Darren Moore called for Port Vale to keep the momentum going in their survival bid after they registered their first home victory since he took over.

Vale secured back-to-back Sky Bet League One wins for the first time since September with a 2-0 defeat of out-of-sorts Bristol Rovers.

Buoyed by their first win in 2024 in a relegation six-pointer with Burton last time out, Ben Garrity’s header and Baylee Dipepa’s controversial effort – which the visitors felt he handled in the build-up – secured Vale a vital three points.

Boss Moore, whose side are just a point shy of 20th-placed Burton, said: “It’s a tremendous day all round for us with three valuable points.

“It’s our first win [since I’ve come in] so I’m really pleased for everybody connected to the football club.

“It was a really committed performance from the team. The hard work and the desire to get those three points was incredible. We’re really pleased. It’s three points and a good couple of goals.

“All those stats bode well for us going forward and it gives us momentum. We’re really pleased to keep the momentum up from the Burton game.

“I thought our togetherness was really good. It allowed us to be on top of them.

“Even at the end of the game, we felt we could have got more goals. The most important thing was getting the two goals and keeping the clean sheet.

“We needed that performance and I’m pleased it came in front of the home fans.”

It was another disappointing display for Rovers, who have failed to score in their last four games.

Boss Matt Taylor said: “It was another difficult afternoon. It’s not an extreme scoreline.

“I’ve said it so many times but it’s such a poor moment for their goal. It’s another individual mistake which can’t happen – but it has.

“It was another goal with the same sort of principle. As much as the mistake is ours, it’s the officials’ as well. But we still have to defend the outcome of it a lot better than we did.

“On a difficult pitch it was difficult to chase the game and get the ball from A to B.

“It’s poor execution from us. It puts more pressure on being clean defensively. It’s another poor defensive moment and then they’re boosted by that and we’re low.

“There are excuses ‘someone else should be taking care of it’ as opposed to dealing with it.

“Whether he controls it with his hand or not a player should never be allowed to turn and run at your back line like that.

“It’s bitterly disappointing and we couldn’t find any way to force the issue.”

Shrewsbury gave their League One survival hopes a major boost with a 2-1 win at Port Vale.

Town propelled themselves seven points clear of the drop zone, while Vale are seven points adrift of safety.

The visitors made a fast start as striker Dan Udoh turned home Mal Benning’s fine corner in the sixth minute.

Port Vale goalkeeper Connor Ripley then kept the deficit at just the one as he pushed Chey Dunkley’s effort out for a corner.

The home side started to create chances heading into the break and Ben Garrity came close as he got on the end of Jesse Debrah’s ball over the top before firing wide.

Shrews keeper Marko Marosi produced a good stop to keep out Nathan Smith’s header before the rebound was sent wide.

Marosi then made an even better save to tip James Wilson’s strike past the post.

Despite Vale’s pressure, Tom Bloxham bagged a second for Shrewsbury eight minutes after the restart as he coolly slotted home.

The hosts set up a grandstand finish when teenager Baylee Dipepa scored his first professional goal as he tapped home Wilson’s flick at the back post.

However, on-loan winger Alex Mighten nodded wide as Vale’s wait for a first win of 2024 went on.

Wycombe manager Matt Bloomfield admits he is starting to sound like a broken record after his side once again failed to hold on for victory.

The Chairboys have now gone 10 games without a win in Sky Bet League One, but this was two points they allowed to slip through their fingers after failing to kill off a match they had dominated.

Vale had offered precious little before Ben Garitty’s 90th-minute header cancelled out Kieran Sadlier’s goal and the visitors were far happier with a point.

Bloomfield said: “Everyone is going to get sick of me, if they haven’t already, talking about stats and talking about performances (because) it’s about results.

“We are so, so close in every single game and we have to retain that belief because this cannot go on forever where you can keep being in games and keep getting in winning positions and it goes against you, or come out of games where the shots, the stats, everything is in your favour.

“We have to make sure those moments go in our favour to equal results.

“The way we counter-attacked, we could have had those moments and we didn’t, but we didn’t feel any threat at any point.

“It was a long ball just hooked into our box, we had enough bodies but we have to see those big moments out.”

Wycombe deservedly led after 51 minutes when Sadlier got on the end of Garath McCleary’s superb cross.

But the visitors snatched a draw late on when Garitty’s header from Baylee Dipepa’s cross was adjudged to have crossed the line before goalkeeper Max Stryjek got down to it.

Port Vale manager Andy Crosby said: “I think it’s a good point in the end.

“We came here after winning our last two games and we found it difficult to get territory in the first half because of the conditions.

“Obviously we were playing against the wind and they had us on the back foot and we had to defend our box.

“It was good that we got into half-time at 0-0 and we changed things a little bit.

“We want more end product, obviously, and in the first half the times we got into the final third our final ball let us down a little bit.

“Wycombe play a certain way and they probably deserved to be in front, but we kept going, we found a way, we made positive changes and we got the goal.”

