‘Looks a real prospect’ – Port Vale player ratings from win over Crawley



Port Vale have made an impressive start to the league season.

Vale haven’t lost their opening game since 2004 – a run that rarely looked like ending as they earned a comfortable 2-0 victory at home to Crawley this afternoon.

Two goals from Mark Cullen separated the sides, although the gulf looked wider than that as John Askey’s side outplayed the visitors.

Cullen opened the scoring on 39 minutes, slotting home at the back post after a terrific run and clever cross by Devante Rodney.

But Scott Brown had to make smart saves either side of the break so Cullen’s second was welcome, netting from close range on 66 minutes after Tom Conlon had hit the post.

The result means the Vale are unbeaten in 13 games. They will be looking to extend that record away to Fleetwood on Tuesday in the second round of the Carabao Cup.

So, here are the match stats and player ratings from the Vale’s opening-day victory

PORT VALE 2

CRAWLEY 0

POSSESSION

PORT VALE  47%

CRAWLEY 53%

GOAL ATTEMPTS

PORT VALE   15 (6 on target)

CRAWLEY  9 (4 on target)

CORNERS

PORT VALE 7

CRAWLEY   6

FOULS

PORT VALE  6

CRAWLEY  10

MATCH RATING

Entertainment  7

REFEREE

Sam Allison    7

PORT VALE

BROWN: Fine saves to deny Frost either side of the break ensured Cullen’s goals were enough.  7.5

MILLS: No fireworks like his goal at Scunthorpe but steady on his league debut 7

LEGGE:  Impressive again, just as he was at Scunthorpe last week. The captain has started the season with great assurance  8

SMITH: Did well alongside Legge. Should have been given a first half penalty when he was elbowed in the face as he waited for a free kick to come in 7.5

FITZPATRICK:  Solid performance from the new left back who is looking a reliable presence 7

JOYCE: Kept Vale ticking in the role he has made his own in front of the back four. There is plenty of competition in this squad but it’s hard to see Joyce being replaced 7

BURGESS:  Bright in midfield, looking to get up to support the striker 7

CONLON: Impressive throughout. Unlucky not to score, not that it mattered because Cullen netted the rebound 7.5

WORRALL: Always a threat on the right. Set up Cullen for a great chance before Vale took charge 7.5

CULLEN:  Clearly has the goalscorer’s knack of being in the right place at the right time. Took his first goal well and was well placed for his second 7.5

RODNEY: Looks a real prospect. Excellent work for the first goal. The sort of pace and composure he showed for that is a dangerous combination for defences 8 

SUBS:

MONTANO (Rodney, 80): Went close with an excellent diving header 6

ROBINSON  (Cullen, 82): Not much chance to show what he can do but still went close in a penalty area scramble 6

Not used: Crookes, Oyeleke, Brisley, Whitehead, Visser  





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