Saturday 3rd May 2014
Peterborough United v Port Vale
At London Road
PETERBOROUGH UNITED:Bobby Olejnik, Craig Alcock, Jack Baldwin, Grant McCann, Kyle Vassell, Jermaine Anderson, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Nathaniel Kinight-Percival, Ricardo Santos, Josh McQuoid, Lloyd Isgrove. SUBS: Joe Day, Shaun Brisley, Michael Bostwick, Danny Swanson, Jow Newell, Tom Conlon, Robert Duggan.
PORT VALE: Sam Johnson, Adam Yates, Chris Robertson, Richard Duffy, Carl Dickinson, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Chris Lines, Billy Knott, Louis Dodds, Gavin Tomlin, Ben Williamson. SUBS: Chris Shuker, Ryan Lloyd, Chris Birchall, Nathan Smith, Jordan Hugill.
Vale finished off the season with a well deserved point against Peterborough United, in a game where they easily matched their hosts.
Micky Adams made just the one change to the Vale starting eleven for the trip to London Road, Gavin Tomlin coming in to take up Anthony Griffith's place against a Peterborough side with eight changes.
Although Posh boss Darren Ferguson had made a large number of changes, that didn’t necessarily make Vale’s job any easier, with shirts up for grabs in Peterborough’s play-off games presumably up for grabs.
The home side began strongly enough, Josh McQoid firing wide in the second minute and then a couple of minute later a strong run by Mendez-Laing coming to nothing when Richard Duffy cleared.
Jennison Myrie-Williams cut inside at the other end to show Vale could also pose a threat, with a firm left foot shot from the edge of the area which Posh goalkeeper and Player of the Year Bobby Olejnk held firmly.
A dipping shot from Louis Dodds from just outside the area wasn’t too far off the target, dropping a little too late to cause the 'keeper any real problems.
The atmosphere inside the ground had a distinct end of the season feel to it, though that wasn’t reflected on the field of play, with both sets of players working hard.
Gavin Tomlin had the ball in the Peterborough net following good work from Dodds and Dickinson, but the whistle had already blown for an infringement.
Posh skipper Grant McCann went close at the other end with a 25 yard free kick that dropped just over Sam Johnson’s crossbar.
Sam Johnson then made a point blank save to deny Kyle Vassell after the Peterborough striker had found space inside the Vale box and had looked odds on to hit the opener.
Vale threatened to hit back five minutes before half time when Dodds turned sharply fifteen yards from goal to shoot, but again the ball cleared the crossbar.
Vale made their first substitution a minute later when a limping Gavin Tomlin was taken off and Jordan Hugill sent on in his place.
There was still time for the home side to make their mark when McQuoid hit a 12 yard volley over the crossbar in first half stoppage time.
The home side almost had the perfect start to the second half when an angled snapshot flew over Sam Johnson, but thankfully over his crossbar too.
The introduction of both Newell and Swanson at half time seemed to put a bit of spark into the home side and both Anderson and McQuoid had shots deflected for a corner.
Vale were coming under increasing pressure in the early stages of the second half with Darren Ferguson urging his men forward at every opportunity.
Vale made their second change on 64 minutes, Chris Birchall coming off the bench to replace Louis Dodds.
Chris Shuker got a great reception from the Vale supporters in the crowd when he came off the bench to replace Jennison Myrie-Williams for his first game since announcing his retirement, and his final appearance as a professional football.
Vale were still creating half chances but they were not clinical enough to capitalise and several chances went begging.