Port Vale v Bristol City
At Vale Park
Tuesday 16th September 2014
Attendance: 4,050 including 421 visiting supporters
Vale’s recent poor run of form continued as they fell to a sixth consecutive defeat in all competitions to League One leaders Bristol City.
City’s top goal scorer Aaron Wilbraham put the visitors ahead in the 13th minute and Steve Cotterill’s men never looked back as they cemented their place at the top of the table.
Aden Flint increased the Robins’ lead three minutes into the second half and any hopes of a Vale comeback were well and truly put to bed when Abraham netted his second of the game in the 61st minute.
Micky Adams again made four changes to the starting line-up in an attempt to shake things up as Vale looked to break a sequence which had seen them lose five games on the bounce.
Frederic Veseli returned to the side after missing out at Crewe and he was joined by Colin Daniel, Chris Birchall and Michael Brown.
The four players to miss out were Adam Yates, Byron Moore, Mark Marshall and Jordan Slew, who all had to settle for a place on the bench.
Vale started the game well enough and there were chances at both ends with Freeman firing over the Vale bar early on and Tom Pope doing likewise at the other end.
The visitors were looking dangerous whenever they ventured towards the Vale penalty are and they struck gold in the 13th minute when they took the lead.
GOAL: Aden Flint got up well to meet a cross from the right by Freeman and watched as his header struck the crossbar, but AARON ABRAHAM was on hand to knock the ball in at the back post to put the visitors in the driving seat.
Try as they may, Vale struggled to make any headway against the table toppers, who were in no mood to relinquish their narrow lead, in fact Steve Cotterill’s men were looking to extend their advantage.
Vale defended well as a unit to keep City out as the visitors applied plenty of pressure but seldom threatened Frank Fielding’s goal.
The home side did go close when Carl Dickinson’s cross was headed back across the box by Pope and Michael O’Connor’s attempted half volley flew over the bar.
O’Connor then tried a 25 yard shot which Fielding gathered fairly comfortably at the foot of his right hand post, with Vale becoming more of a threat.
Right on half time Michael Brown’s cross was headed at goal by Chris Birchall, but his effort took a deflection and Vale had to settle for a corner.
GOAL: Three minutes into the second half the visitors increased their lead when the ball was chipped back across goal and ADEN FLINT rose unchallenged to head down and into the net.
Not satisfied with their two-goal lead the visitors pressed for a third goal, forcing Micky Adams to make a triple substitution to give the Valiants some hope of getting something from the game.
Jordan Slew, Byron Moore and Mark Marshall were all thrown on to see what damage they could cause, with Michael Brown, Chris Birchall and Colin Daniel making way.
Marshall looked an instant threat to the Robins, weaving his was through towards goal at every opportunity, but Vale were looking more vulnerable at the back.
Chris Neal did well to keep out an effort from Kieran Agard, sticking out a leg to make a save, but moments later Vale fell further behind.
GOAL: The ball was punted forward and Ryan McGivern’s attempt to head back to his ‘keeper was intercepted by a grateful AARON WILBRAHAM, who slammed home his second and the visitors’ third goal.
Give Vale their due, they didn’t give up and kept looking for a way back – unfortunately they were not good enough on the night.
Wilbraham, 13 mins
Flint, 48 mins
Abraham, 61 mins
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Frederic Veseli, Richard Duffy, Carl Dickinson, Ryan McGivern, Chris Birchall, Michael Brown, Michael O’Connor, Chris Lines, Colin Daniel, Tom Pope. SUBS: Adam Yates, Louis Dodds, Ben Williamson, Steven Jennings, Byron Moore, Mark Marshall, Jordan Slew
BRISTOL CITY:Frank Fielding, Mark Little, Derrick Williams, Aden Flint, Korey Smith, Wade Elliott, Luke Freeman, Aaron Wilbraham, Kieran Agard, Luke Ayling, Joe Bryan. SUBS: Adam El-Abd, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Scott Wagstaff, Dave Richards, Greg Cunningham, Wes Burns, Marlon Pack