Port Vale v Barnsley
At Vale Park
Saturday 20th September 2014
Attendance: 5,415 including 830 visiting supporters
After losing six straight games, Vale finally bounced back with a win when Michael O’Connor and Mark Marshall scored the goals to send Barnsley home empty-handed.
A second half penalty miss by Jordan Slew could have proved costly when the scores were level, but Marshall’s late winner sealed the points in a deserved first win for the Interim Manager
Page made changes for his first game as Port Vale Interim Manager as Vale went looking to turn around their recent run of poor results following the departure of Micky Adams.
Fredi Veseli was ruled out with a broken rib, opening the door for a return to the starting eleven for Adam Yates at right back, and Page made a further three changes.
In came Louis Dodds, Jordan Slew and Mark Marshall and the three to miss out were Chris Birchall, Colin Daniel and Michael Brown.
It was a decent start to the game for the Valiants with Mark Marshall and Chris Lines both firing over the crossbar and another attempt from Marshall was smothered by Tykes’ ‘keeper Ross Turnbull.
Marshall was on fire in the early minutes of the game testing the ‘keeper with a low drive that Turnbull pushed around his upright for a corner and then having yet another effort blocked,
Hourihane, scorer of five goals from midfield so far this season going into the game sent a free kick straight into the arms of Chris Neal, but it was the home side who were looking the more threatening of the two sides.
Vale were looking more confident than they had been doing of late and took the lead in the 24th minute after Louis Dodds was felled just outside the Barnsley box.
GOAL: There was a slight hold up as the referee checked the position of the visiting players, but the wait was made worthwhile when MICHAEL O’CONNOR curled the free kick around the wall and into the ‘keeper’s top left corner.
Vale didn’t have it all their own way but kept plugging away and were unfortunate not to double their lead in the 35th minute when Jean Yves M’Voto cleared an effort from Louis Dodds off the line.
Some solid defending by the Vale kept the visitors at bay with half time approaching, with white-shirted players throwing themselves in front of any effort at goal as Barnsley pressed hard.
Dodds went close when he tested Turnbull from 25 yards with a half volley just 12 seconds into the second half.
The Barnsley ‘keeper managed to paw the ball from under his crossbar and then grab it at the second attempt.
Vale again had one kicked off the line when Jordan Slew hit a low left foot drive in the 53rd minute, only for Tykes’ defender Joe Dudgeon to be in the right place at the right time.
The visitors were given the perfect opportunity to level the scores when the referee spotted a push in the back on Hourihane by Michael O’Connor and pointed straight at the spot.
GOAL: HOURIHANEpicked himself, dusted himself down and hammered home his sixth goal of the season from twelve yards, via Chris Neal’s left hand upright.
Vale made a change in the 62nd minute when they decided to tighten things up at the back, with Michael Brown replacing O’Connor in midfield and within 30 seconds Vale were again causing the visitors problems.
Carl Dickinson’s powerful header was punched off the line for a corner by Turnbull and from the resulting flag kick the Vale skipper had another header blocked on the line.
Barnsley then gave a penalty away when M’Voto was adjudged to have fouled Slew inside the box. Slew took the spot kick himself but fired way over the crossbar.
Chris Neal kept the scores level with two good saves within the space of ten seconds and then in the 76th minute Vale made two more changes, with Ben Williamson replacing Slew and Ben Williamson coming on for Dodds.
Vale again went close in the 88th minute of the game when Byron Moore whipped the ball into the box for Marshall to hit one but somehow Turnbull managed to touch it over the bar.
GOAL:A minute later MARSHALL made no mistake, cutting inside onto his left foot and slotting the ball through a sea of bodies and inside the far post to earn Vale all three points.
Hourihane (Pen) 59
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Ryan McGivern, Carl Dickiinson, Louis Dodds, Michael O’Connor, Chris Lines, Mark Marshall, Tom Pope, Jordan Slew. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Chris Robertson, Ben Williamson, Colin Daniel, Steve Jennings, Michael Brown, Byron Moore
BARNSLEY: Ross Turnbill, Reece Brown, Joe Dudgeon, Lewin Nyatanga, Martin Cranie, Keith Treacy, Conor Hourihane, Dale Jennings, Jean Yves M’Voto, Leroy Lita, Devante Cole. SUBS: Luke Berry, Sam Winnall, Kane Hemmings, Adam Davies, James Bree, James Bailey, Reuben Noble Lazarus