Dave Kevan glad to see Port Vale maintain opening day unbeaten run



Posted Sunday, September 13, 2020 by PA

Dave Kevan glad to see Port Vale maintain opening day unbeaten run

Port Vale assistant boss Dave Kevan was delighted to see his side maintain their impressive run with a comfortable 2-0 win over Crawley at Vale Park.

Mark Cullen’s two goals maintained Vale’s impressive opening-day record.

They have not lost the first game of the season since 2004 and would have enjoyed a bigger victory but for some impressive saves by Crawley keeper Glenn Morris.

Kevan said: “We’re very pleased. To get points on the board early is important and there were a lot of good aspects to our performance. There was a clean sheet and we felt relatively comfortable defensively and saw the game out well after getting the second goal.

“I thought Mark Cullen’s performance was very good because his game is about sniffing out chances like that. He’s not just a poacher, there is other aspects to his game which sometimes go un-noticed but we value him and it’s just a shame for him that he didn’t get a hat-trick.

“The gaffer (John Askey) had a tough task picking the team because we’ve got a good squad but it’s up to the lads in possession of the shirts to keep hold of them. It keeps everyone on their toes but over a season we are going to need everyone.

“It’s an amazing stat to go 16 years on the opening day without losing and long may that continue. Thankfully, it was never really in doubt today.”

Cullen had already seen a 19th-minute header parried by Morris when he broke the deadlock 10 minutes before half-time. Devante Rodney who burst beyond two defenders before a good cross picked out Cullen who beat Morris with a left-foot shot at the far post.

Crawley had their moments with Tyler Frost forcing three good saves from Scott Brown either side of half-time before Vale doubled their lead in the 66th minute.

Crawley defender Tony Craig had just seen his header cleared off the line by David Fitzpatrick before Vale counter-attacked and Tom Conlon curled a shot over Morris which came back off the post to Cullen who guided the ball into an empty net.

Crawley head coach John Yems said. “We had some good chances and if we take one when it’s 1-0 it’s a different game but in the first half we weren’t at the races to be fair, they beat us up a bit so we have to learn from that.

“I thought the first goal was a diabolical decision by the referee because we should have had a free-kick in the build-up and the referee has overruled the assistant.

“But it’s not doom and gloom because we had a go in the second half. Port Vale are definitely going to be up there again this season so that shows how far we need to improve and we know we need to do better in certain situations.

“It is a case of small margins in both boxes. In the second half we probably deserved something but the first half we deserved what we got which was absolutely nothing.”

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