15 March 2022

Port Vale assistant Andy Crosby hails Kian Harratt’s ‘love of scoring goals’

15 March 2022

Port Vale assistant manager Andy Crosby likened Kian Harratt to a young Billy Sharp after the striker came off the bench to score a brace in a 3-1 win against Mansfield.

Harratt replaced James Wilson in the 72nd minute with the scores level and stuck two quickfire goals to make it three home league wins on the bounce for Vale.

The 19-year-old took his goal tally to four in all competitions this season and Crosby, who remains in charge in the absence of Darrell Clarke due to a close family bereavement, drew comparisons with prolific veteran Sheffield United striker Sharp.

“You can see he’s a natural goal-scorer,” Crosby said of Harratt.

“I was lucky to play with a young Billy Sharp when I was at Scunthorpe and I see similar traits in him.

“I see hunger, the love of scoring goals and the way he wants to celebrate.”

Wilson had earlier cancelled out Rhys’ Oates’ 22nd-minute opener, striking the ball across goalkeeper Nathan Bishop, who will have been disappointed with his attempt to save it, and into the bottom right corner.

Crosby was impressed with the character shown by his team.

“We had to respond to conceding the first goal, but I thought the energy, the drive, the commitment, the quality that we played the game with was a joy and it was important that we built on Saturday (the 4-1 home win over Crawley),” he said.

“We’ve got to string a number of results together, so I’m delighted with how the players took on board what we’ve been trying to do and how we’ve been looking at improvements, so credit to every single one of them.”

Mansfield manager Nigel Clough was left to rue missed opportunities as they fell to a second consecutive defeat on the back of a 14-match unbeaten run.

The loss followed their 3-2 defeat away at Tranmere on Friday and they dropped below Vale into 10th place in the table, with both teams on 56 points, four outside the play-off places.

“We’ve been very strong at the back but we’ve now conceded six in two games away from home,” Clough said.

“I think three people challenged for the ball for their second goal and none of them won it.

“But, even after that, it was a little bit lucky.

“Nathan Bishop makes a great save, it ricochets and then Harratt’s putting it into an empty net.

“I think it’s fair to say we didn’t get a break tonight.”

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