Port Vale boss Darrell Clarke and veteran David Worrall praised Ipswich Town after the Blues escaped Vale Park with a pulsating 3-2 victory last night.

Town were 2-0 up inside 38 minutes, Freddie Ladapo and Cameron Humphreys - on his first league start - scoring the goals.

But Gavin Massey snatched one back for the Valiants deep into first half injury time, and Nathan Smith made it 2-2 just two minutes after the restart.

Town got back in front to stay after 51 minutes, with Ladapo bagging his second of the night.

And Worrall, who made his 500th career league appearance last night, said: “We gave it everything; it just wasn’t to be.

"We came up against one of the best squads in the league with Championship players and we went toe-to-toe with them and caused them a lot of problems.

“We won the battle, got our gameplan spot on, it just wasn’t enough. We are close to winning those games and getting something out of the games against the best teams in the league.

“Our record of coming back in games speaks for itself and that will continue with the changing room we have and the characters we have in the team.

“The staff won’t let that go away and the experienced lads, the leaders in the team carry that through.

“We are at home against the best team in the league, why not go for it? We will worry later in the season about seeing games out for a draw – I think it was there for us to take the three points, we had every right to go for it and we did, but you play against teams like that, they get a chance and they score.

“We have to take huge confidence; we are all hurt but we went toe-to-toe with the best [in the league] and we took them all the way.

“I am immensely proud of every single one of them lads after tonight and it just shows the different side to us; we turned it up a few gears tonight and you saw that on the pitch. It was entertaining for people watching and every single one of us can come away with our head held high.”

Vale boss Clarke also spoke of his pride for his players, and said pushing a side like Town proved his team were close to where he wants them to be.

Clarke said: “We are obviously disappointed we have lost the game. What we needed to do when we got it back to 2-2 was make sure we didn’t concede a goal in the next five or ten minutes, because we had the momentum.

“That is what top teams do, though, they punish you on the turnover and they did that.

“We are disappointed in the goals we conceded tonight but certainly have no disappointment in my lads commitment, desire and application – I thought all of that was spot on.

“It is just about improving the group and getting better and better; there are two ways of doing that – one where you spend loads and loads of money or one where you go at a pace that is sustainable and moving forward we will be competing with the bigger teams in the division and that’s the right way of doing it for our football club.

“The lads can take confidence from that, we are not a million miles away, and we have shown in the first 15 games of this season that we belong at this level.

“The team have shown consistently that they do respond and they do keep going, but today we were outdone by a team that are clinical and the mistakes we made, they punished.”