The ball dropped to Tom Conlon on the edge of the box, who lashed a sweetly struck half-volley into the bottom corner, to break the deadlock in the 13th minute.

Crawley grew into the game as the first-half went on, and just before the break they earned a deserved equaliser, when Powell had the ball out wide, and sent in a delightful inswinging cross. Ashley Nadesan got in front of everyone at the near post, before glancing a header into the bottom corner, getting the Reds on level terms in the 44th minute.

Vale came desperately close to regaining the lead when Theo Robinson sent a great header towards the top corner, with the ball coming off of the frame of the goal before Jake Hessenthaler thumped clear.

Soon after Port Vale restored their advantage when Conlon recycled a corner with a low inswinging cross, which Powell was unable to clear. The ball dropped to Nathan Smith, who rifled into the bottom corner to put the Valiants back in front on the 65th minute.

Robinson latched onto Tony Craig’s wayward clearance before sending a drive which Morris was equal to, and Nick Tsaroulla cleared Shaun Brisley’s header away on the goal line.

Crawley’s afternoon was over moments later when a defensive mix-up saw Joe McNerney head the ball over the head of Morris, with David Worrall able to roll into an empty net and seal the deal in the 76th minute.

Crawley: Morris, Francomb, McNerney, Powell, Nadesan, Nichols, Sesay (Matthews 68’), Craig, Maguire-Drew (Allarakhia 65’), Tilley (Tsaroulla 68’), Hessenthaler

Port Vale: Brown, Joyce, Legge, Smith, Worrall, Oyeleke, Conlon (Amoo 90’), Montano (Olagunju 89’), Robinson (Guthrie 79’), Brisley, Rodney