Port Vale v Scunthorpe United
At Vale Park
Tuesday 21st October 2014
Attendance: 3,590 including 145 visiting supporters
Vale were held to a 2-2 draw in front of a disappointingly low attendance at Vale Park on a cold and windy night when many appeared to have been persuaded to stay at home, lured by the prospect of watching European football on the TV.
The lowest league gate at Vale Park since February 2010 when a crowd of 3,231 watched Vale beat Lincoln City 4-0 saw Vale come back from behind to take the lead, only to let it slip again late in the game.
It wasn’t the happiest of returns to Burslem for former Vale winger Jennison Myrie-Williams, who was given his marching orders in the 73rd minute after picking up a second yellow card.
As expected, Rob Page elected to go with an unchanged side, apart from the one enforced change, with Ryan McGivern returning to the starting eleven to replace the suspended Stėphane Zubar.
The visitors showed their attacking intentions right from the start and startled the Vale defence with the intensity of their attacks, taking a 4th minute lead.
GOAL: Luke O’Neill beat Dickinson on the Vale left before crossing into the box and in came NEAL BISHOP to fire past Chris Neal to stun the home crowd.
Vale fans were not in the doldrums for too long, however, as Vale took just a further three minutes to get themselves back in the game.
GOAL: Vale winger Mark Marshall was the provider, crossing in from the left for BEN WILLIAMSON to nip in ahead of Scunthorpe ‘keeper Bobby Olejnik to steer a header inside the near post.
Vale began to look menacing and pressed the visitors deep inside their own half, looking to add to their goal, with Williamson proving hard to handle as he showed off his pace.
Former Vale winger Jennison Myrie-Williamson showed how dangerous he could be when he skipped across the edge of the Vale penalty area before unleashing a low left foot drive, but Neal got down well.
A looping header from Paddy Maddon threatened to trouble Chris Neal’s goal, but the Vale ‘keeper got a under the ball with a safe pair of hands.
Vale at times looked like they were about to run the visitors ragged, with Marshall causing them all sorts of problems, but a second Vale goal refused to come.
Two fouls within a couple of minutes earned Michael O’Connor a yellow card, which seemed a little harsh as neither of them were what could be termed as malicious.
Despite Vale having by far the better of things, it was Scunthorpe who went closest to grabbing a second goal when Lyle Taylor’s shot beat Neal, only for Ryan McGivern to hook the ball off the line.
A rasping drive from O’Connor as half time approached wasn’t too far off the target, but Vale couldn’t manage to add to their early goal and the two sides went in at the interval honours even.
Jennison Myrie-Williams earned himself a yellow card early in the second half after going down too easily inside the Vale box, with the referee seeing it as a dive.
Vale then went close when Tom Pope crossed from the left for diminutive winger Mark Marshall to nip in with a header, which Olejnik save fairly comfortably.
Play switched to the other end and Madden really ought to have done better with a back post header whci flashed across the face of goal and beyond the far post.
Whether or not it was the wind affecting things, the game became very scrappy, neither side playing particularly well in terms of flowing football.
Vale made their first change in the 65th minute when Louis Dodds left the field of play to be replaced by Chris Birchall.
The Valiants may not have been playing as well in the second half, but they finally got their noses in front in the 70th minute.
GOAL: The ball fell invitingly for Adam Yates to have a shot from outside the area and although his effort was saved, CHRIS BIRCHALL was on hand to smash home the loose ball between the ‘keeper’s legs.
Three minutes later the visitors went down to ten men following a foul on Chris Lines by Myrie-Williams, who was promptly shown a yellow card, his second of the game, quickly followed by a red.
GOAL: Despite their numerical disadvantage, the visitors levelled in the 79th minute when LYLE TAYLOR jumped high above the home defence to head home a right wing cross.
Vale made a second change in the 85th minute, with Jordan Slew being thrown into the mix as a replacement for Ben Williamson., but that all-important third goal never came.
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Ryan McGivern, Richard Duffy, Cal Dickinson, Louis Dodds, Chris Lines, Michael O’Connor, Mark Marshall, Ben Williamson, Tom Pope. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Chris Birchall, Michael Brown, Byron Moore, Frederic Veseli, Jordan Slew, Remie Streete.
SCUNTHORPE: Bobby, Olejnik, Paddy Madden, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Neal Bishop, Terry Hawkridge, Lyle Taylor, Luke O’Neill, Andrew Boyce, Marcus Williams, Shaun Brisley, Isiaih Osbourne. SUBS: Sam Slocombe, Andy Dawson, Sean McAlllister, Deon Burton, Hakeeb Adelakun, Billy Kee, Miguel Llera.
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There will be a full match report on the official website moments after the final whistle, with player and manager interviews to come later.
A match gallery (photos courtesy of Gerard Austin) will also appear on the site soon.