Port Vale boss Andy Crosby felt it was about time his side beat one of the bigger sides in League One after their 3-0 victory over Blackpool.

Ben Garrity’s opener was added to after half-time by James Wilson and Nathan Smith for a first win in three matches as Vale ended 2023 on a high.

And Crosby reserved particular praise for the likes of youngsters Ben Lomax and Jack Shorrock, who made their first League One starts as he effused about his side’s performance against the Seasiders.

He said: “It was a really good performance, both with and without the ball. There were four academy players in the 18, three on the pitch at once, like the two young boys who started the game making their full league debuts.

“I thought they were absolutely incredible, but I also think the senior players they had around them really looked after them within the game.

“We probably spent a little bit less time in the build-up phase today and we utilised the strengths of Uche (Ikpeazu) maybe a little bit earlier.

“It’s about time we beat a team here. It’s been a struggle for us since we’ve been in League One to beat one of the bigger clubs at home.

“We’ve been competitive this season against Bolton, Peterborough, Derby and lost by the odd goal, and we said before the game can we go and put a performance together both with and without the ball to be deserving of three points and I think we were.”

Neil Critchley felt Blackpool paid the price for not taking their opportunities before the Valiants went ahead as he lamented his side’s away form, but praised how the Seasiders kept going.

He said: “It’s a really tough night for us. For the first 35 minutes up until their goal, I thought we were in control of the game, had some good opportunities, don’t take them and with their first chance, they score.

“That’s the way it’s going for us away from home at this moment in time. We have a good chance to equalise after half-time, it goes straight at the goalkeeper, and then we get a deflected shot with their first chance after half-time that deflected straight over the goalkeeper and we’re 2-0 down and we’re chasing the game.

“We’re not getting that little bit of the rub of the green that sometimes you need in the penalty box and the big moments are going against us.

“But what I did see is, I saw a team that kept going right to the end. I thought their body language was very good and they were positive and that’s important because we need to stick together.”