Crawley Town 1, Port Vale 3: Defensive frailties cost Reds in loss to Valiants
Crawley Town's defensive frailties came to the fore as they suffered a 3-1 home defeat against a dominant Port Vale in League Two this (Saturday) afternoon.
Ashley Nadesan equalised for the Reds on the stroke of half-time but Crawley’s inability to clear cost them dearly.
The result sees the hosts drop one spot in the league down to 11th, but they are six points off Newport County in the final play-off spot.
Port Vale almost got off to the perfect start when after just four minutes Theo Robinson raced clear but his low shot was well saved by Glen Morris
The action continued to ramp up in the early stages. Two minutes later David Sesay came close after cutting in from the left but he dragged his shot wide of the post.
The deadlock was broken on 13 minutes when the Reds failed to clear their lines from a corner which lead to the ball falling to Tom Conlon on the edge of the box to rifle home.
The ball was in the back of the Crawley net again a minute later after a Conlon cross was headed down to a Vale attacker who tapped home, but he was judged to have been offside.
After the action of the first 15 minutes the match cooled off as both sides struggled to create any clear cut chances.
The lull was broken on the stroke of half-time when Nadesan glanced home a header from a Jack Powell cross on the left.
Robinson came close again on 58 minutes after he got on the end of a looping cross but his header hit the frame of the goal.
The Valiants did take the lead four minutes later as, again, Crawley failed to clear their lines from a corner.
The ball found Nathan Smith on the edge of the box to volley past Morris.
Crawley’s defensive frailities almost cost them again on 67 minutes when Tony Craig failed to deal with a ball over the top.
Robinson went through on goal again but his effort was tipped past the post by Morris.
The visitors doubled their lead on 76 minutes when a ball over the top caused confusion in the Reds’ backline.
A mix-up between Morris and Joe McNerney saw the Crawley defender head over his own keeper, allowing David Worrall to roll the ball into an empty net.
Port Vale dominated possession after the goal and managed to see the game out and seal a well-deserved three points.
Crawley Town: Morris, Sesay (Tsaroulla 69), Craig, McNerney, Francomb, Maguire-Drew (Allarkhia 65), Powell, Hessenthaler, Tilley (Matthews 69), Nadesan, Nichols
Unused: Davies, Nelson, Wright
Port Vale: Brown, Smith, Legge, Brisley, Montano (Olagunju 89), Oyeleke, Joyce, Conlon (Amoo 90+2), Worrall, Robinson (Guthrie 81), Rodney
Unused: Cullen, Taylor, Hurst, Scott
Referee: Chris Sarginson