PORT Vale caretaker manager Michael Brown praised his team’s character after they came from a goal behind to beat Swindon Town 3-2 at Vale Park.
Swindon took the lead in the 35th minute when Nicky Ajose’s effort was deflected past Leonardo Fasan, but the hosts drew level immediately through Chris Eagles moments later.
JJ Hooper, who had caused Town problems all afternoon, then got his first in the second half when he latched onto Kiko’s free-kick.
It then went from bad to worse for Town as the home-side were awarded a penalty after Eagles hit the deck following some attention from Raphael Branco.
Anton Forrester blasted the resulting spot-kick over the bar, but the Valiants were able to add a third late on when Hooper hit a fantastic free-kick past Lawrence Vigouroux, who could only admire the 23-year-old’s strike.
Luke Norris came off the bench to score but it was too little too late as Swindon suffered a damaging defeat on the road.
After the game, Brown highlighted the importance of the win, which was Port Vale’s first of 2017 following a run of five draws and four defeats in their last nine outings.
“However we won today, I wanted a win. I didn’t want to stress it too much. I wanted to play that down, but deep down, I was really hoping for a win,” he said.
“We’ve been playing well but not getting the results, but to win like that; it was a big performance from the players.
“Going one down (and going on to win) shows good character.
“The fans have played their part. When Anton Forrester missed that penalty, and for the fans to do what they did, (it) picked the players up quite quickly and let us get on with our work so full credit to the fans.”
The 40-year-old also revealed he had taken words of advice from his former manager Neil Warnock ahead of masterminding Swindon’s downfall.
“I spoke to Neil Warnock only this morning and he explained the importance of the game but he told me to tell the players to try and enjoy the game,” added the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder
“It’s something I’ve got to learn, to create the right atmosphere. I wasn’t that good at it myself today, so I’ve got to improve at it.”
The result now means Luke Williams’ men are four points adrift in 22nd place, two points behind Port Vale who have three games in hand.
It will be a quick turnaround for Williams now as he prepares to welcome Sheffield United to the County Ground on Tuesday night.