Match ends, Crewe Alexandra 2, Port Vale 2.
Crewe Alexandra 2-2 Port Vale
Charlie Kirk scored a stoppage-time leveller as Crewe shared derby honours with Port Vale after a thrilling 2-2 League Two draw.
Antony Kay's 71st-minute long-range effort appeared to have won it for Vale as they came from behind after enduring the worst possible start when goalkeeper Ryan Boot gifted Crewe an opener through Ryan Wintle.
Tom Pope levelled from the penalty spot before the break and Kay volleyed in before the late drama.
The opener arrived as James Jones' free-kick slipped out of the grasp of young stopper Boot to present Wintle with a free header into an empty net in the seventh minute.
Boot's confidence plummeted further when he spilled a routine cross and was injured in the process, while Vale boss Neil Aspin took the opportunity to replace him with Sam Hornby.
Inexperience showed again when Vale drew level in the 36th minute with Newcastle United loanee Jamie Sterry guilty of a reckless challenge on Luke Hannant inside the box. Former Crewe striker Pope fired past Ben Garratt from the spot.
Ben Whitfield forced a reaction save from Crewe keeper Garratt, while at the other end Hornby excelled when keeping out Wintle's effort on the stroke of half-time as the Crewe midfielder eyed up a second.
After the break Jordan Bowery blazed over with the goal at his mercy. But Kay's connection was sweet when the veteran midfielder dispatched home a half-volley from 30 yards out with less than 20 minutes remaining.
Crewe responded and Hornby did well to keep out Paul Green's volley and Eddie Nolan's late effort, but the hosts were not to be denied and substitute Harry McKirdy squared the ball for Kirk to fire home and seal a late point.
Report supplied by Press Association.
- 42SterryBooked at 36mins
- 14AinleySubstituted forKirkat 84'minutes
- 8JonesSubstituted forMcKirdyat 77'minutesBooked at 82mins
- 32MillerSubstituted forPorterat 70'minutes
- 23BootSubstituted forHornbyat 23'minutes
- 21GibbonsBooked at 67mins
- 33HowkinsBooked at 28mins
- 6KayBooked at 56mins
- 32TongeSubstituted forBarnettat 45'minutes
- 9PopeSubstituted forMyers-Harnessat 84'minutes
- Andy Woolmer
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Crewe Alexandra 2, Port Vale 2.
Goal! Crewe Alexandra 2, Port Vale 2. Charlie Kirk (Crewe Alexandra) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by George Ray.
Foul by Harry Pickering (Crewe Alexandra).
Luke Hannant (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Corner, Crewe Alexandra. Conceded by Sam Hornby.
Attempt saved. Eddie Nolan (Crewe Alexandra) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Corner, Crewe Alexandra. Conceded by Tyrone Barnett.
Corner, Crewe Alexandra. Conceded by Luke Hannant.
Attempt saved. Harry McKirdy (Crewe Alexandra) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt blocked. Harry Pickering (Crewe Alexandra) right footed shot from more than 40 yards on the left wing is blocked.
Substitution, Crewe Alexandra. Charlie Kirk replaces Callum Ainley.
Substitution, Port Vale. Marcus Myers-Harness replaces Tom Pope.
Harry McKirdy (Crewe Alexandra) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Harry McKirdy (Crewe Alexandra).
Cristian Montaño (Port Vale) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt blocked. Callum Ainley (Crewe Alexandra) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Harry McKirdy (Crewe Alexandra) header from the centre of the box is too high.
Substitution, Crewe Alexandra. Harry McKirdy replaces James Jones.
Harry Pickering (Crewe Alexandra) wins a free kick on the right wing.