Preston North End v Port Vale
Saturday 18th October 2014
Attendance: 9,381 including 612 visiting supporters
Despite a spirited first half performance, Val left Deepdale empty handed once again, with the home side finding the net in each half, through Paul Gallagher and Alan Browne.
But the main talking point from a Vale point of view was the dismissal of on loan defender Stephane Zubar, who was re carded after an off the ball incident with Preston’s Joe Garner in the 78th minute.
Unsurprisingly, Rob Page decided against changes for Vale’s trip to Deepdale, with Ryan McGivern having to settle for a place on the bench following his return from international duty.
Vale started brightly, defending tightly as a unit and pushing the home side onto the back foot. They almost took the lead in the 5th minute when Michael O’Connor fired wide from 20 yards.
Any thought that Vale may be content to sit back and defend against one of the better of sides in League One were soon put to bed as Vale continued to push men forward and play the ball deep inside the Preston half.
An incident in the centre of the park involving Joe Garner and Stephane Zubar left the Preston Striker requiring treatment, but the referee hadn’t spotted what had happened and so play resumed with a drop ball.
Vale were having the better of things up to the halfway point in the first half, but the home side went close in the 22nd minute when a 25 yard shot from Alan Brown took a deflection to send it wide.
A minute later the home side again went close when a well struck effort from Neil Kilkenny flew inches over Chris Neil’s crossbar.
It seemed to trigger a period of the game when the home side started to get on top and Vale were being forced to play a little deeper.
Yet it was Vale who again got their noses in front when Michael O’Connor curled a 25 yard free kick past the wall, just a hair’s breadth past the upright and into the side-netting.
Moments later Jamie Jones got a touch to a rasping 15 yard shot from Mark Marshall and again the ball hit the side-netting – this time Vale getting a corner kick.
The home side had loud appeals for a penalty after it looked suspiciously like Tom Pope had handled in the box, but the referee was having none of it.
GOAL:But in the 42nd minute the home side got the breakthrough following several errors in the Vale defence, allowing PAUL GALLAGHER in for a a5 yard shot and the Preston man made no mistake.
A right wing corner for the home side almost resulted in a second Preston goal – Garner’s header just passing the wrong side of the post, from a Preston point of view.
Preston almost opened the second half with a second goal, when another well-hit shot from 20 yards by Gallagher whistled past Chris Neal’s right hand upright.
An off the ball altercation between Joe Garner and Richard Duffy left the Preston man rolling around on the floor. Again the match officials saw nothing and Garner picked up a yellow card for his troubles.
Too many incidents both on and off the ball prevented the game flowing and the man in the middle was in danger of losing control of things at times.
Vale defender Richard Duffy was involved in a couple of incidents and picked up a yellow card, before being replaced, perhaps for his own good, in the 65th minute when Ryan McGivern came off the bench.
Vale then made a double substitution four minutes later – on came Colin Daniel and Byron Moore with both Louis Dodds and Ben Williamson making way.
Again it was off the ball incidents that were causing problems. Zubar clashed once again with the referee seeing nothing, the thirty seconds later he spotted something between the two players and Zubar was promptly given his marching orders in the 78th minute.
GOAL:Two minutes later the home side doubled their lead when a 20 yard shot from ALAN BROWNE took a slight deflection, leaving Chris Neale wrong footed as the ball trickled into the net.
There were further problems for the Vale when McGivern and Neale crashed to the floor after colliding with each other. McGivern was up fairly quickly, but the ‘keeper required treatment before he could carry on.
PRESTON NORTH END:Jamie Jones, Scott Wiseman, Tom Clarke, Chris Humphrey, Neil Kilkenny, Paul Galagher, Joe Garner, David Buchanan, Kyel Reid, Jack King, Alan Browne. SUBS: Thorsten Stuckmann, Scott Laird, Kevin Davies, Paul Huntington, Will Hayhurst, Callum Robinson, Josh Brownhill.
PORT VALE:Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Carl Dickinson, Richard Duffy, Louis Dodds, Ben Williamson, Chris Lines, Tom Pope, Michael O’Connor, Mark Marshall, Stephan Zubar. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Ryan McGivern, Chris Birchall, Colin Daniel, Michael Brown, Byron Moore, Remie Streete
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