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Pope goals seals derby win over Crewe

Port Vale secured their first league double over Crewe in 23 years following a 1-0 success at Vale Park.

Substitute Tom Pope came off the bench to net the winner against his former club with a sweet left-footed strike on 78 minutes.

Both teams made three changes going into the game.

Cristian Montano, Kyle Howkins and Anthony Kay came into the Vale line-up with Luke Joyce out injured, Leon Legge suspended and Luke Hannant on the bench.

Crewe brought in Nicky Hunt, Oli Finney and James Jones for the suspended George Ray, while Charlie Kirk and Callum Ainley dropped to the bench.

The Vale had the best of the chances in the first half with Ben Garrett denying Cristian Montano and Tom Conlon before making an excellent one-handed save to keep out an Anthony Kay header from a David Worrall corner.

Nathan Smith and Manny Oyeleke both saw efforts cleared off the line as Crewe failed to deal with a corner.

Oyeleke then limped off with a calf injury and was replaced by Luke Hannant.

Crewe then went close to breaking the deadlock, the Vale failed to deal with a free kick into the area and Jordan Bowery saw his goal-bound shot cleared off the line by Nathan Smith.

Aaron Taylor-Sinclair then blasted a free kick from just outside the area straight into the arms of goalkeeper Scott Brown.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 78th minute, Mitchell Clark's ball into the area eventually fell to Montano who drilled the ball across the box and Tom Pope saw his sweetly struck first time left-footed shot fly into the back of the net.

Worrall should have wrapped up victory late on, he caught Taylor-Sinclair napping and bore down on goal, but Garrett stood tall and denied but the ball broke back to Worrall, who fed Pope but he saw his shot cleared off the line by Nicky Hunt.

Victory lifted the Vale up to 18th on 47 points - ten points above the relegation zone with five games left to play.

Crewe are 15th, six points above the Valiants.

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