Saturday 8th March 2014
Port Vale v Carlisle UnitedAt Vale Park
Attendance: 5009 including 370 visiting supporters
PORT VALE:Chris Neal, Jack Grimmer, Chris Robertson, Richard Duffy, Carl Dickinson, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Anthony Griffith, Doug Loft, Chris Birchall, Ben Williamson, Tom Pope. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Louis Dodds, Daniel Jones, Chris Lines, Billy Knott, Chris Shuker, Jordan Hugill
CARLISLE UNITED: Jordan Pickford, Chris Chantler, David Amoo, Liam Noble, Lee Miller, Brad Potts, David Aymington, James Berrett, Danny Redmond, Courtney Meppen-Walter, Pascal Chimbonda. SUBS: Mike Edwards, Greg Fleming, Sam Byrne, Jack Lynch, Pat Brough, Lewis Guy, Nacho Novo
Vale came from behind the take all three points and end their recent bad run with second half goals from Ben Williamson and Tom Pope.
The visitors were in front at half time after Courtney Meppen-Walter struck with a 35th minute header and looked like they may double their lead, but for some good goalkeeping from Chris Neal.
But Vale finally came good with two goals inside four minutes and over the ninety minutes deserved their victory, moving a step closer to their fifty-two point target.
Micky Adams made four changes to the starting line-up for the visit of Carlisle United for a game Vale desperately needed to win to end their recent disappointing run.
Daniel Jones, Louis Dodds, Billy Knott and Chris Lines all had to settle for a place on the Vale bench and in came Chris Birchall, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Anthony Griffith and Ben Williamson.
Vale were the dominant force in the opening minutes of the game and went close when a close range header from Jennison Myrie-Williams was pushed away for a corner kick.
Moments later Vale wre awarded afree kick when Ben Williamson was upended right on the edge of the box, but Myrie-Williams’ effort was blocked and the chance came to nothing.
Vale continued to press and were looking menacing at times and ought to have gone in front when Ben Williamson got up to meet a right wing cross from Jack Grimmer, but couldn’t keep his header down.
Anthony Griffith did well to win the ball, turn and take a shot at goal, but there wasn’t enough n in to trouble Carlisle ‘keeper Jordan Pickford.
Liam Noble shot high over the crossbar from 25 yards in a rare attack for the visitors, who were more than willing to run at Vale when presented with the opportunity to do so.
Vale impressed when going forward, but lacked the cutting edge where it really mattered in the final third of the pitch.
Carlisle began to cause a few problems of their won and had the best chance of the game so far in the 78th minute when the Vale defence looked in tatters as the visitors weaved in and out almost at will.
The ball was quickly knocked in to the feet of Lee Miller, whose snapshot was turned away from a corner by Vale ‘keeper Chris Neal.
GOAL:Two minutes later the Cumbrians were in front when a free kick by James Berrett on the right was floated over everyone and COURTNEY MEPPEN-WALTER got a firm header on it to put the visitors in front.
Although Val came out of the traps brightly at the start of the second half, it was the visitors who soon got on top and they looked like they may be about to turn the screw.
Two terrific reaction saves from Chris Neal kept them at bay to keep Vale in the game and soon afterwards the value of those saves became apparent.
GOAL:Vale got themselves on level terms when BEN WILLIAMSON turned sharply inside the box to fire past Pickford in the Carlisle goal and Vale’s confidence seemed to flood back.
Three minutes later Vale were denied by the post when a back post header from Myrie-Williams struck the woodwork before being gratefully cleared.
GOAL:But there was to be no denying Vale a second goal and in the 60th minute TOM POPE duly obliged, sending a firm 12 yard header into the net to put Vale in front.
It was now up to Vale to show their defensive qualities as a team, something they hadn’t done too well in their previous handful of games.
That is not to say Vale were going to sit back and defend their narrow lead, far from it. They continued to press for a third goal and almost got it in the 77th minute.
Chris Birchall collected the ball on the right and spotted Pope looming dangerously towards the back post and picked him out with a floating cross.
Pope got up well to direct a header at goal from a narrow angle but Pickford managed to get the slightest of touches onto it and the ball went out for a corner, via the frame of the goal.
Vale made two substitutions late in the game. Chris Shuker came on for Chris Birchall in the 83rd minute and three minutes later Billy Knott replaced Ben Williamson.