Thursday 26th December 2013
Port Vale v Notts CountyAt Vale Park
Attendance: 7,028 including 811 visiting supporters
PORT VALE:Sam Johnson, Adam Yates, Chris Robertson, Richard Duffy, Carl Dickinson, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Anthony Griffith, Doug Loft, Gavin Tomlin, Lee Hughes, Tom Pope. SUBS: Ryan Boot, Chris Shuker, Ben Wiliamson, Liam Chilvers, Louis Dodds, Jordan Hugill, Chris Birchall
NOTTS COUNTY:Bartosz Bialkowski, Mustaphe Dumbuya, Alan Sheehan, Dean Leacock, Jack Grealish, Callum McGregor, Ronan Murray, Jamal Campbell-Rice, Mark Fotheringham, Andre Boucaud, Morgan Fox. SUBS: Manny Smith, Enoch Showunmi, Danny Haynes, Curtis Thompson, Greg Tempest, Haydn Hollis, Kevin Pilkington
Vale got themselves three important points against a resurgent Notts County side on Boxing Day with a hot and cold performance against the Magpies.
It was a game of two penalties for the Valiants – Jennison Myrie-Williams giving Micky Adams’ men the lead from the spot in the 24th minute and Gaving Tomlin securing the three points in a similar manner after Ronan Murray had levelled the scores for the visitors.
Micky Adams made four changes to the starting eleven to face Notts County, one enforced due to Chris Lines’ suspension after picking up his fifth booking of the season at MK Dons.
Lines sat it out in the stands while the injured Daniel Jones also sat the injured Daniel Jones sat it out. Chris Birchall and Liam Chilvers were on the bench.
Into the starting eleven came Lee Hughes to face his former club, Anthony Griffith and both Doug Loft and Adam Yates returned from injury.
Vale started the game on the front foot, looking dangerous when they pushed forward and more than competent when defending.
The first real chance fell to the visitors, however, when Morgan Fox got behind the Vale defence to meet a free kick from Callum McGregor, but with the goal at his mercy headed over the bar.
Despite all of their possession in County’s half of the pitch, Vale couldn’t find the necessary penetration and looked like they could quite easily fall foul to the counter attack.
When the visitors managed to get forward they got men in support very quickly and looked like they could cause problems for the Valiants.
GOAL:Vale finally got the breakthrough they had been threatening when the referee spotted a handball inside the box and JENNISON MYRIE-WILLIAMS sent Bartosz Bialkowski the wrong way from the spot to give Vale a 24th minute lead.
To their credit, the visitors continued to plug away. They played some nice passing football to peg Vale back for spells, they just lacked that bit of luck in front of goal to pull themselves level.
It was Vale who went closest to scoring though, when Gavin Tomlin hled up the ball waiting for support and touched the ball back for Dickinson, who had sprinted up to lend a hand.
The Vale full back struck a low 25 yard shot which had Bialkowski beaten, but then watched in anguish as the ball rolled inches wide of the ‘keeper’s left hand post.
GOAL:It was the visitors who struck next, however, when RONAN MURRAY hit a fierce 20 yard effort which Sam Johnson got a hand to, put couldn’t prevent from
Despite Vale’s opening ten minutes, they had dropped their standards a little during the rest of the first half and needed to pick things up in the second forty five minutes.
Yet Vale continued to look second best to a County side who appeared to have more hunger for the game, who looked livelier in attack and who moved the ball about better.
Vale needed something different if they were going to go on and win the game and in the b64th minute the Valiants made a double substitution.
Chris Shuker came on for Jennison Myrie-Williams and Ben Williamson came on for Lee Hughes, who received a warm round of applause from both sets of supporters.
Vale looked like they might regain their lead when Tomlin was played in by Williamson but the Magpies’ ‘keeper was quick off his line to narrow the angles and the opportunity was gone.
Vale gradually began to get back on top and almost went back in front with a 15 yard effort from Tomlin which the ‘keeper did really well to save.
Two minutes later Tomlin did well again, this time opting to square the ball to Tom Pope for a shot on goal, but the Vale striker could only lift his shot over the bar.
GOAL:Vale finally got their rewards when GAVIN TOMLIN was upended in the box in the 79th minute and the same player smashed the spot kick home, via the left upright.
Vale made their final substitution of the game in stoppage time with Tomlin Replaced by Louis Dodds.