Sunday 18th January 2014
Port Vale v Oldham AthleticAt Vale Park
Attendance: including visiting supporters
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Jack Grimmer, Chris Robertson, Joe Davis, Carl Dickinson, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Flo Cuvelier, Anthony Griffith, Doug Loft, Ben Williamson, Tom Pope. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Chris Shuker, Jordan Hugill, Ryan Lloyd, Louis Dodds, Adam Yates, Chris Biirchall
OLDHAM ATHLETIC: Mark Oxley, Jonathan Grounds, James Wesolowski, Genseric Kusunga, James Tarkowski, Korey Smith, Charlie McDonald, David Melloer, James Dayton, Danny Philliskirk, Gary Harkins SUBS: Adam Rooney, Jonson Clarke Harris, Carl Winchester, Adam Lockwood, Michael Petrasso, Davis Worrall, Paul Rachubka
Jack Grimmer marked his home debut with the only goal of the game as Vale managed to see off the challenge of a gritty Oldham Athletic side to take the three points at Vale Park.
Jennison Myrie-Williams missed the opportunity to double Vale’s lead when his second half spot kick was saved by Latics’ ‘keeper Mark Oxley and despite a late rally by the visitors, Vale managed to keep them out.
Vale’s joy was spoiled slightly, however, when new loan signing Flo Cuvelier was taken off on a stretcher during the first half, and defender Carl Dickinson picked up his tenth yellow card of the season and now faces a ban.
As expected, Micky Adams made changes for the visit of Oldham Athletic as Vale looked to avenge a defeat at Boundary Park back in August.
In came new loan signing Flo Cuvelier in midfield, replacing the suspended Chris Lines and the game saw the return of Joe Davis in the heart of the defence and Jack Grimmer at full back.
The inclusion of Cuvelier and Grimmer mean both Adam Yates and Louis Dodds had to be content with a place on the Vale bench.
Although Vale were having the better of the opening exchanges, with Cuvelier impressing in the middle of the first half, it was the visitors who came closest to breaking the deadlock early on.
James Wesloski’s cross from the left hand side dropped lat and Chris Neal had to make sure by touching the ball over his crossbar at the expense of a corner.
Ben Williamson made time and room for himself at the other end and managed to get a shot in from the edge of the 18 yard box, but fired high over the crossbar.
Jack Grimmer and Jennison Myrie-Williams combined well on the right flank for the latter to send in a low cross but Williamson’s shot from inside the box was gathered comfortably by Mark Oxley in the Oldham goal.
Vale were certainly not having things all their way though, with the bale switching from one end to the other in quick succession, though Chris Neal was hardly troubled.
Vale went their closest yet midway through the first half after a fantastic determined run down the right by Grimmer – he pulled the ball back for Tom Pope to stroke home, but a visiting defender managed to get a foot in and Vale had to settle for a corner kick.
Vale had ‘keeper Chris Neal to thank when the ‘keeper raced off his line to avert the danger after James Dayton got through, courtesy of a lucky bounce but couldn’t get to the ball before the Vale stopper.
Vale were forced to make a change when new loan signing Flo Cuvelier appeared to twist his knee and was stretchered off and replaced by Chris Shuker in the 36th minute.
Jennison Myrie-Williams was cautioned, presumably for diving after he went down inside the Oldham penalty area and he was soon joined in the referee’s notebook by Joe Davis who was booked for a mis-timed tackle.
Vale had a scare when there was an almighty scramble in front of Chris Neal’s goal, but Vale eventually managed to clear, with Grimmer going on a surging run down the middle before being halted, fairly, in the opinion of the match officials.
GOAL:Vale finally got the breakthrough they were looking for in the 52nd minute when a corner from the right taken by Chris Shuker was met with a near post from JACK GRIMMER and the deadlock was broken.
Vale had the perfect opportunity to double their lead in the 65th minute when Dayton tripped Tom Pope inside the box and the referee pointed straight to the penalty spot
Jennison Myre-Williams spotted the ball and hit it hard to Oxley’s right, but it was at a nice height for the Oldham ‘keeper and he guessed correctly to make the save.
Moments later Carl Dickinson picked up his tenth yellow card of the season and he will noiw be suspended for Vale’s next two matches, Brighton at home in the FA Cup and against Crawley the following Tuesday night.
Vale made a change in the 73rd minute when Jordan Hugill came off the bench to take the place of Tom Pope in the Vale attack.
And six minutes later Vale made their third and final substitution with Chris Birchall coming on to replace Jennison Myrie-Williams on the right.
Vale hardly looked like increasing their lead as Oldham pressed for an equaliser, the home side perhaps guilty of sitting back and inviting the visitors on to them.
The home side had Chris Neal to thank when the Vale ‘keeper pulled off a superb save in the 86th minute with Vale looking more than a little ragged.