Andy Crosby upbeat as Port Vale earn point against Exeter
Andy Crosby saw Port Vale squander an opportunity to jump into a play-off spot but refused to be downhearted by a 0-0 Sky Bet League Two draw against second-placed Exeter.
Vale dominated the first half, with striker James Wilson going close on several occasions.
And they almost snatched a stoppage-time winner when Grecians keeper Cameron Dawson dropped a cross at David Amoo’s feet but the substitute’s close-range shot was blocked.
Jevani Brown was a livewire for the Devon outfit, hitting the crossbar in the second half and also denied by keeper Aidan Stone.
The home side drop to ninth but remain just a point outside the top seven while Exeter edged two points in front of third-placed Northampton.
Assistant manager Crosby, deputising for boss Darrell Clarke who remains on compassionate leave, said: “It was a game we dominated and tried to win right to the end.
“I am delighted with the clean sheet, it’s 10 points from four games now so we move on to the next one.
“I was trying to blow it over the line,” added Crosby of the late drama. “But those are the fine margins.
“We tried to be positive and made three attacking changes. We had control of the game, we dominated and I am happy with the performance. We had a number of shots in the first half and their keeper has been forced to make saves.
“We spoke at half-time about being more penetrative and getting more balls into the box to put their keeper and defenders under pressure.
“The effort to go again though is incredible. It is a credit to their desire, fitness and willingness to keep going for each other.”
Exeter manager Matt Taylor was pleased with a fourth away point from trips to Oldham and the Potteries, especially with key players unavailable through injury and illness.
“There were a couple of players struggling out there running on empty with a bug that is going round the club,” said Taylor. “It always comes at this wrong time of year.
“But I don’t think it affected us. If anything we got stronger as the game went on. They are a good team and a very strong team.
“They caused us problems without ever really getting into the space in and around the 18-yard box. Cam (Dawson) hasn’t been overworked which is always a good sign.
“We didn’t deserve to win the game but I don’t feel Port Vale did either. I thought a draw was a fair result but as a manager you always want more.
“But in the context of where the squad is I am absolutely delighted.”
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