Peterborough United v Port Vale
At London Road
Saturday 6th September 2014
Attendance: 6024 including 262 visiting supporters
Vale slipped to a fourth consecutive defeat, going down 3-1 to leaders Peterborough United at London Road, despite a spirited display.
Vale had their fair share of the play, but rarely tested home ‘keeper Ben Alwick and goals from Ben Maddison, Kyle Vassell and a spectacular strike from Jack Payne did the damage.
Jordan Slew pulled a goal back with seven minutes remaining with his first goal in Vale colours, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Micky Adams’ side from returning home empty-handed.
Micky Adams had threatened three or four changes following three home defeats on the bench – he went one better than that with a total of five players coming in.
Chris Neal replaced Sam Johnson in goal, with the manager feeling last season’s first choice ‘keeper had the experience required to face top of the league Peterborough at London Road.
Joining Neal in the starting eleven were Chris Robertson, Michael Brown, Steve Jennings and Byron Moore. Richard Duffy, Ben Williamson and Colin Daniel had to settle for a place on the bench, whilst the unfortunate Chris Lines didn’t make the squad.
If Vale had any fears about facing the side occupying top spot, they certainly didn’t show it in the opening stages of the game.
Vale easily matched their opponents all over the park, with midfielder Michael Brown firing wide in the 10th minute as Vale took the game to the home side.
The first shot on target from either side came in the 19th minute when a 15 yard effort from Conor Washington was blocked by a well positioned Chris Neal.
The referee seemed unwilling to give any decision that he didn’t see as ‘stonewall’ and upset Tom Pope on a couple of occasions when he failed to blow his whistle when the Vale striker appeared to have been bundled to the ground.
GOAL:The home side took the lead with a goal from nowhere when CONOR WASHINGTON’S volley from just outside the box lifted over Chris Neal and into the net.
It was unfortunate for the Vale to say the least as the visitors had matched their hosts stride for stride up to that point and deserved more.
Vale continued to play in the same manner for the remainder of the first half, causing the home side problems, but not testing Ben Alnwick in the Posh goal.
Vale made a substitution at the start of the second half with striker Jordan Slew coming on for midfielder Michael O’Connor.
Vale continued to impress on the ball but found it difficult to penetrate a steadfast and resolute Peterborough defence.
A low drive from Mark Marshall almost caught the home side out, but Alnwick got down well to his right to make what was a fairly standard save for the Posh ‘keeper.
A repeat a few moments later saw exactly the same outcome, but at least Vale were pressing hard for the equaliser their play deserved.
GOAL:The home side effectively wrapped up the game in the 72nd minute when substitute KYLE VASSELL got his head to a free kick, steering the ball past Neal and into the net from 10 yards.
Vale immediately made two more changes – Ben Williamson and Louis Dodds taking the place of Tom Pope and Byron Moore.
GOAL:To add to Vale’s misery, Posh skipper JACK PAYNE struck a thunderous third goal for the home side with a 25 yard rocket that flew into the top corner of the net in the 79th minute, leaving Chris Neal with no chance of saving it.
GOAL:Vale pulled one back in the 83rd minute when JORDAN SLEW hammered the ball home from 12 yards, but in the end it meant nothing and Vale had nothing to show for their efforts.
Slew, 83 mins
Vassell, 72 mins
Payne, 79 mins
PETERBOROUGH UNITED: Ben Alnwick, Michael Walsh, Jack Baldwin, Jon Taylor, Jack Payne, Luke James, Conor Washington, Jermaine Anderson, Christian Burgess, Ricardo Santos, Marcus Maddison. SUBS: Jimmy Walker, Shaun Brisley, Grant McCann, Kyle Vassell, Kane Ferdinand, Tyron Barnett, Ollie Luto
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Carl Dickinson, Chris Robertson, Ryan McGivern, Tom Pope, Michael O’Connor, Michael Brown, Steve Jennings, Byron Moore, Mark Marshall, Frederic Veseli. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Richard Duffy, Chris Birchall, Louis Dodds, Ben Williamson, Colin Daniel, Jordan Slew