A DOUBLE from striker Billy Kee ended a run of four successive fruitless trips to Vale Park as Accrington Stanley came back from a goal down to beat struggling Port Vale 2-1.

The Reds won in the Potteries for the first time since 2008 thanks to goals in either half from their talismanic striker.

Stanley dominated the ball in the early exchanges without creating an opening and it was the home team who were the width of the bar from taking the lead. The Reds failed to clear a Harry Middleton corner and the ball fell to Ben Whitfield inside the box on the right who hit a shot which beat Aaron Chapman but came back off the woodwork.

That chance lifted the Vale fans and players, and with Stanley committed to playing the ball out from the back they made little progress towards goal.

The Valiants soon threatened again, with striker Tyrone Barnett meeting a left wing cross with a header that skimmed the frame of the goal as it went over the top and into the stand.

They didn’t have to wait long to take a deserved lead, with Barnett playing David Worrall into the box down the left and the former Reds loanee dispatching the ball beyond Chapman from a tight angle to make it 1-0.

It took half an hour for John Coleman’s side to muster a chance, Liam Nolan lashing high and wide after a Sean McConville free kick, but for all their possession they were barely troubling their managerless hosts.

But the Reds levelled things up with their first shot on target as Kee showed his class. The striker had to be patient, waiting for the ball to drop to him on the edge of the 18 yard box before dispatching it low on the volley off the inside of the right post to make it 1-1.

As in the first period the visitors resumed with plenty of the ball and added some more threat, with Coleman and his staff frustrated to see Jordan Clark go down when played through by Kee.

But as in the first 45 minutes Vale made the first presentable chance, with Chapman saving well with his legs at the near post to thwart Tom Pope after he’d met a Whitfield cross with a firm strike.

Coleman had called for more clinical finishing from his side in recent weeks and Kee seemed to have heeded the advice as the Reds turned it around. Mark Hughes crossed from the left following a corner, McConville met it at the far post and fired across the face for the striker to slide in his eighth of the season from close range.

Vale sub Anthony de Freitas had two half chances to restore parity, driving the first low and wide before ballooning the second after Chapman’s punch dropped to him in the box.

The introduction of Scott Brown brought a tactical switch as Stanley looked to see it out. Sub Michael Tonge and de Freitas were both off target with efforts and the Valiants had two stoppage time corners but the Reds managed the game well to do something that good teams do; win when you aren’t at your best.

Stanley: Chapman, Donacien, Hughes, Rawson, Thorniley, Clark, Conneely, Nolan, McConville, Jackson, Kee