Port Vale 2-1 Crawley Town: Late goal makes it four straight defeats

Billy Clarke put Reds ahead with a 35th minute penalty
Billy Clarke put Reds ahead with a 35th minute penalty
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A cruel late goal consigned Crawley Town to a fourth straight League One defeat after a brave display away at Port Vale.

Both sides finished the match with ten men and in between the dismissals of Dannie Bulman and Chris Robertson, Vale player Doug Loft struck an 84th minute winner to deny Reds a point that would have stopped the rot after three defeats.

Billy Clarke had given visitors the lead with a 35th minute penalty after Rory Fallon was brought down by Joe Davis, but Billy Knott struck a fine goal in off the underside of the crossbar to put Vale level five minutes after half-time.

Crawley’s threat continued despite being pegged back and Clarke - who had seen an early strike only just cleared off the line - had another good chance before midfielder Bulman was sent off for a second booking with 23 minutes to play.

John Gregory’s Reds hung on until their resolve was finally broken when former Brighton player Loft’s shot squirmed under goalkeeper Paul Jones and found its way into the net.

Port Vale saw out the victory despite also finishing a man short when Robertson was shown a straight red card after a late challenge on Crawley substitute Sergio Torres.

A fourth straight league defeat leaves Gregory’s side 16th in the League one table, while Vale moved up to tenth.