Chris Dagnall’s first-half header earned Crewe Alex derby glory at Port Vale on Saturday.
The striker converted a George Cooper cross at Vale Park, just before the home side went down to 10 men.
Michael Tonge was dismissed for a crude challenge on Cooper, but the Valiants pressed hard for a leveller despite their numerical disadvantage.
But Crewe held on to preserve their unbeaten record in League Two and notch a win in their first away game of 2017-18.
The result has lifted them to fourth in the standings.
Port Vale boss Michael Brown said he was proud of his side’s performance despite their 1-0 defeat at home to Crewe this afternoon.
The Valiants fell behind to Chris Dagnall’s 30-minute header before Michael Tonge was sent off four minutes later for a high challenge on George Cooper.
But Vale’s ten man roared back after the break and were unlucky not to take a point when Tom Pope’s header crashed against the underside of the bar.
Brown said the way his 10-man team took the game to Crewe showed there is plenty of room for optimism at Vale Park, even though this was their third straight league defeat.
He said: “We are disappointed first and foremost to lose the game. However, the game goes, you never want to lose it. But I thought the players in the second half were absolutely immense. If we can keep that sort of level of performance that we showed there we will be okay. We have just said that in the dressing room.
Port Vale Official Website
Ten-man Port Vale put in a brave performance against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday afternoon, but a solitary goal from Chris Dagnall proved decisive as the Railwaymen left Vale Park with all three points.
Tom Pope and Marcus Harness both had efforts cleared off the line during a spirited second half display, but Michael Brown’s men couldn’t find a leveller.