Relieved Stevenage boss Steve Evans praised his side’s character after beating Port Vale on penalties to progress into the third round of the FA Cup.

Battling Boro overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to set up a trip to minnows Maidstone.

Ben Garrity’s brace put Vale two goals to the good before late efforts from Harvey White and Kane Hemmings, in the sixth minute of stoppage time, sent the game to extra time.

Ryan Loft scored a first Vale goal in the 115th minute but Nathan Thompson forced penalties and Stevenage stopper Taye Ashby-Hammond was the shootout hero as he saved spot-kicks from scorers Garrity and Loft.

Evans reflected: “We don’t do things the easy way.

“First things first, if you’ve come to the stadium as a neutral then this is a fantastic cup tie. You must be on the edge of your seat at both ends.

“When we get into the game and Harvey gets a goal I think we’re totally, totally dominant.

“When it goes 2-2 we know extra time’s coming but we think there’s only one winner because we had a lot of chances.

“To have the character the group has got to come back and score again to take the game to penalties is incredible.

“For the first 60 minutes we didn’t look like we wanted to be in the FA Cup, but for the last half-hour plus extra time we did.”

Vale boss Andy Crosby insisted his side only had themselves to blame after they crashed out.

After seeing his side crumble from 2-0 and 3-2 up, Crosby admitted: “We’ve thrown the game away twice. To concede a last-minute equaliser in normal time and then exactly the same thing happens in extra time, that makes it very tough to take.

“To go 2-0 up against a team who are third or fourth in our league was pleasing, but then we lost control of the game a bit and they can do that to you.

“The game wasn’t over at full-time, there were 30 minutes left. We go back in front again and look at the clock and think ‘we need to see this out now’. We’ve got to defend our box better than we did.

“The guys have given everything but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve only got ourselves to blame.

“It takes bravery to take a penalty in any situation in a shootout. Those guys have stood up, penalties get missed. It is what it is.

“Life is tough at times, you take the hits and you have to get up again and move forward.”

Goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond was the hero as Stevenage secured their place in the third round of the FA Cup with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory at Port Vale.

After a 1-1 draw at Boro last time, another 120 minutes could not separate the two sides in the replay at Vale Park as they drew 3-3 after extra time.

Ben Garrity scored either side of half-time to put Andy Crosby’s hosts two goals ahead.

He opened the scoring after just six minutes as he tapped home from close range before he hammered in a second after Alfie Devine nodded a cross into his path 10 minutes after the restart.

Harvey White’s unstoppable near-post strike pulled one back before Kane Hemmings sent the game to extra time in the sixth minute of additional time.

Ryan Loft’s first goal for the club, in the 114th minute, again seemingly sent Vale through before Nathan Thompson sent the game to penalties.

It was then a painful penalty shoot-out for the hosts as scorers Garrity and Loft saw their spot-kicks saved by an inspired Ashby-Hammond, either side of Luther Wildin smashing his over.

Steve Evans’ side now have a trip to non-league Maidstone, who are playing in the third round for the first time since they reformed in 1992.

Colby Bishop’s second half double saw Sky Bet League One leaders Portsmouth extend their unbeaten run to 23 games with a 2-0 win over Port Vale.

Pompey’s first half performance did not reflect their lofty league position as Vale had by far the better of the play at Fratton Park.

The visitors could have taken the lead in the fifth minute but Funso Ojo could only hit the post from 18 yards.

Ojo had another chance which went straight to Will Norris, James Plant shot wide when clear, and Ben Garrity headed over from close range.

Pompey’s only first half effort was a header from an unmarked Paddy Lane, which went wide.

However the hosts came out fighting in the second half and took the lead in the 53rd minute when Bishop tapped in from close range after a fierce Joe Rafferty cross-shot.

They doubled their lead five minutes later when a penalty given for handball by Kofi Balmer was converted by Bishop.

Ben Garrity was the matchwinner as Port Vale bounced back from a heavy defeat on the opening day of the League One season to claim a 1-0 win over Reading.

Garrity’s hugely-deflected shot settled the contest in the 72nd minute, earning Vale a morale-boosting victory after losing 7-0 against Barnsley last weekend.

Andy Carroll had a golden chance to put Reading ahead with a 12th-minute penalty after Nesta Guinness-Walker was fouled in the box by Dan Jones, but goalkeeper Connor Ripley denied him.

At the other end, Vale defender Alex Iacovitti fired the ball into the net just before the half-hour mark, only for it to be ruled out for offside.

The early stages of the second-half lacked goalmouth action but the home side looked more likely to break the deadlock.

The winning goal came 18 minutes from time as Garrity’s shot on the spin took a massive deflection before looping over debutant goalkeeper David Button’s head and in off the post.

Funso Ojo came agonisingly close to making it 2-0 in stoppage time, but his shot was saved by Button and came back off the crossbar.

Reading nearly equalised in the dying moments when substitute Lewis Wing’s cross-shot hit the bar, but Vale held on for all three points.

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