Rejuvenated Port Vale made it three consecutive victories with an impressive 3-1 success at Crawley to put a dent in the Reds’ play-off hopes.
Unchanged Vale, who significantly boosted their survival chances with successive wins over Newport and Colchester, made a fast start and skipper Tom Conlon drove them ahead impressively after 13 minutes.
Conlon smashed his seventh goal of the season from just inside the area after Crawley failed to deal with a cross from Devante Rodney.
Top scorer Rodney had earlier had a fierce shot turned over by keeper Glenn Morris, who also thwarted Theo Robinson in a one-on-one situation.
Crawley scored for the 10th game in a row to equalise on the stroke of half time with the recalled Ashley Nadesan heading in his eighth goal of the season from Jack Powell’s cross.
The Reds had a let off on the hour when, from a cross by David Worrall, Robinson’s header came back off the crossbar.
But Vale regained the lead five minutes later when Crawley failed to clear and defender Nathan Smith netted with a shot on the turn from 12 yards.
Worrall made it 3-1 after 76 minutes by capitalising on a gift after Joe McNerney failed to find keeper Morris with an attempted header.