Port Vale 1 Crawley Town 2: Reds fight back to win on the road

Crawley Town FC v Lincoln FC. Josh Payne makes it 2-1 from the penalty spot. Pic Steve Robards SR1804998 SUS-180219-111459001
Crawley Town FC v Lincoln FC. Josh Payne makes it 2-1 from the penalty spot. Pic Steve Robards SR1804998 SUS-180219-111459001

Crawley Town gained their first win in eight matches with a 2-1 victory against relegation-battlers Port Vale.

The Valiants took the lead in the 20th minute through Tom Pope which was cancelled out nine minutes later by Josh Payne from the penalty spot.

A late push by Crawley was rewarded with eight minutes to go when Lewis Young’s cross was put into his own net for an own goal by Port Vale’s Nathan Smith.

Harry Kewell made just one change to the side which drew with Swindon last week with Josh Payne being preferred to Mark Randall.

Both teams paid tribute to former England captain Ray Wilkins who sadly passed away this week.

Striker Thomas Verheydt was named on the bench along with defender Josh Doherty who have both recovered from injury.

Reds’ keeper Glenn Morris pulled off a terrific save to stop Pope giving his side the lead earlier when his header from a cross was tipped on to the post before catching the ball on the goalline.

Pope was proving to be the dangerman and again went close for the home side when he headed a cross by David Worrall on to the post, the second time his efforts had hit the woodwork.

However Pope was not to be denied when he was again found by a cross, this time by James Gibbons and he buried the ball in the top corner of the net.

Reds were soon to get back on to level terms and did so when Nathan Smith was booked for pushing Jimmy Smith in the penalty area and Payne scored from the ensuing penalty, his fifth successful spot-kick of the season.

Cristian Montano lifted a powerful shot narrowly over the bar for the home side as they looked to regain the lead.

The action switched to the other end as Karlan Ahearne-Grant was through on goal but was denied by the alert home ‘keeper Sam Hornby.

In the second half Morris comfortably saved from Ben Whitfield.

Jimmy Smith tried to repeat the successful move which led to his spectacular goal against Swindon but put his shot wide.

Panutche Camara was replaced by Jordan Roberts as Kewell looked to boost his attack.

Crawley scored their second goal of the game when Lewis Young went on a run down the right and struck a ball across the face of goal which was turned into his own net by Nathan Smith.

Verheydt then came on up front in place of Ahearne-Grant, his first taste of action since playing against Forest Green Rovers on February 17.

Moussa Sanoh came on for Enzio Boldewijn in their final substitution as they played out six minutes of added-time.

Crawley Town: Morris, Young, Connolly, Yorwerth, Tajbakhsh, Bulman, Smith (capt), Payne, Boldewijn (Sanoh 90), Ahearne-Grant (Verheydt 83), Camara (Roberts 59)

Unused subs: Mersin, McNerney, Lelan, Doherty

Port Vale: Hornby, Gibbons, N.Smith, Raglan, Montano (Davis 61), Worrall, Kay (Barnett 83), Tonge, Hannant, Whitfield (Harness 80), Pope (capt)

Unused subs: Lainton, Howe, Forrester, Turner

Attendance: 4,005 (81 away)