Opposition view: Clarke 'disappointed' after Vale's 'very frustrating' defeat to Cobblers

Few complaints over Covolan's red card

By James Heneghan
Saturday, 7th August 2021, 11:38 pm
Darrell Clarke.
Darrell Clarke.

Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke admitted he was 'disappointed' by Port Vale's 'very frustrating' 1-0 defeat to Northampton on Saturday.

Vale failed to turn a strong start into a lead before falling behind to Benny Ashley-Seal's close-range strike midway through the first-half.

"It was a very frustrating game," admitted Clarke. "I thought we started well and had a couple of half chances, but then we don't defend a long throw into our box.

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"The lad shanks it straight to their centre-forward and then we're chasing the game and that's not something you want to be doing on the opening day of the season."

The game's key moment arrived 10 minutes into the second-half when Vale goalkeeper Lucas Covolan was dismissed for tripping Nicke Kabamba.

"It's just a bad decision from Lucas," added Clarke. "He's in a great starting position, he reads it well and then he's got to deal with it.

"There is an argument that their lad has come through him to win the ball but, for me, he just needs to kick it into the stand and then we're not talking about it.

"But that made it very, very difficult. We tried to work one or two opportunities and we could have been better with some of our counter-attacks but first game or not, it was a disappointing performance and I told the players that we're a lot better than that.

"We have to score that first goal in the first 20 minutes when we were on top but we didn't and we didn't defend a long throw - I expect better quality from my players."