Vale picked up what could well prove to be three valuable points on their travels with a 2-1 victory at Brunton Park against Carlisle United, to climb just a little bit further away from the foot of the table.
Tryon Barnett netted his first ever league goal in a Vale shirt five minutes into the second half to put Vale in front, before Tom Pope added a second – his 11th of the season – to put Vale firmly in the driving seat.
Vale opened slowly in the opening twenty minutes of the game, but gradually grew into it and by the half time interval were the better of the two sides and deserved to be in front.
The visitors struck the crossbar on two occasions in the opening forty-five minutes and it looked like they may well live to regret not getting their noses in front before the break.
However, it only took five second half minutes before Neil Aspin’s side took the lead, five minutes after coming from the bench as a second half substitute, and when Pope hit the second, there looked like only one winner.
Pope had latched on to a ball from David Worrell, but he still had everything to do, but kept his cool, dinking the ball past the ‘keeper to increase Vale’s lead.
Vale were looking fairly comfortable at that stage, but relied on goalkeeper Ryan Boot to make a superb save to keep the two-goal advantage, with the woodwork also coming to the rescue.
But ten minutes from time Vale’s nerves were tested when Richie Bennett took full advantage of a statuesque Vale defence to volley home from inside the 6 yard box to give his side some hope.
Two minutes from time Boot was called into action once again, making a full length save, clawing the ball from under his crossbar to make sure Vale returned home from Cumbria with a nice early Christmas present of three away points.
Dave Johnson – 6TR
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