Tuesday 5th March 2013
Port Vale v Bradford City
At Vale Park
Attendance:4,281 including 313 visiting supporters
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Anthony Griffith, Darren Purse, Doug Loft, Louis Dodds, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Ashley Vincent, Tom Pope, Richard Duffy, Liam Chilvers, Daniel Jones.
SUBS: John McCombe, Chris Shuker, Calvin Andrew, Sam Morsy, Ben Williamson, Chris Birchall, Lee Hughes.
BRADFORD CITY: Jon McLaughlin, Stephen Darby, Ricky Ravenhill, James Hanson, Garry Thompson, Will Atkinson, Carl McHugh, Gary Jones, Zavon Hines, Michael Nelson, Rory McArdle.
SUBS: Matt Duke, Andrew Davies, Kyel Reid, Andy Gray, Alan Connell, Nahki Wells, Nathan Doyle.
Micky Adams had hinted before the game he may ring the changes and he did just that with four new faces to the Vale starting line-up.
In came Anthony Griffith, Louis Dodds, Ashley Vincent and Liam Chilvers. Ryan Burge misses out with illness, while John McCombe, Calvin Andrew and Ben Williamson all had to make to with a place on the bench.
Anthony Griffith picked up an early yellow card as he made the visitors more than aware of his return to Vale Park.
As had been expected, the game was open right from the kick off with Bradford looking for three points to help their play-off ambitions.
That’s not to say the visitors were having it all their own way though – far from it, but it obviously prevented the home side from going all out attack as they had defensive duties to take care of.
Perhaps Vale two previous home performances were the reason, after two home defeats, but the team and the supporters alike seemed a little nervous when the visitors pushed forward.
Louis Dodds was a little unfortunate not to put Vale in front in the 27th minute when his shot on the turn took a wicked deflection and Vale had to settle for a corner kick.
Jennison Myrie-Williams took the flag kick from the left and up rose Tom Pope, high above the Bradford defence, to send a glancing header inches wide of the back post.
Vale were by now coming more and more into the game and it was Bradford’s turn to pack their defence in response as Vale went looking for the opening goal.
Pope went close again moments later when Darren Purse got up to meet a left wing cross from Myrie-Williams and the Vale striker reacted quickly to get his head on the ball, only for McLaughlin to somehow turn it around the post.
Vale finished off the first half the better of the two sides but on saying that they didn’t give McLaughlin in the Bradford goal much to do.
Chris Neal had to be at his best early on in the second half Carl McHugh’s left wing cross was met by the head of James Hanson, but the Vale ‘keeper reacted sharply to touch his close range header over the bar.
At the other end McLaughlin managed to block a shot from Ashley Vincent and Tom Pope couldn’t quite get enough on the loose ball to do any damage.
Play switched back to the other end where Bradford began to pile on the pressure and Richard Duffy was twice called upon to clear off the line in a matter of seconds.
Louis Dodds went close for the home side when he flicked the ball over his shoulder, turned and hit a volley just over the Bradford crossbar.
Tom Pope met a right wing cross from Vincent with a firm header on 75 minutes but watched as the ball flew just wide of the target.
Vale made a change in the 78th minute when Sam Morsy replaced winger Ashley Vincent and eight minutes later Lee Hughes came on to replace Vale’s other winger, Jennison Myrie-Williams.
Vale made their third substitution in stoppage time when Calvin Andrew came on to replace Louis Dodds.
Three minutes into stoppage time Vale were reduced to ten men when skipper Doug Loft was adjudged to have gone over the ball for a tackle and was shown a straight red card.