Colchester United v Port Vale
At The Weston Homes Community Stadium
Saturday 1st November 2014
Attendance: 3,571 including 182 visiting supporters
Vale showed how much they had improved over recent weeks with a well-deserved win against Colchester United at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Vale ‘keeper Chris Neal set things up with a first half penalty save to deny Freddie Sears and Vale went from strength to strength.
Second half goals from winger Mark Marshall and substitute Colin Daniel put the Vale well in command and although Sears eventually pulled a goal back for the home side, Vale were good value for the three points.
Rob Page made two changes for the game against Colchester United, one enforced and the other by choice.
With skipper Carl Dickinson suspended, the newly appointed Vale boss decided to go with the back four that finished against Leyton Orient in Vale's last game.
Up front, in came Dany N'Guessan, with Jordan Slew dropping to the bench, where he was joined by Harry Panayioutou - the first time he has been involved with the first team.
Neither side pulled up any trees in the opening minutes of the game as they settled in and attempted to see what lay in front of them.
The home side could have hurt Vale in the 9th minute, however, when they worked the ball forward well with a neat passing move, only for George Moncur to slice his 20 yard shot well wide of Chris Neal’s left hand upright.
There was no real flow to the game, with neither side able to dominate, but the home side went close again four minutes later when this time it was Freddie Sears’ turn to slice the ball wide of the target.
A minute later Sean Clohessy did well to get his body in the way of a goal-bound shot from Ben Williamson on the edge of the box.
Vale were beginning to look a little more threatening, but both ‘keepers had to earn their money with full length saves within the space of sixty seconds.
Mark Marshall picked the ball up on the halfway line, ran with pace down the right flank, twisting one way an then the other before stinging the hands of Walker in the Colchester goal from a tight angle.
The Valiants were beginning to look the more threatening of the two sides, but the home side were given the perfect opportunity to go in front when Gavin Massey was bundled over inside the Vale box.
The referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty kick and Freddie Sears spotted the ball confidently, but Chris Neal guessed right, flinging himself to his left to make the save with 32 minutes on the clock.
Minutes later Vale had the ball ruled in the net, when McGivern, challenging Walker from a Vale corner, nodded the ball down and slammed the ball into the net from close range, but the referee decided McGivern’s challenge on the ‘keeper was unfair.
GOAL:Vale began the second half well and were rewarded for their efforts in the 56th minutes when the ball ran loose to MARK MARSHALL inside the box and the winger made no mistake, smashing home from 12 yards.
GOAL:Vale made a change in the 59th minute when COLIN DANIEL replaced Dany N’Guessan, and within 30 seconds the substitute doubled Vale’s lead.
A right wing cross from Marshall dropped for Daniel, who switched feet before beating the ‘keeper at the near post from 15 yards.
Vale were looking well organised at the back and comfortable on the ball and what they were now looking for was a second consecutive clean sheet.
It was not going to be a walk in the park, however, as the home side upped their game, and they were denied by the frame of the goal when Gavin Massey rattled the Vale crossbar in the 71st minute.
Vale made a substitution in the 78th minute, bringing on Louis Dodds to replace winger Mark Marshall, who had collected a yellow card earlier and who was in danger of receiving a second.
GOAL:A minute later the clean sheet Vale had yearned for was forgotten when the home side pulled a goal back when substitute Macauley Bonne headed the ball across the Vale goal and FREDDIE SEARS was on hand to slam the ball home from close range.
A terrific challenge from Richard Duffy prevented what looked like an equaliser for the home side when the Vale defender got in to block an effort from Sanchez Watt.
It would have been rough justice for Vale had he scored for they deserved the three points, and thankfully that is exactly what they got with their second away win of the season.
COLCHESTER UNITED:Sam Walker, Sanchez Watt, Freddie Sears, Tom Eastman, Rhys Healey, Sean Clohessy, Gavin Massey, George Moncur, Frankie Kent, David Fox, Elliott Hewitt. SUBS: Chris Lewington, Ben Gordon, Craig Eastmond, Byron Lawrence, Kevin Lokko, Maculey Bonne, Sammie Szmodics
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Richard Duffy, Remie Streete, Ryan McGivern, Chris Birchall, Chris Lines, Michael O'Connor, Mark Marshall, Dany N'Guessan, Ben Williamson. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Louis Dodds, Colin Daniel, Michael Brown, Fredi Veseli, Jordan Slew, Harry Panayioutou
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