Boss Darrell Clarke is refusing to get carried away by Port Vale’s good start to the season which continued with a hard-earned 1-0 success at Scunthorpe.
Ben Garrity’s clinical finish a minute before half-time secured the Valiants a third successive victory, and moved them up to fourth in the League Two table, but for now, at least, Clarke is keeping his feet on the ground.
He said: “You have to win football matches however you can in this league.
“Today we played some cracking football at times and created some good opportunities, and when we had to defend we defended – no one more so than Nathan Smith, who’s got eight to 10 stitches above his eye after heading one of their players in injury-time.
“I love players like him – he’ll probably want to train on Monday – they are the sort of players I want and the sort you need in your team to pick up points.
“You have to dig in away from home at times and Scunthorpe asked us a few more questions in the second half after we’d been pretty in control in the first half.
“It was a good win, but we’re not even a quarter of the way through the season, it takes time for a team to gel.
“Results are good at the minute, but speed bumps await, so I get a bit frustrated when I hear people getting carried away.
“It’s a good win, but it’s tomorrow’s chip paper. We’ll enjoy it, but for me, it’s just about focusing on the next game now.”
Although they only had one goal to show for their efforts, Vale’s victory was more comfortable than the final scoreline suggests.
Scunthorpe keeper Rory Watson kept the score down in the first half, denying David Worrall and skipper Tom Conlon, whose clever piece of control and pinpoint pass in the 44th minute paved the way for Garrity’s winner.
“I didn’t think there was much in the game other than the goal,” Scunthorpe boss Neil Cox said.
“They played it forward, and so did we – there wasn’t much quality from either side.
“We’re missing a bit of experience at the back, and that lack of organisation cost us today.
“The goal just before half-time changed Port Vale’s game plan. It allowed them to sit back and defend with five, and we found it hard to break them down.
“We’re finding the players are going within themselves when they come up against a bit of adversity.
“The crowd get frustrated and players start to go missing a little bit, but I think that happens everywhere, which is why teams are picking up more points away from home.
“We kept going and when we changed it a little bit towards the end we caused them a few problems, but we didn’t create enough chances.”
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