26 February 2022

Andy Crosby proud of Port Vale’s energy after win over Stevenage

26 February 2022

Port Vale assistant manager Andy Crosby was proud to see his side step up to the challenge in the absence of boss Darrell Clarke as they claimed a 2-0 win over Stevenage.

Clarke was away on compassionate leave following a family bereavement, but an own goal from Luke O’Neill plus Ryan Edmondson’s strike saw the Valiants extend their unbeaten run to eight games and stay in the League Two promotion hunt.

And Crosby pointed to the heart and soul of the club that saw players and fans driving each other on all afternoon.

“I know how much passion the fans show to the gaffer and how much passion he has for the club as well,” said Crosby.

“It was great to hear them singing that. There’s a real connection between the players and fans and I think that could have had an influence on us scoring two goals.

“We needed it, we need everyone onside and everyone here wants us to be successful and everybody has to play a part.

“I was delighted with how we bossed the game in the first half, it gave us a sense of calmness and confidence and we had control. We could have been a lot better in the second half but it was a massive physical effort.

“Obviously there’s been a massive mental strain on the whole football club too, so I couldn’t be prouder of the players. You could see the effort and commitment from the group.

“We spoke about playing with energy and positivity and getting the crowd energised so we could feed off each other, and those two early goals obviously gave us a great start.

“It gave us control and I was delighted with how the game panned out.”

While the Valiants continue their promotion bid, Stevenage will be looking over their shoulder at the battle to escape relegation.

And boss Paul Tisdale felt conceding two early goals, O’Neill’s after six minutes and Edmondson’s effort six minutes later, as crucial in his side’s winless streak running to a sixth game.

“You can’t start a game away from home against a good team and be 2-0 down 12 minutes in,” he said.

“We actually started pretty brightly in the first few minutes but it was a pretty basic set of events that led up to the first goal.

“We’ve got to be more resilient. I know what I want from the team and in the last week or two we haven’t got that, so we’re approaching some difficult weeks and we have to be more competitive in all areas of the game. Whether that’s the first 12 minutes or the next, they’re all vital and we didn’t get a good start.

“It was improved in the second half but it was a huge mountain to climb. It hasn’t been our most sparkling feature this season, being two goals back and coming back, so we’ve got to do our utmost to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“Those things do happen but whatever you plan going into a game in the week, it all changes 12 minutes in. We did do better in the second half and there was some life in the team but the game was over.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox