Crawley Town head coach Harry Kewell admitted during the first half Reds played Port Vale’s style of play instead of their own.
There was not much his team could do to stop the visitors’ opening goal, but the second one was down to poor marking.
The former Liverpool and Leeds United star believed Port Vale were strong but had a limited capability.
He said: “It was a game of two halves - we knew what Port Vale were going to bring; they don’t like to play - they like to play long.
“In the first half we played their game; we tried to fight them and they are a strong team.
“The free-kick was a free-kick - deflection - the keeper has no chance of that.
“Second one, good delivery in and they (Crawley) should be man-marking our players and they knew that.
“They worked it well but apart from that I didn’t think they have too much to offer.”
Kewell views Crawley’s second half display positively and was encouraged by the improvements he saw after giving a ‘not polite’ half-time teamtalk.
He said: “The boys kind of woke up second half and realised they were in a game but realised they could play the game that they wanted to play, and they did.
“To be honest I’m happy with the way the second half (performance) was because there were positive signs for me to work in there.
“There’s only a few things for me to tinker with and find out and when I do I’ll be fine.”