Saturday 31st August 2013
Port Vale v Wolverhampton WanderersAt Vale Park
Attendance: 12,601 including 4,461 visiting supporters
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Chris Robertson, Carl Dickinson, Daniel Jones, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Chris Lines, Anthony Griffith, Doug Loft, Lee Hughes, Tom Pope. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Louis Dodds, Chris Shuker, Ben Williamson, Kaid Mohamed, Ruchard Duffy, Chris Birchall
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS: Carl Ikeme, Matt Doherty, Richard Stearman, Danny Batth, David Davis, Leigh Griffiths, Kevin McDonald, Sam Ricketts, Zeli Ismail, Scott Golbourne, Kevin Doyle. SUBS: George Elokobi, Anthony Forbe, Lee Evans, Bjorn Sigurdarson, Jake Cassidy, Jack Price, Aaron McCarey
Vale were beaten at home by a decent Wolves outfit who showed their class on the ball, but Vale gave everything and played their part in an entertaining game.
The teams went in all-square at half time, but Wolves then showed their class to open up a three-goal lead, before Tom Pope broke his duck, netting a consolation goal for the Valiants in stoppage time.
Micky Adams made just the one change to the side which disappointed at Oldham in their previous match – in came Anthony Griffith to bring in a touch of steel to the Vale midfield, whilst winger Kaid Mohamed had to settle with a place on the bench.
In an even start to the game, it was the visitors who had the first real opportunity when A right wing corner from Leigh Griffiths was met by a tame header from Matt Doherty.
Vale were giving as much as they got andthe home defence was almost breached when Jennison Myrie-Williams picked the ball up inside his own half and ran the length of the pitch.
With an eye on Lee Hughes, the two rearguard Wolves defender back tracked and allowed the Vale winger to get in a shot.
Although the shot lacked sufficient power to do an real damage, it took Wolves ‘keeper Carl Ikeme to attempts to get hold of the ball.
Anthony Griifith looked to be enjoying his return to the Vale starting eleven, adding some much-needed grit to the Vale midfield.
In the 23rd minute Vale won a free kick following a foul on Lee Hughes by Richard Stearman. Chris Lines took the set piece quickly and Tom Pope got up well, but headed over the bar.
Val made their first change on the half hour when Richard Duffy came off the bench to replace Daniel Jones, who had earlier picked up a knock.
Duffy immediately slotted in at right back, with Adam Yates switching over to the left to fill the space vacated by Jones.
The visitors made a substitution of their own in the 44th minute when a limping Scott Golbourne was replaced by Lee Evans.
Leigh Griffiths missed a gilt-edged opportunity for the visitors less than 30 seconds into the second half when the ball dropped to him a little unexpectedly and he could only prod wide of the target from a couple of yards out.
Vale were forced to soak up a spell of pressure in the opening minutes of the second half as Wanderers looked for an early goal.
GOAL: They got it in the 56th minute when LEIGH GRIIFITHS took full advantage of a slip by Carl Dickinson to crack the ball past Chris Neal with some force.
Vale almost hit back on the hour when Doug Loft met a left wing cross from Adam Yates with a powerful header, which struck the base of the upright with Ikeme at full stretch.
The home side began to pile forward, putting the visitors on the back foot, then Micky Adams sent on Ben Williamson in place of Lee Hughes to freshen things up.
Vale defender Carl Dickinson was denied an equaliser when he hit a thunderous 20 yard effort that had ‘goal’ written all over it, but Ikeme was its equal, reacting brilliantly to save underneath his crossbar.
In the 70th minute Vale made their second change when Jennison Myrie-Williams made way for Louis Dodds, with Vale still enjoying much of the attacking play.
GOAL: Against the run of play somewhat, the visitors doubled their lead in the 75th minute when a low cross from Griffiths on the right was swept home at the near post by substitute BJORN SIGURDARSON.
It was a huge blow to the Valiants, who had looked like they may get something out of the game, but things were to get even worse eight minutes later.
GOAL: Leigh Griffiths slotted the ball through for Sigurdarson to latch on to on the right, he then cut inside and played a simple square ball for KEVIN McDONALD to slot home from close range.
Just as the game went into time added on, Ben Williamson almost snatched a goal back for Vale when he turned sharply on the Vale box. His shot beat Ikeme but came back off the post.
GOAL: A minute later TOM POPE finally got his first goal of the season when he got up at the far post to meet a right wing cross from Chris Lines to nod the ball over the line.