Swindon Town v Port Vale
Match Report by Dave Johnson
From The County Ground
Attendance: 12,864 including 205 visiting supporters
SWINDON TOWN: Wes Foderingham, Jay McEveley, Aden Flint, Paul Caddis, Simon Ferry, Paul Benson, Matt Ritchie, Alan McCormack, Oliver Risser, John Bostock, Lee Holmes. SUBS: Nathan Thompson, Alan Connell, Luke Rooney, Jonathan Smith, Miles Storey
PORT VALE:Chris Martin, Adam Yates, Anthony Griffith, John McCombe, Doug Loft, Louis Dodds, Marc Richards, Tom Pope, Sean Rigg, Chris Shuker, Joe Davis. SUBS: Paul Marshall, Sam Morsy, Ben Williamson, Kingsley James, Clayton McDonald
Micky Adams kep to the same ataring eleven that beat Bristol Rovers in Vale's previous match - the only change coming on the bench with the return of Clayton McDonald.
Vale matched their hosts in the opening minutes of the game ans were certainly not troubled by the atmosphere inside the stadium, in a packed County ground.
An early determined run by Sean Rigg down the Vale left almost caused the home side big problems. He beat three men before crossing into the box for Tom pope, who headed narrowly wide.
Vale were having a lot of possession in the opening minutes of the game and were doing a good job of quietening down the home support, who were obviously used to their side dominating affairs.
The home side had a good opportunity when Ritchie was brought down by Doug Loft. Ritchie took the free kick himself. His first effort was blocked and he then fired high over Chris Martin's crossbar.
Rigg was causing the home side problems every time he gat the ball and when he was chopped down in the 26th minute it gave Vale another chance.
Chris Shuker sent in the free kick from the left and it was Marc Richards who got his head to the ball to head over.
Had he realised John McCombe was well placed, and unmarked, behind him, he may well have left it for his team mate.
Chris Shuker was left limping following a challenge from behind by Benson on the halfway line and the former Dagenham & Redbridge man was booked.
Vale again went close in the 37th minute when Richards intercepted a poor back pass fromFlint. The angle was too tight for him to shoot, so he attempted to round the 'keeper. In the end Vale had to settle for a corner kick.
GOAL:A minute laterSwindontook the lead. Bostock pulled the ball back from the right to Matt Ritchie on the edge of the box and he smashed the ballinto Martin's top right hand corner, giving the Vale 'keeper absolutely no chance.
GOAL:Six minutes into the second half the home side deservedly added a second goal when Benson finished off a neatSwindonmove, deftly lifting the ballover the advancing Martin, with the Vale defence caught flat-footed.
Ritchie almost added a third on 56 minutes, setting himself up with a nice bit of footwork inside the box, but John McCombe managed to block his shot on the line, before scrambling the ball away to safety.
Vale made a substitution on thehour with striker Ben Williamson replacing midfielder Anthony Griffith.
Swindon were now playing with confidence again after being given a hard time in the first half and Ritchie wasn't too far off the mark with a fierce shot from the edge of the box which whistled inches wide of Martin's right hand post.
GOAL:The Robins increased their lead in the 65th minute when Benson got on the end of a low cross from the left by Holmes to turn the ball home from close range for his second goal of the game.
GOAL:Two minutes later Aden Flint powered the ball past Martin when he met a right wing corner, sending the home crowd wild and Vale wondering what had hit them.
Vale immediately made another change with Paul Marshall coming off the bench to replace Chris Shuker.
Vale then made their third and final change, Clayton McDonald coming on and Tom Pope going the other way. Vale reverted to playing three central defenders - a case of damage limitation.
GOAL:Vale were dealt another blow in the 85th minute when a shot from Smith was finished off by Benson, to complete his hat-trick.
A late rally by the Vale saw a close range shot from McDonald cleared off the line. In fairness, Vale already knew this wasn't to be their day.