The ArgusBulman off as Crawley slip to fourth defeat in a row (From The Argus)

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Bulman off as Crawley slip to fourth defeat in a row

The Argus: Dannie Bulman is sent off at Port Vale tonight. Picture by Richard Parkes Dannie Bulman is sent off at Port Vale tonight. Picture by Richard Parkes

Crawley slipped to their fourth consecutive defeat as they went down 2-1 at Port Vale in a game which saw both sides reduced to ten men.

Billy Clarke had given Reds the lead from the penalty spot in the first half but goals from Billy Knott and former Albion player Doug Loft saw Vale take all three points.

The game was still in the balance when Dannie Bulman was shown a second yellow card in the 67th which will rule him out of Saturday’s home game against Crewe.

Referee Nigel Miller evened things up in the 89th minute when he sent off Vale defender Chris Robertson for a poor challenge on Sergio Torres.

The result leaves Crawley in 16th spot in League One, six points above the relegation zone, while Port Vale climbed to tenth.

Crawley had not scored in their three previous games but created plenty of chances in the opening quarter of an hour.

Rory Fallon had a shot blocked following a good run by Josh Simpson inside two minutes while Mike Jones had an effort deflected wide after being played in cleverly by Billy Clarke.

Clarke thought he had given Reds the lead after 16 minutes when his volley from 16 yards was somehow cleared off the line by Richard Duffy.

Vale also had a good chance to break the deadlock with Jennison Myrie-Williams seeing his shot saved by the legs of Paul Jones.

Reds deservedly got their noses in front in the 34th minute. Fallon was brought down clumsily in the area by Joe Davis and Clarke stepped up to send the goalkeeper the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Vale almost responded immediately when Billy Knott fired over the bar after twisting and turning inside the area while at the other end Joe Walsh flashed a header wide from a corner.

Fallon headed wide from another good chance at the start of the second half before Vale stunned Reds with an equaliser out of the blue.

A high, hanging cross was cleared by the Crawley defence to Knott 20 yards out and he unleashed a shot which went in off the underside of the bar.

Reds did not allow the goal to knock them out of their stride and first Fallon and then Clarke went close to restoring their lead.

Their hopes of pushing for all three points suffered a major setback in the 23rd minute though when Bulman was shown a second yellow card following an off the ball incident involving Knott.

Now Crawley were on the back foot and they fell behind with six minutes to go. Paul Jones looked to have Loft’s shot from 20 yards covered but the ball squirmed under his body and crept over the line.

Vale were reduced to ten men in the final minute when Chris Robertson received a straight red following a bad challenge on substitute Sergio Torres.

Play was held up for five minutes as Crawley players reacted angrily to the challenge with Mark Connolly eventually being shown a yellow card.

It made no difference to the scoreline as Port Vale held out comfortably to secure a win which somewhat flattered them.

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