Saturday 16th March 2014
Coventry City v Port ValeAt The Sixfields Stadium
Attendance: 1,627 including 345 visiting supporters
Joe Murphy, Cyrus Christie, Blair Adams, Conor Thomas, John Fleck, Carl Baker, Chuba Akpom, Jordan Willis, Callum Wilson, Jordan Clarke, Michael Petrasso SUBS:
Lee Burge, Andy Webster, Nathan Delfouneso, Dylan McGeouch, Franck Moussa, Adam Barton, Mark Marshall.
Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Carl Dickinson, Doug Loft, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Tom Pope, Chris Lines, Ben Williamson, Jack Grimmer, Richard Duffy, Billy Knott. SUBS:
Sam Johnson, Daniel Jones, Chris Robertson, Louis Dodds, Gavin Tomlin, Anthony Griffith, Chris Birchall
Vale took an early lead at the Sixfields Stadium when skipper Doug Loft netted in front of the visiting supporters and looked good value for the three points when Ben Williamson doubled their lead in the 73rd minute.
But three minutes later the home side pulled a goal back and in stoppage time snatched an equaliser to leave Vale wondering what could have been as they surrendered their advantage and had to settle for a single point.
Micky Adams made three changes from the eleven who started in Vale's last outing, at home against Leyton Orient, with Jack Grimmer recalled to the heart of the defence in place on Chris Robertson.
The other two changes both came in midfield, where Chris Lines and Billy Knott, each of whom impressed when they came off the bench against Orient, started in place of Chris Birchall and Anthony Griffith.
Vale got off to a dream start, opening the scoring with just 37 seconds on the clock. The ball was knocked back to Chris Neal who kicked long, deep inside the Coventry half.
GOAL: DOUG LOFThelped the ball on over the onrushing goalkeeper Joe Murphy and continued his run to latch on to the ball before coolly firing into the net.
Barely a minute later the home side had a golden opportunity to level and Vale had Chris Neal to thank for keeping his side ahead, making a point blank save to deny Callum Wilson.
Despite that early advantage, it was Vale who were having to defend, sometimes desperately, as Coventry piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser.
Their threats gradually became less frequent as Vale organised themselves well and before long Vale were threatening at the other end.
Despite looking perfectly flat before kick off, the pitch was cutting up badly and both sides were experiencing problems controlling the ball at times.
Vale almost doubled their lead in the 29h minute with a ferocious left footed bullet of a shot which was fingertipped over the crossbar by Murphy.
The longer the first half went on the more in control Vale looked, but with the presence of the ever-dangerous Wilson up front, Vale knew they couldn’t afford to relax for a minute
Vale started the second half on the font foot but were soon on the defensive as Coventry looked to have more purpose about their game.
Two Coventry substitutions in the opening fifteen minutes of the second half gave Vale a bit more to think about, Nathan Delfouneso came on for Chuba Akpon and Franck Moussa for Michael Petrasso.
A well-timed tackle by Carl Dickinson kept out Blair Adams, who looked odds on to score with Vale starting to look a little vulnerable.
But as happened in the first half, Vale again weathered the storm and gradually edged themselves on top again, playing high up the pitch to put pressure on the home side.
GOAL:Vale’s pressure finally paid off in the 73rd minute when they doubled their lead. Carl Dickinson’s deep cross from the left was nodded across goal by Myrie-Williams and BEN WILLIAMSON applied the finishing touch on the line.
Coventry almost hit back within three minute, but for a reaction save from Chris Neal to keep out Moussa’s close range shot.
GOAL:Coventry pulled a goal back with ten minutes remaining when a 35 yard free kick from Marshall was met by JORDAN CLARKE, who steered his header past Chris Neal and into the net.
With five minutes to go Vale made a change in order to protect their lead, with Ben Williamson coming off to be replaced by Anthony Griffith.
The five minutes added time signalled by the fourth official seemed a little excessive but Coventry only needed two of those minutes to draw themselves level.
GOAL:CALLUM WILSON was allowed to run at the Vale defence and he unleashed an unstoppable shot past Neal from 15 yards to level the scores.