Port Vale 1-0 Coventry: Valiants
By Press Association
Last Updated: 26/12/17 10:56pm
Defender Nathan Smith scored the only goal of the game as Port Vale beat promotion-chasing Coventry 1-0 at Vale Park.
The centre-back's late goal extended Vale's unbeaten league run to four games and continued their revival under new manager Neil Aspin, while the visitors missed the chance to move into the automatic promotion places.
It had taken 37 minutes for the home side to register the contest's first shot on target when Ben Whitfield's glancing header from Michael Tonge's free-kick flew straight into the arms of Burge.
Vale almost went in front after 50 minutes when Marcus Harness beat Burge to a cross, but looped his header over with the goal gaping.
The Sky Blues struggled to test Vale keeper Ryan Boot but could have taken the lead in the 58th minute when Marc McNulty found Jack Grimmer at the back post, before his shot was saved.
But Smith popped up in the City box 11 minutes from time to meet Harness' cross and loop his header over Lee Burge and into the net to win it for Vale.