Tom Pett and David Amoo both scored their first goals in League Two yesterday afternoon, as the Valiants took all three points in Crawley.
Six minutes into the game, former Manchester United youth prospect James Wilson looked to build upon his three league goals this season, and his goal against Colchester United last week. Wilson received the ball on the half way line, went on a surging run, then let fly from 20-yards but Crawley Town goalkeeper Glenn Morris was equal to Wilson’s effort.
Four minutes later, Wilson again tried his luck from 20-yards out, however, Morris was able to hang on to the shot from the Port Vale striker.
Referee Trevor Kettle then made a huge decision on the 12 minute mark. After the ball was out of play, Crawley’s defender Joel Lynch elbowed Nathan Smith in the face, and was shown a straight red card. The Red Devils, quite literally seeing red, were now in for an uphill struggle.
Dennis Politic, on loan from Bolton Wanderers, fired a low strike on the quarter hour mark in search of the bottom left corner which again saw Morris deny The Valiants the opener.
With three minutes left of the first half Port Vale again came close to getting the opener, after Ben Garrity’s header whistled over the crossbar.
Despite all the early pressure and having the extra man, it was The Valiants who conceded the opening goal. Crawley’s top scorer this season Kwesi Appiah nodded in from a Jack Powell cross after The Valiants failed to clear the initial free kick. In the third minute of stoppage time, Dan Jones almost drew them level with a ferocious shot from 35-yards which was palmed away by Morris.
At half time Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke made two changes, both David Amoo and George Lloyd came on for Lewis Cass and Ben Garrity. Two attackers for a defender and midfileder. It was clear to see his intentions for the second half.
The Valiants were back level just four minutes into the second half, after a textbook left-footed free kick by captain Tom Conlon after Lloyd was brought down on the edge of the box. 53 minutes in, Conlon almost had another from a free kick, but it was palmed away by Morris.
Despite having ten men and brought back to level scores, Crawley still kept creating chances and Tyler Frost came close from a corner seeing his shot well saved by Lucas Covolan.
67 minutes in Tom Pett made an outstanding tackle to deny Mark Marshall from breaking clear and getting what surely would have been a second Crawley goal.
Just four minutes later, substitute Jake Taylor got on the end of a Lloyd cross for Port Vale, but his header was agonisingly wide of the left post.
Three minutes later, The Valiants constant pressure paid off. Conlon whipped in a free kick from the left hand side, Amoo collected the ball in the 18-yard box and laid it off to Pett to dispatch a right footed shot into the bottom corner.
Lloyd almost made it three in the 77th minute, after his curling shot towards the bottom left corner was pushed away for a corner by Morris. On 79 minutes it was three for The Valiants, James Gibbons played a superb pass to find Amoo whose low cross into the box was turned in by Crawley’s own defender James Francoomb. It was going from bad to worse for the ten men.
Amoo himself deservedly got a goal on 90+3 after being played in by Conlon. He rounded Morris and slotted it away with the very last kick of the game. A definite super sub by manager Darrell Clarke.
Port Vale still sit second in League Two with 28 points from 15 games following this result, but are now only three points behind league leaders Forest Green Rovers after their 1-1 draw away at Bradford City.
Crawley move down to 18th in the league, now without a win in their last four matches, with 17 points from 15 matches.
Crawley Town | Morris, Tsaroulla, Lynch, Craig, Francomb (83’ Payne), Ferry (78’ Davies), Hessenthaler, Powell, Frost (65’ Marshall), Appiah, Nichols
Subs not used: Noukeu, Marshall, Rodari, Ashford
Port Vale: Covolan, Gibbons, Jones, Smith, Garrity (46’ Amoo), Wilson, Conlon, Benning, Politic (68’ Taylor), Pett, Cass (46’ Lloyd)
Subs not used: Stone, Walker, Martin, Amos