Oldham Athletic v Port Vale
At Boundary Park
Tuesday 19th August 2014
Attendance: 3,592 including 749 visiting supporters
Tom Pope netted his fifth goal of the season as Vale took an 8th minute lead at Boundary Park, but the visitors were unable to build on their lead.
Vale came under increasing pressure and the home side finally levelled the scores in the 64th minute when James Wilson headed home to earn Oldham a share of the spoils.
There were no surprises when Micky Adams named an unchanged side following Vale’s impressive first away performance at Doncaster Rovers three days earlier.
The Vale boss named the same starting eleven, making just one change on the bench with the inclusion of defender Adam Yates, with young winger Ryan Lloyd stepping aside to make way for him.
The home side, perhaps a little low on confidence given their start to the season, tried to push Vale back in the opening minutes of the game, but Vale stood firm to their advances.
Vale gradually began to press themselves and took the lead in the 8th minute, with a familiar name getting on the score sheet.
GOAL: Ben Williamson crossed towards the far post from the left and TOM POPE rose to plant a textbook header past Latics’ ‘keeper Paul Rachubka and into the back of the net.
It was Pope’s fifth goal of the season, keeping up his record of scoring in each of Vale’s four games so far.
Play was held up for a short while following a clash between Oldham’s Danny Philliskirk and Vale’s Ryan McGivern, but the two of them were able to carry on after treatment.
Vale were looking comfortable on the ball all over the park in the early stages of the game, dictating the pace of the game without really dominating.
Pope got up well to meet a Michael O’Connor free kick from the left with a firm header, but Rachubka wasn’t troubled, taking the ball in his midriff.
Jonathan Forte threatend for the home side at the other end, but lifted his 25 yard shot high over Sam Johnson’s crossbar.
It was difficult to fault the home side’s endeavour, but the Vale defence were handling themselves well, making it difficult for Oldham to make any headway.
Vale had a scare five minute before half time when the home side got the ball down in the Vale box, lining up to shoot, but Vale threw bodies in their way two block two goal bound efforts, keeping Johnson’s goal intact.
The Vale ‘keeper then made a comfortable save to stop a twenty yard effort from Oldham skipper Liam Kelly.
Vale needed to up their game a little in the second half if they were to keep their lead after the home side became stronger and grew in confidence as the opening forty five minutes continued.
In the third minute of first half stoppage time Vale had Frederic Veseli to thank for keeping Vale ahead when he blocked a close range effort from Jonson Clarke-Harris, when a goal looked a certainty.
Vale came out of the traps looking a little sharper after the interval, but still had some defending to do as the home side searched frantically for an equaliser.
Chris Lines went close for the visitors in the 55th minute with a twenty yard shot which scraped the side-netting, with several Vale fans behind the goal at first thinking it had gone in.
Vale made a change in the 59th minute with the introduction of Colin Daniel for Chris Birchall. Daniel went over on the left with Mark Marshall switching to the right.
GOAL:Vale continued to come under pressure and they finally conceded in the 64th minute when JAMES WILSON met a left wing corner to steer a near post header into the Vale net.
Michael O’Connor tested Rachubka and then Vale went close again when Pope headed across goal and Lines raced in to plant a header against the Oldham crossbar.
Vale made a second substitution in the 74th minute. Off came winger Mark Marshall, with midfielder Steve Jennings coming off the bench.
Ten minutes from time Micky Adams made his final change, bringing on Michael Brown in place of Michael O’Connor.
Vale ‘keeper Sam Johnson pulled off a brilliant reaction save to keep the scores level in the 87th minute, touching a close range header over his crossbar.
Pope, 8 mins
Wilson, 64 mins
OLDHAM ATHLETIC: Paul Rachubka, Connor Brown, Jospeh Mills, George Elokobi, Liam Kelly, Mike Jones, Danny Philliskirk, Jonathan Forte, Jonson Clarke-Harris, Carl Winchester, James Wilson. SUBS: Joel Coleman, Timothee Dieng, Genserix Kusunga, Willy Gros, James Dayton, Amari Morgan-Smith, David Noble
PORT VALE: Sam Johnson, Frederic Veseli, Carl Dikinson, Richard Duffy, Ryan McGivern, Chris Borchall, Chris Lines, Michael O’Connor, Mark Marshall, Ben Wiliamson, Tom Pope. SUBS: Chris Neal, Chris Robertson, Colin Daniel, Louis Dodds, Michael Brown, Steve Jennings, Adam Yates.