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21:35 12th March 2013
By  Dave Johnson

Vale 'outgassed' at Bristol

Tuesdayday 12th March 2013
Bristol Rovers v Port Vale
League Two

At The Memorial Stadium
Attendance: 5,111 including 203 visiting supporters

BRISTOL ROVERS: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Tom Parkes, Danny Woodards, Lee Brown, Jim Paterson, Ollie Norburn, John-Joe O'Toole, Ellis Harrison, Ellot, Richards, Ryan Brunt.
SUBS: Conor Gough, Mitch Harding, Jordan Goddard, Ollie Clarke, Tom Hitchcock, Tom Lockyer, Oumare Tounkara

PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Richard Duffy, John McCombe, Liam Chilvers, Adam Yates, Chris Birchall, Sam Morsy, Anthony Griffith, Rob Taylor, Ben Williamson, Tom Pope
SUBS: Ryan Boot, Louis Dodds, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Ashley Vincent, Chris Shuker, Calvin Andrew, Lee Hughes,

Vale made three changes to the starting eleven for the game at the Memorial Ground. In came Chris Birchall, Adam Yates and Ben Williamson.

Lee Hughes dropped to the bench, where he was joined by Chris Shuker, whilst defender Darren Purse didn’t travel.

Vale lined up in a 3-5-2 formation with a back three of Duffy, McCombe and Chilvers, the five in the middle being Yates, Birchall, Griffith, Morsy and Taylor and a front two of Williamson and Pope.

The home side twice went close in the opening minutes with a Ryan Brunt header and a shot from Jim Paterson which was dragged just wide.

GOAL: The home side took the lead after seven minutes when RYAN BRUNT met a right wing corner from Ellis Harrison at the back post and headed past Chris Neal.

Chris Birchall had an opportunity to level two minutes later but his close range effort flew over the crossbar.

Vale were having plenty of the ball inside the Rovers half, but couldn’t quite find the cutting edge necessary to make a difference.

There was no denying Vale’s territorial advantage, but neither was there any denying their inability to test Steve Mildenhall in the Rovers’ goal.

GOAL: Things got worse for the Vale in the 38th minute when RYAN BRUNT grabbed his and Rovers’ second goal of the game when he hit a near post volley past Neal from twelve yards.

Vale went close to pulling a goal back in the 42nd minute, but was leaning back when he met Sam Morsy’s free kick from the right and could only manage to head over the bar.

Rovers almost increased their lead in the 48th minute, but for a superb fingertip save from Chris Neal, who touched Harrison’s effort from the edge of the box over his crossbar.

Vale were again having plenty of the ball inside the Rovers’ half, but lacked the quality required to test Gas ‘keeper Mildenhall.

Vale made a double change in the 65th minute with Lee Hughes and Calvin Andrew coming on for Pope and Wiliamson.

Brunt wasted a golden opportunity to claim his hat-trick when Neal allowed a long range effort from Norburn to come off his chest and Brunt blazed over the bar from close range with all the time in the world.

A minute later Vale made their third and final substitution when Ashley Vincent came on for Richard Duffy.

Vincent was soon in trouble, going down inside the 6 yard box in the 79th minute and after lengthy treatment he was eventually stretchered off.

Any slight hopes of a Vale comeback were even more remote from that moment on as Vale struggled to make their mark in the final few minutes of the game.


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.