Interim manager Danny Pugh got off to a winning start as Port Vale saw off Grimsby 3-0 at Vale Park this afternoon.
The Vale never looked back after Shaun Brisley got the final touch on to Tom Pope’s header to open the scoring on eight minutes. Devante Rodney headed the second, from Dave Worrall’ cross, on 15 minutes before Worrall’s low cross was turned into his own net by Luke Waterfall on the hour.
Here are the match stats and our player ratings….
PORT VALE 3 (Brisley, 8, Rodney, 15, Waterfall, og, 60)
PORT VALE 37%
PORT VALE 6 (4 on target)
GRIMSBY 8 (3 on target)
PORT VALE 5
PORT VALE 15
Graham Salisbury 6.5
BROWN: Quiet afternoon until a stunning save to keep out Bennett’s deflected strike 12 minutes from time 7
MILLS: First to the ball, winning his challenges, more than justified his recall at right back 7
BRISLEY: Organised at the back and squeezed home the opener 7.5
SMITH: Moved back to centre half as Leon Legge is suspended. Looked assured and back to form 7
MONTANO: Gives Vale more attacking options from left back but also did his defensive duties well 7
HURST: Arguably Vale’s best player of recent weeks through the team’s recent slump. Works so hard but has quality too. Always a threat on the left in the first half. 7
JOYCE: Booked early for pulling back Clifton. Coped well in a central midfield two before Vale changed to a three after the break 7
CONLON: Made captain and certainly justified that call with an all-action performance
WORRALL: Back fit and makes such a difference. Super cross for Rodney for Vale’s second. 8
POPE: Made a difference on his return to the starting line up. Didn’t score but had a hand in the first goal and forced the second. 7.5
RODNEY: Super header for Vale’s second goal. Combined well up front with Pope as Danny Pugh started with a 4-4-2 7
BURGESS (Rodney, 45): Took just a little while to get into the game but then started finding space and picking out passes 6.5
AMOO (Hurst, 62): Played on the right of the front three and played his part in seeing Vale to a comfortable win.
ROBINSON (Pope, 81) Came on as the lone striker as Pugh rested Pope and used his squad ahead of Tuesday’s game at Sunderland. Put himself about to ensure the defence couldn’t settle. Not on long enough for a mark.
WHITEHEAD (Worrall, 81): Came on in an advanced central midfield role as Burgess moved wider on the left following Worrall’s exit. Not on long enough for a mark.
Not used: Cullen, Campbell-Gordon, Visser.
Grimsby: McKeown, Hendrie, Waterfall, Preston (Williams, 45), Hewitt, Rose, Bennett, Morais, Green (Gibson, 67), Clifton (Habergham, 45), Pollock.
Subs: Russell, Wright, Spokes, Jackson.