Saturday 2nd November 2013
Swindon Town v Port Vale
At The County Ground
7,637 including 329 visiting supporters
Wes Fofferingham, Nathan Thompson, Nathan Byrne, Massimo Luongo, Grant Hall, Ryan Mason, Nile Ranger, Alex Pritchard, Dany N'Guessan, Jay Mceveley, Darren Ward. SUBS: Tyrell Belford, Louis Thompson, Jack Barthram, Lee Cox, Raphael Rossi-Branco, Nicky Ajose, Mohamed Elgabas
Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Chris Robertson, Carl Dickinson, Liam Chilvers, Doug Loft,Tom Pope, Chris Lines, Ben Williamson, Anthony Griffith. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Daniel Jones, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Richard Duffy, Chris Birchall, Lee Hughes, Jordan Hugill.
Vale made just the one change for the trip to Swindon Town, with Tom Pope returning to the starting line-up after coming on as a substitute against Gillingham and scoring the winning goal - Jordan Hugill had to settle for a place on the bench.
Vale started well, playing with the wind in their faces and went close to taking the lead in the 8th minute when Pope fired into the side-netting.
A strong, blustery wind made conditions difficult for both sides whenever the ball was played in the air, but it didn’t stop Vale from having a go at their hosts.
The home side were having to soak up a spell of pressure from the Valiants, but went close themselves in the 19th minute when Chris Neal got down well to keep out a low drive from Ryan Mason.
GOAL:It was the home side who struck first despite all of Vale’s hard work, when DANY N’GUESSAN met a free kick from Jay Mceverley with a back post header to nod the Robins in front.
But for the ever-alert Neal in the Vale goal the home side could have doubled their lead four minutes later when N’Guessan gave Laim Chivers the slip, but the Vale ‘keeper came swiftly off his line to block.
Vale continued to press up the field but with little reward. The were managing to push the home side back, but lacked the necessary quality in the final third.
Tom Pope got his head to the ball under pressure and the ball dropped straight back down, with the Vale striker trying his luck with a volley, but sadly it flew the wrong side of the upright.
Carl Dickinson picked up a yellow card for a rash challenge in Swindon defender Nathan Thompson on the halfway line in the 43rd minute.
Vale skipper Doug Loft got a ticking off from the referee for a challenge on the same player just moments later, but he escaped a booking.
GOAL:Swindon started the second half the stronger of the two sides after the interval and doubled their lead in the 50th minute when NILE RANGER converted from close range.
In their previous two visits to the County Ground Vale had been beaten 6-0 and 5-0 – they needed to settle things down quickly if they were to avoid a similar scoreline.
Vale were looking vulnerable early in the second half and the Robins understandably had their tails up and were looking for a quick third goal to see off Vale’s challenge.
GOAL:Unfortunately from a Vale point of view, the third goal came as early as the 56th minute when Thompson slipped the ball back to MASSIMO LUONGO, who switched to his left foot and drove a 20 yard shot past the unfortunate Neal in the Vale goal.
Vale responded with a triple substitution on the 59th minute. Off went Carl Dickinson, Anthony Griffith and Chris Lines, with Daniel Jones, Lee Hughes and Jennison Myrie-Williams all coming off the bench.
Lee Hughes was involved in an incident in the Swindon dugout, earning himself a yellow card – Swindon’s Frazer Digby was sent to the stand after being involved in the same incident.
GOAL:Vale managed to pull a goal back in the 73rd minute when the ball was slipped through for TOM POPE. The Vale striker still had everything to do, but kept his head to slide the ball past the advancing Wes Fodderingham.
GOAL:Vale’s never-say-die attitude was rewarded again in the 80th minute when the home side failed to clear and LEE HUGHES took full advantage to sweep home from close range to give Vale some hope of getting something from the game.
GOAL:But the home side his back almost immediately with a superb angled drive from NATHAN BYRNE which gave Chris Neal absolutely no chance of saving.
GOAL:Swindon completed Vale’s misery in stoppage time when MASSIMO LUONGO beat Chris Neal at his near post, slamming the ball home from close range.