Port Vale v Millwall
Saturday 27th September 2016
At Vale Park
Attendance: 3,934 including 196 visiting supporters
Martin Paterson’s second half strike, his second goal in four days, and a header form defender Remie Streete sealed yet another victory for the Vale as Bruno Ribiero’s men continued to break records at Vale Park with their remarkable home record.
Alex Jones’ sixth goal of the season set the Valiants on their way as early as the 4th minute and Vale went on to record their sixth home win on the bounce since the beginning of the season.
Lee Gregory pulled a goal back from the penalty spot late on in the game but it was too little too late for Neil Harris’ side, who made the trip home empty-handed.
Manager Bruno Ribeiro made two changes for the visit of Millwall as Vale looked to continue their impressive home form against arguably the best side to visit Vale Park last season.
Sam Foley returned from injury to take up that central midfield spot taken by Quentin Pereira in Vale’s previous fixture and Sam Hart came in for his League debut as a replacement for Jerome Thomas, who limped off during the second half at Bristol Rovers.
Vale looked bright right from the kick off, looking a different side from that in the second forty five minutes at Bristol, knocking the ball around with precision.
GOAL: The Valiants were rewarded for their endeavour in the 4th minute, when the visitors failed to deal with a low ball from the right. Alex Jones didn’t need a second invitation, switching the ball to his right foot before hammering a shot past Millwall ‘keeper Jordan Archer.
Anthony Grant picked up a yellow card, his fifth of the season and he now faces a suspension and will miss Vale’s home fixture against Coventry City.
There were a lot of petty fouls going on all around the pitch and as a result the game didn’t flow too well at times – it had turned into a scrappy affair.
That seemed to suit the visitors more than it did Vale and the home side had to deal with increasing pressure from the visitors, who looked well capable of an equaliser.
The referee’s yellow card seemed to spend more time out of his pocket than in with a spate of booking in the opening forty-five minutes of the game – the names of six players going into his notebook.
Nathan Smith almost got his name on the score sheet again when he lunged forward to meet a right wing corner from Sam Foley, only to direct his header wide of the target.
Then Jones slipped the ball to his left to set up Martin Paterson, who hit his shot early and saw his effort pushed around the post by Archer.
Play soon switched to the other end, where Jak Alnwick reacted sharply to push away a close range header from Steve Morison to keep Vale in front.
Calum Butcher wasn’t too far off early in the second half with a 25 yard shot as the visitors pushed hard for a quick equaliser to rattle the home side.
Vale struggled to make any headway, starting slowly in the opening ten minutes of the second period against a gritty Millwall outfit.
GOAL:But in the 59th minute, against the run of play, Vale grabbed a second goal, with MARTIN PATERSON applying the finishing touches when he got on the end of a shot from Sam Foley.
Vale made a substitution in the 67th minute when Paterson left the pitch to warm applause from the Vale faithful and Rigino Cicilia came off the bench to take his place.
Just seconds later the visitors almost pulled a goal back when Gregg Wylde’s left wing cross was met by the head of Lee Gregory, whose header flew high over the crossbar.
GOAL:But two minutes later Vale went further ahead when Sam Foley’s left wing corner was met by a downward header from REMIE STREETE and effectively it was game over.
Vale made another change on 74 minute when Kiko came on to replace the impressive Sam Hart, who had shown his adaptability in his role on the left of the Vale midfield.
Shaun Williams missed a gilt-edged opportunity to pull a goal back for the Lions in the 78th minute when he was picked out at the back post following a Millwall, but unmarked, he somehow managed to fire wide from close range.
Cicilia really ought to have put the icing on the cake just seconds later when Jones slotted the ball through the gap for him to run on to, but with the crowd on their feet, he somehow shot wide.
GOAL:The visitors were awarded a penalty when Anthony Grant handled a shot from Williams and Lee Gregory pulled a goal back from the spot on 83 minutes.
PORT VALE:Jak Alnwick, Ben Purkiss, Remie Streete, Nathan Smith, Kjell Knops, Alex Jones, Paulo Tavares, Anthony Grant, Sam Foley, Sam Hart, Martin Paterson. SUBS: Miguel Santos, Rigino Cicila, Sam Kelly, Kiko, Quentin Pereira, Sebastien Amoros, Gezim Shalaj
MILLWALL:Jordan Archer, Joe Martin, Tony Craig, David Worrall, Lee Gregory, Mahlon Romeo, Calum Butcher, Byron Webster, Shane Ferguson, Steven Morison, Nadjim Abdou. SUBS: Shaun Williams, Fred Onyedinma, Gregg Wylde, Sid Nelson, James Philpot, Harry Smith, Tom King