Saturday 23rd February 2013
Torquay United v Port Vale
Attendance: 2,679 including 670 visiting supporters
TORQUAY UNITED: Michael Poke, Kevin Nicholson, Aaron Downes, Brian Saah, Lee Mansell, Ryan Jarvis, Rene Howe, Daniel Leadbitter, Billy Bodin, Craig Easton, Elliott Benyon.
SUBS: Damon Lathrope, Martin Rice, Lloyd Macklin, Angus McDonald, Thomas Cruise, Ashley Yeoman, Niall Thompson.
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, John McCombe, Darren Purse, Doug Loft, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Ashley Vincent, Tom Pope, Ryan Burge, Richard Duffy, Calvin Andrew, Daniel Jones.
SUBS: Rob Taylor, Louis Dodds, Chris Shuker, Adam Yates, Sam Morsy, Chris Birchall, Ryan Boot.
Micky Adams was forced to make changes to the side for the seaside clash against Torquay United as illness and injuries affected his selection options.
Lee Hughes, Ben Williamson, Sam Johnson and Liam Chilvers failed to travel with the team and so the manager was forced to change things around a little.
In came Calvin Andrew and John McCombe, whilst Adam Yates was forced to start on the bench, where he was joined by youth team 'keeper Ryan Boot.
The opening five minutes was fairly even with chances at either end, the best one a header from Rene Howe which had ‘goal’ written all over it, but Chris Neal, diving low to his right, pulled off an excellent save to dent the Torquay striker.
Vale were looking marginally the better of the two sides in the opening minutes without seriously threatening Michael poke’s goal.
Ryan Burge earned himself a yellow card after blocking Jarvis on the edge of the 18 yard box and Neal did well to tip over the resulting free kick from Bodin.
The game was halted for a few minutes after Richard Duffy received a blow to the head inside the Vale six yard box, but thankfully the Vale defender was able to continue after treatment, albeit with his head heavily bandaged.
The balance had tipped in favour of the home side by the time they made an enforced change in the 25th minute, Angus McDonald coming on to replace Aaron Downes.
GOAL:Despite that, it was the visitors who went in front just three minutes later when a powerful 30 yard drive from Doug Loft took a deflection off CALVIN ANDREW to take it past Poke and into the net.
There appeared to be a bit of confusion as to who the goal would eventually be credited to, but the important thing was it put Vale ahead somewhat against the run of play.
There was very little between the two sides in the second half, with Vale just about edging it in terms of territorial advantage and possession, but the visitors did little to threaten a second goal.
Vale won a 63rd minute corner when Loft’s effort struck a home defender and Vale went close from the resulting corner, taken by Ryan Burge, when a close range header from John McCombe was blocked.
Vale made their first change of the afternoon in the 66th minute when Sam Morsy was thrown into the mix as a replacement for Ryan Burge.
Poke managed to palm away a 20 yard curling drive from Andrew and, typical of Tom Pope’s luck in recent games, the ball came out just a yard too far for the Vale striker who was sniffing around for the loose ball.
Ashley Vincent had a golden opportunity to wrap up the three points after being put through by Pope, but the ball appeared to hit a divot just as he was about to slot home Vale’s second and he screwed his shot wide from 8 yards.