Saturday 5th October 2013
Port Vale v Bristol CityAt Vale Park
Attendance: 6,275 including 413 visiting supporters
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Chris Robertson, Liam Chilvers, Carl Dickinson, Anthony Griffith, Chris Lines,Chris Birchall, Doug Loft,Ben Williamson, Tom Pope. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Daniel Jones, Lee Hughes, Kaid Mohamed, Richard Duffy, Jennison Myrie-Williams,Louis Dodds
BRISTOL CITY: Elliott Parish, Brendan Moloney, Derrick Williams, Aden Flint, Sam Baldock, Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Scott Wagstaff, Bobby Reid, Joe Bryan, Marlon Pack, Nicky Shorey. SUBS: Marlon Harewood, Frank Fielding, Ryan Taylor, Stephen McLaughlin, Greg Cunningham, Marvin Elliott, Lewis Dunk.
Vale snatched a point from the jaws of defeat thanks to a 90th minute equaliser from veteran striker Lee Hughes, just when it looked like a defeat was inevitable.
Scott Wagstaff had given the visitors a 55th minute lead and Vale, below par during the second half, looked like they had run out of ideas until Hughes showed how it should be done late on in the game.
Rob Page elected to stick with the same starting eleven that did so well the previous week at Tranmere, despite the return to fitness of Daniel Jones, who had to settle for a place on the bench.
After winning four of their previous five games in all competitions, the Vale players were keen to extend that run, especially as Manager Micky Adams - supported by crutches – was present and casting a watching eye over proceedings.
Vale had the visitors pegged back deep inside their own half for much of the opening five minutes, but then City proved they had not come to sit back and take it on the chin.
Wagstaff fired wide, taking a knock in the process and the Vale defence were at times looking a little shaky as City attacked with purpose.
Ben Williamson did well to rob Moloney on the byeline but could only manage to drive the ball into the side-netting, then moments later Chris Lines fired wide after running straight at the visitors’ defence.
Vale looked good going forward, but then so did the visitors and it was difficult to fathon out why they had failed to get themselves a league win coming into the game.
They looked organised and every time they went forward seemed like they were well capable of causing Vale problems with the intensity of their play.
Indeed it was Bristol who went closest to taking the lead when, in the 38th minute, Baldock struck Chris Neal’s right hand upright and the Vale ‘keeper had to be alert, making two good saves shortly afterwards.
In first half stoppage time Jay Emmanuel Thomas forced a superb save from Chris Neal and when Joe Bryan latched of to the loose ball to hit a fierce drive, Vale were a little fortunate it took a deflection to take it over the Vale crossbar.
Vale had looked increasingly vulnerable to the visitors’ forays as the first half wore on and were perhaps the more relieved of the two sides to hear the referee signal the end of the opening forty –five minutes.
GOAL:Emmanuel Thomas continued to be a nuisance and in the 55th minute the ball ran off him to Scott Wagstaff, who caught everybody unawares and he gratefully slammed the ball past Chris Neal and into the net.
Vale responded by making their first substitution two minutes later. Jennison Myrie-Williams - a former Bristol City player – replaced Chris Birchall.
Chris Lines forced Bristol ‘keeper Parish down quickly to save his 25 yard effort, but still Vale were not doing enough, with the visitors dominating the play.
In the 66th minute Vale made a double substitution as they looked to get back into the game. Kaid Mohamed replaced Anthony Griffith and Lee Hughes came on for Ben Williamson.
Still Vale were forced back as the visitors went looking for a second goal to seal the three points, with the home side offering little in response.
The visitors were, understandably, quite willing to slow play down and keep possession inside the Vale half and it seemed Vale could do very little about it.
GOAL:But in the 90th minute they grabbed an equaliser from nowhere when Lee Hughes latched on to a back pass from Aden Flint, rounded the ‘keeper then calmly rolled the ball into the net.