PORVALE:Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Doug Loft, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Ashley Vincent, Tom Pope, Clayton McDonald, Joe Davis, Sam Morsy, Ben Williamson, Ryan Burge.
SUBS:Sam Johnson, Darren Murphy, Louis Dodds, Chris Shuker, Rob Taylor, Kingsley James, Ryan Lloyd.
ROCHDALE:Josh Lillis, Rhys Bennett, Peter Cavanagh, Ryan Edwards, Jason Kennedy, Andrew Tutte, George Donnelly, Phil Edwards, Kevin McIntyre, Dele Adebola, Bobby Grant.
SUBS:Joe Rafferty, Brian Barry-Murphy, Ashley Grimes, Ray Putterill, Joel Logan, Ben Smith, Matty Pearson.
Attendance:4139 including 157 visiting supporters
A brace from top scorer Tom Pope, his 16th and 17th goals of the season, were not enough to earn Vale three points after they were reduced to ten men when Sam Morsy was shown a straight red card with Vale two-nil up.
MickyAdamsmade two changes to the starting eleven to faceRochdale. Skipper Doug Loft returned from injury to slot in at left back, whilst Rob Taylor had to settle for a place on the bench.
Louis Dodds was also dropped to the bench with Ben Williamson, rewarded for his recent goals when coming on as a substitute, in the starting eleven.
Rochdalecame toValeParkwith an impressive away record, but also knowing that they had never won atValePark.
Vale began the game marginally the better of the two sides, but were unable to cause any problems where I mattered.
The game wasn’t allowed to flow at all, with constant stoppages for petty fouls all over the pitch and neither of the two teams on show were able to get going.
The first real treat at either end came in the 18th minute when a crisp 25 yard drive from Bobby Grant was gathered comfortably by Chris Neal.
Vale’s first opportunity came in the 21st minute when Ben Williamson got up to meet a Ryan Burge corner kick with a downward header, but Lillis reacted smartly to make the save.
Adam Yates flashed the ball across the face of goal just moments later, but no Vale player managed o get on the end of it.
Vale made a substitution on 26 minutes when Rob Taylor came off the bench to replace Doug Loft in the Vale back four.
Taylormade an instant impact, scampering down the left before sending in a deep cross which was met by the head of TOM POPE. Lillis managed to block but Pope swept home the loose ball gratefully.
Vale began to dominate possession for a spell and were a little unfortunate not to add a second goal on 36 minutes.
A cross from Adam Yates was nodded down into the feet of Williamson by strike partner Pope, but Williamson was denied by the quick reactions of Lillis in theRochdalegoal.
The visitors almost levelled the scores in first half stoppage time when a terrific 30 yard effort from Grant crashed against the Vale crossbar.
Williamson went close to getting his name on the score shhet early in the second half when he turned sharply inside the box but watched as the ball flew past the far post.
Minutes later Williamson went close again when he got up to meet a right wing cross from Adam Yates, only to send his 10 yard header over the bar.
FormerCreweman Dele Adebola was substituted in the 57th minute.Rochdalesent striker Ashley Grimes on as his replacement.
Williamson almost got in in the 61st minute after being played in by Vincent, but a minute later Vale extended their lead.
Williamson had a hand in it, putting the ball into the box from the right. TOM POPE collected the pass, steadied himself, turned and made space before slamming the ball inside the ‘keeper’s left hand upright for his 17th goal of the season.
Vale were reduced to ten men in the 67th minute when Sam Morsy was shown a straight red after a tackle on Jason Kennedy on the halfway line.
The home side made a second substitution in the 69th minute, Darren Murphy coming on to replace Ben Williamson as Vale sought to restock the midfield.
Ashley Vincent wasn’t too far off with a long distance effort which dipped late but just cleared the crossbar.
Darren Murphy went down injured after clearing deep inside his own half and with Vale down to nine men the visitors equalised when BOBBY GRANT planted a downward header into the net from close range in the 73rd minute..
Vale made an immediate change, with Kingsley James taking up the midfield place vacated by the injured Murphy.
Vale were now desperate to hang on to all three points, with the visitors sensing they could get something from the game and going all out for an equaliser.
Micky Adams’ man were having to work their socks off to preserve their slender lead as the visitors threw men forward in numbers, leaving Vale to try and hit them on the break.
Rochdale’s persistence paid off in the 87th minute when ANDREW TUTTE beat Chris Neal with a screamer from 25 yards to level the scores.