Saturday 2nd March 2013
Oxford United v Port Vale
At the Kassam Stadium
Attendance:6,322 including 865 visiting supporters
OXFORD UNITED: Luke McCormick, Damien Batt, Michael Raynes, Jake Wright, Adam Chapman, Deane Smalley, Sean Rigg, Alfie Potter, Tony Capaldi, Josh Parker, Liam Davis.
SUBS: Michael Duberry, James Constable, Andy Whing, Luke O'Brien, Scott Davies, Tom Craddock, Max Crocombe
PORT VALE:Chris Neal, Richard Duffy, John McCombe, Darren Purse, Daniel Jones, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Ryan Burge, Doug Loft, Calvin Andrew, Ben Williamson, Tom Pope.
SUBS:Chris Shuker, Lee Hughes, Louis Dodds, Adam Yates, Ashley Vincent, Sam Morsy, Chris Birchall
Micky Adams made one change from the side beaten at home by Exeter City in midweek, bringing in Ben Williamson to partner Tom Pope, while winger Ashley Vincent had to settle for a place on the bench.
It was a steady start to the game for the Valiants, soaking up the early attacks made by the home side before applying a bit of pressure of their own.
GOAL:But it was the home side who struck first when Darren Purse slipped when attempting to pass the ball back to his ‘keeper and ALFIE POTTER nipped un, took the ball in his stride and slotted home to give the home side a 10th minute lead.
Vale skipper Doug Loft went close to a quick equaliser with a bending 25 yard effort that wasn’t too far off Luke McCormick’s right hand post.
GOAL:Vale pressed for an equaliser and got one in the 16th minute when Tom Pope nodded down a left wing cross from Daniel Jones and DOUG LOFT hit a beauty on the half volley from just outside the area, giving McCormick absolutely no chance whatsoever.
The pitch, which is used for rugby by London Welsh, was proving difficult at times due to the poor surface but the two sides seemed to adapt reasonably well.
Purse did well to block an effort from former Valiant Sean Rigg, but it was Vale who were slightly the better of the two sides, despite not giving the home ‘keeper much to do.
The home side started the second half brightly with two early corners but Vale defended stoutly, as they had during the opening forty five minutes.
The referee spoke to Oxford’s Josh Parker and Vale’s Daniel Jones after the two of the clashed near to the halfway line and booked the pair of them.
Vale began to get on top again and Ryan Burge went close to putting his side ahead but his chipped shot was touched onto the crossbar by McCormick and out for a corner kick.
Vale were beginning to exert some pressure on the Oxford goal and Burge went close again, his dipping 20 yard effort dropping just over the bar.
Vale made a double substitution with twenty minutes to go. On came Louis Dodds and Lee Hughes for Ben Williamson and Calvin Andrew.
Tom Pope sliced the ball over his own crossbar as Vale were put under pressure with a quarter of an hour of the game remaining.
GOAL:From the resulting corner kick the home side restored their lead when DEANE SMALLEY drove the ball through a crowd of bodies and under a diving Chris Neal from 8 yards.
The home side were awarded a penalty when Ryan Burge was adjudged to have fouled Liam Davis inside the area but CHRIS NEAL went low to his right to keep out Sean Rigg’s spot kick.
Vale made their third and final substitution in the 86th minute with Sam Morsy replacing Ryan Burge.