Thursday 24th January 2013
AFC Wimbledon v Port Vale
At The Cherry Red Records Stadium
Attendance:3,395 including 208 visiting supporters
AFC WIMBLEDON: Neil Sullivan, Jim Fenton, Chris Hussey, Peter Sweeney, Pim Balestein, Mat Mitchel-King, Toby Ajala, Jonathan Meades, Paul McCallum, Luke Moore, Jack Midson
SUBS: Warren Cummings, Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz, Sammy Moore, Stacy Long, Byron Harrison, Jason Prior, Rashid Yussuff
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Richard Duffy, Darren Purse, Liam Chilvers, Daniel Jones, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Ryan Burge, Doug Loft, Ashley Vincent, Lee Hughes, Tom Pope.
SUBS: Sam Johnson, Adam Yates, Chris Shuker, Calvin Andrew, Ben Williamson, Chris Birchall, Sam Morsy.
Daniel Jones came straight into the Vale starting eleven in place of Adam Yates, who was perhaps a little unfortunate to lose his place, given his recent performances.
Assistant Manager Mark Grew explained the decision as a tactical move, primarily to help combat the home side’s strength at set pieces.
Vale attacked right from the off but were soon pinned back by the home side, who went close with a 20 yard effort from Jonathan Meades.
GOAL:Less than a minute later the home side took the lead when an unmarked JACK MIDSON received the ball on the edge of the box and slotted the ball past Chris Neal for the opener.
Ryan Burge showed great determination to win back the ball on the right touchline before cutting inside. His shot was well saved by Neil Sullivan and Ashley Vincent’s snatched shot from the loose ball flew over the crossbar.
Vale were by now back on top, but needed to be patient if they were to produce a fourth consecutive away victory.
Richard Duffy tried his luck after Jennison Myrie-Williams pulled the ball back from the right but although he struck the ball with some power, it was straight at Sullivan.
Vale were pressing high up the pitch for long spells but seemed to lack the quality required to make their possession count.
/Vale’s inability to turn their possession into goals was punished in the 42nd minute when they conceded a penalty after Liam Cilvers fouled Pim Balkestein inside the box.
GOAL:JACK MIDSON placed the ball on the penalty spot and blasted the ball past Chris Neal to extend the home side’s lead.
GOAL:A minute later Vale pulled a goal back when out of the blue, debutant DANIEL JONES hit a 35 yard screamer through a sea of bodies into the Wimbledon net.
Tom Pope almost levelled the scores early in the second half when he met a right wing cross from Richard Duffy with a stooping header, forcing a fine save from Sullivan.
GOAL:In the 51st minute TOM POPE scored his 27th of the season with a goal out of nothing. He ran in to intercept a back pass, touched it around the ‘keeper whilst falling and somehow hooked the ball into the net from a tight angle.
Vale began to look like a top of the table side, creating chances which with a little bit of luck would have been converted.
Vale made a double substitution in the 75th minute when Calvin Andrew and Ben Williamson were sent on to replace Ashley Vincent and Lee Hughes.
In the 83rd minute Sam Morsy replaced Doug Loft, no doubt to ensure the Vale skipper didn’t pick up a second booking after going close just moments later.
A stinging free kick from Myrie-Williams looking to be heading for the back of the net but Sullivan produced an excellent save to keep out the Vale winger in the 87th minute of the game.
Despite a late rally from the Valiants, they just could not fins the all important third goal do sew up the points and in the end had to settle for a draw.