DESPITE a much-improved performance on last week’s defeat against rivals Walshaw, Vale crashed to their 11th defeat of the season at mid-table Monton on Saturday.

The Bury side are now just seven points above the third relegation spot having played more games than their fellow strugglers.

The early exchanges were fairly even with Monton enjoying the bulk of the possession but Vale defended well and largely restricted the home side to half chances.

With Jack Barlow catching the eye in central midfield, Vale started to grow into the game and create chances of their own.

Marvin Browne should have done better from six yards out when he was put clean through by Tino Blake and Gareth Gardiner missed a less obvious chance minutes later.

Vale paid the price for their profligacy 10 minutes before half time when a speculative ball saw Adam Tse cleverly roll Richard Williams to score the opening goal from eight yards out.

Vale took the game to the hosts early in the second half as they went in search of an equaliser but Monton demonstrated the clinical finishing that would ultimately prove Vale’s undoing with Tse extending the hosts’ lead from the edge of the box.

Vale rallied and were given a glimmer of hope with 10 minutes remaining when Gardiner jinked past a couple of defenders and slotted home from an acute angle.

But before Vale had chance to build, Monton sealed the game when Nick Haughton broke from deep, rounded Vale keeper Mark Clapham and swept the ball home.