EXETER CITY:Rhys Evans, Steve Tully, Craig Woodman, Pat Baldwin, Danny Coles, Matt Oakley, Arron Davies, Jamie Cureton, Tommy Doherty, Kevin Amankwaah, John O’Flynn. SUBS: Artur Krysiak, Liam Sercombe, Tom Nichols, Guillem Bauza, Jimmy Keohane, Aaron Dawson, Jordan Moore-Taylor.
PORT VALE:Chris Neal, Rob Taylor, John McCombe, Doug Loft, Louis Dodds, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Ashley Vincent, Tom Pope, Clayton McDonald, Sam Morsy, Richard Duffy. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Adam Yates, Chris Shuker, Joe Davis, Ben Williamson, Ryan Lloyd, Ryan Burge.
Attendance:3,938 including 262 visiting supporters
Vale made one change for the trip to St James Park, with Rob Taylor coming in for Ryan Burge.Taylorslotted in at full back, allowing skipper Doug Loft to move up into the middle of the park.
The visitors seemed to be coping withExeter’s attacking play early on in the game, but despite having plenty of the ball, Vale didn’t look like penetrating at the other end either.
Sam Morsy almost got in on goal but was beaten to the ball by goalkeeper Ryhs Evans following a beautifully weighted through ball by Louis Dodds.
A great knock down by Tom Pope was intercepted by anExeterdefender as Doug Loft closed in, with Vale having a bit more of the ball in City’s half.
Cureton almost got in behind the Vale defence when he beat the offside trap, only to take too long to control, allowing Vale to get hold of the ball away and play it upfield.
There was very little between the two sides, although it was the Vale who had the better of things possession-wise, but that was to change in the 40th minute.
Jennison Myrie-Williams wasn’t having one of his better games, but he flew down the right flank, cut inside and crossed for TOM POPE, who buried his header to put the Vale ahead.
It made the Vale striker the fastest to hit ten goals from the start of the season since Tom Nolan back in 1933.
Vale were forced into a change six minutes into the second half when Ryan Burge came off the bench to replace the injured Doug Loft.
The home side were looking just that little bit more dangerous early in the second half, but the usually prolific Jamie Cureton wasted an opportunity to level when he fired wide.
Exeterthen went close to an equaliser when a deep cross from Danny Coles was met by the head of Steve Tulley, who struck the Vale crossbar from close range.
That seemed to spur Vale on, and they went straight down the other end and scored. This time Ashley Vincent crossed from the left and TOM POPE nodded his eleventh goal of the season with 62 minutes on the clock.
Louis Dodds and Tom Pope each made important clearing headers inside their own box as the home side looked to hit back.
Ryan Burge caught the eye with a busy performance in the middle of the park – not to mention his bright pink boots!
A terrific save at full stretch by Chris Neal prevented the home side from pulling a goal back with nine minutes remaining.
Vale then made a substitution with five minutes remaining- Chris Shuker coming off the bench with Ashley Vincent going the other way.