Tuesday 18th February 2014
Bradford City v Port ValeAt The Coral Windows Stadium
Attendance: 12,106 including 220 visiting supporters
BRADFORD CITY: Jon McLaughlin, Stephen Darby, Andrew Davies, James Hanson, Carl McHugh, Gary Jones, Aaron Mclean, Rory McArdle, Nathan Doyle, Adam Reach, Kyle Bennett. SUBS: Aaron Jameson, Matthew Dolan, Andy Gray, Garry Thompson, Mark Yeates, Oliver McBurnie, Chris Atkinson
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Jack Grimmer, Joe David, Carl Dickinson, Doug Loft, Chris Lines, Anthony Griffith, Daniel Jones, Ben Williamson, Tom Pope. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Louis Dodds, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Gavin Tomlin, Chris Birchall, Billy Knott, Jordan Hugill
A terrific defensive display from Vale went unrewarded when the home side took all three points with a stoppage time goal after Vale had defended stoutly throughout the ninety minutes.
In fairness, the home side had piled on the pressure in the second half and perhaps deserved the win for their determination and never-say-die attitude.
Vale must now pick themselves up and look forward to Saturday's North Staffordshire/South Cheshire derby against Crewe Alexandra.
Vale had been expected to keep the same side for the third game in a row but Micky Adams decided to tweak it just a little, bringing in Ben Williamson to partner Tom Pope up front, with Jordan Hugill dropping to the bench.
The home side started brightly, putting Vale under pressure and fortunately for the Valiants Chris Neal reacted quickly, coming off his line to block from Hanson to prevent the home side taking the lead with just forty seconds on the clock.
Vale began to settle down after the initial onslaught and started to hav a go themselves, but McLaughlin wasn’t troubled by Tom Pope’s tame header from a Daniel Jones cross.
Hanson went close for the home side when his angled drive flashed across the face of the Vale goal, but it was the visitors when went closest to taking the lead in the 8th minute.
Spotting McLaughlin off his line, out towards the right hand touchline, Chris Lines tried an audacious 40 yard lob, but McArdle was in the right place to head off the line.
Play switched from one end to the other and Vale survived a goalmouth scramble before Chris Neal came to the rescue, touching a 20 yard effort from Doyle over his crossbar.
A deft little header from Pope gave the ball to Doug Loft, whose first touch opened up a space for a shot, but McLaughlin was its equal denying the Vale skipper the opening goal in the 29th minute.
The Vale defence had been solid during the opening forty five minutes but what looked like a lack of concentration in the opening twenty seconds of the second half meant Davis was forced to prod the ball over his own crossbar to relieve the pressure.
Vale were forced to defend as the home side poured forward and again they went close when defender Andrew Davies got up to meet a free kick from Jones, but put his close range header over the bar.
The home side were still having the better of things from a territorial point of view, but Vale went close when Loft forced another save from McLaughlin.
Vale made a change in the 73rd minute, Jordan Hugill coming off the bench to take the place of Ben Williamson.
Vale had a let off in the 76th minute when a shot from Adam Reach, probably Bradford’s most dangerous player of the game, hit a thunderous shot which crashed off the foot of the post.
Hugill then forced his way through at the other end but was denied by the well positioned McLaughlin who made the save.
But in stoppage time the Vale defence was finally breached when Carl McHugh beat Chri Neal with a looping header to give the home side three long-awaited points.