Port Vale v Yeovil Town
At Vale Park
Saturday 11th October 2014
Attendance: 4,798 including 179 visiting supporters
Vale turned on the style to leap frog visitors Yeovil in the League One table and at the same time lift themselves out of the bottom four.
Tom Pope was again on the goal trail, netting twice to take his total for the season to nine goals, in a week when it had been revealed there had been interest shown from other clubs.
Midfielder Chris Lines and substitute Colin Daniel added to Vale’s total, although they again failed to keep a clean sheet – Aaron Martin pulling an 86th minute goal back for the visitors.
Rob Page made two changes to the starting line-up to face Gary Johnson’s Yeovil Town as Vale looked to get back to winning ways.
Midfielder Michael O’Connor returned to the starting eleven after being rested in midweek and he was joined by striker Ben Williamson.
The two to miss out on a start against the Glovers were Michael Brown and Chris Birchall, who each had to make do with a place on the Vale bench.
Vale striker Jordan Slew was missing due to suspension, as was Ben Nugent for the visitors after picking up a red card in their 2-0 defeat to MK Dons.
The visitors began the game on the front foot and really ought to have done better with a 3rd minute free kick from 25 yards which Simon Gillett sent sailing over Chris Neal’s crossbar.
Gillett then went close with a long range effort with Vale at sixes and sevens, seemingly shocked by the visitors’ bright start.
Yeovil continued to look sharp despite Vale coming into the game more and more and the home side had Michael O’Connor to thank after the midfielder threw himself in front of a shot be Joe Edwards.
GOAL:Vale got their rewards in the 18th minute when TOM POPE netted his third goal in the space of five days, meeting a left wing cross from Mark Marshall with a firm, downward far post header.
Pope then almost added a second shortly afterwards when Jake Kean blocked on the edge of his area and Pope, 30 yards from goal spotted and opportunity to chip the stranded ‘keeper, but the ball dropped just outside the left hand upright.
Vale were now well on top, bossing things all over the park, with Marshall, in particular, posing the visitors all sorts of problems.
A shot from Marshall took a wicked deflection to give Vale a 29th minute corner and Vale added a second from the resulting flag kick.
GOAL:Chris Lines took the corner from the right and the ball was flicked on towards the far post to where TOM POPE was waiting to fire home, making no mistake from close range.
Despite the odd break from the Glovers, Vale continued to call the shots as they went in search of a third goal to surely kill of any hopes of a Yeovil revival.
Any hopes of a Yeovil comeback were put to bed when Vale went further ahead a minute after the half time interval.
GOAL:Chris Lines, swept to ball over to Marshall on the left and he put the ball into the box for Pope. The ‘keeper had raced off his line to make the block, but LINES raced in to slam the loose ball into the net.
Line went close to a second when he again raced into the box to shoot; this time
Kean did well to get a touch and Vale had to settle for a corner.
Marshall continued to tease and torment after switching to the right flank, often drawing the attention of two visiting defenders, which in turn created spaces to be exploited elsewhere.
What they really craved, of course, was that elusive clean sheet, something they had not managed since May, when they drew the final game of the season at Peterborough.
Marshall missed a golden opportunity to cap his own personal display with a goal when he blazed over from close range and Pope did a similar thing a couple of minutes later after being set up by O’Connor.
Colin Daniel replaced Ben Wiliamson on 77 minutes and Michael Brown came on for Michael O’Connor in the 83rd minute, Rob Page no doubt eying up the possibility of a rare clean sheet.
GOAL:That was not to be, however, as Yeovil defender AARON MARTIN drove home a consolation goal for the visitors from close range in the 86th minute.
There was still time for a fourth Vale goal, substitute COLIN DANIEL keeping his cool to beat the onrushing Kean in the 90th minute to wrap up an impressive Vale performance.
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Stėphane Zubar, Richard Duffy, Carl Dickinson, Louis Dodds, Michael O’Connor, Chris Lines, Mark Marshall, Ben Williamson, Tom Pope. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Chris Birchall, Colin Daniel, Michael Brown, Byron Moore, Ryan Lloyd, Remie Streete.
YEOVIL TOWN:Jake Kean, Brendan Moloney, Nathan Smith, Joe Edwards, Aaron Martin, Jakub Sokolik, James Berrett, AJ Leitch-Smith, Sam Foley, Simon Gillett, Jordy Hiwula. SUBS: Chris Wale, Kevin Dawson, James Hayter, Kieffer Moore, Nathan Ralph, Liam Davis.