That's the view of Reds boss John Yems as his side fell to a fourth straight league loss.
Crawley fought valiantly with a player less for 78 minutes, after Joel Lynch's straight red, but eventually succumbed to second-placed Vale.
Kwesi Appiah's fourth goal in five games gave the Reds an unexpected half-time lead before the Valiants took charge in the second half.
Tom Conlon, Tom Pett, a George Francomb own goal, and substitute David Amoo fired Port Vale to their seventh League Two win in nine.
The result leaves Crawley 18th in the table. The Reds are five points clear of the drop zone.
Yems said: "People are saying we had a go and we tried, but you've got to do that.
"You pick up the paper up and it says we got beaten, and we've lost the last four games.
"And it's preventable. I think they [the goals] were all avoidable.
"It's another sending off. I'm not keeping on about the officials but some of the things that were going on out there again.
"They make it so hard, and they ruin the game for both sides, in my opinion.
"But it's nothing to do with the officials that we got beat, that's for sure.
"We went 1-0 up and I was pleased when we went it at half-time. They kept their shape and we were doing what we were doing.
"But we had another 45 minutes to play. We had a crazy 15 minutes, but credit to them they're a good side. Don't take anything away from them.
"We're not only climbing mountains now, we're building them. The good thing is we've only got Tranmere in the FA Cup!"
Lynch was given his marching orders on 12 minutes after an off the ball incident involving Vale's Nathan Smith from a Crawley corner.
Yems admitted he didn't see the incident, but would have liked referee Trevor Kettle to show some leniency with less than 15 minutes on the clock.
He added: "All I know is, Joel's telling me that he grabbed the fella. They were screaming it was an elbow, and if that's the case you deserve to go.
"But even they [Port Vale] have just said he was wrestling in the box. I didn't see it but, if it's 10 minutes into the game, book him or something.
"Why send him off? He's not killed anyone."
Next Saturday see the Reds turn their attentions to the FA Cup with a first round game at home to league rivals Tranmere Rovers.
And Yems called on his charge to 'dust themselves down', as they look to go on another glorious Cup adventure.
He said: "Next week is next week. A week is a long time in football, as they say. We've just got to dust ourselves down and move on.
"Tranmere are a good side and Micky Mellon [Rovers boss] has got them playing well.
"But we've got to stick together. We need the fans to stick with us.
"The only saving graces is, if we are going to have a bad spell I'd rather we had it now then in the last month of the season."