Port Vale v Peterborough United
Saturday 17th January 2015
Attendance: 4,446 including 244 visiting supporters
Vale came from behind against a Peterborough outfit currently suffering a dip in form to take three deserved points from the game to continue their good run at Vale Park.
Conor Washington put Posh ahead midway through the first half against the run of play, but Vale kept plugging away and were on level terms in the 32nd minute when Chris Birchall forced the ball home from close range.
Just one hundred seconds of the second half had been played when Vale got their noses on front when Ben Williamson nipped in to intercept a ball meant for the Peterborough ‘keeper and put the ball into the net with a superb finish and despite a late onslaught from the visitors, it was enough to ensure the win for the Valiants.
After naming the same starting eleven for five consecutive games, Rob Page made two changes for the visit of Peterborough United.
In came Chris Robertson at the heart of the Vale defence, with Richard Duffy dropping to the bench, and Chris Birchall starting, meaning Dany N'Guessan also had to settle for the role of substitute.
Louis Dodds’ willingness to work his socks off was evident right from the kick off, closing down quickly and getting a foot in to break up play.
It was Dodds who created the first goals coring opportunity of the afternoon, showing good feet before feeding Michael O’Connor.
The Irishman dropped his shoulders to go past one Peterborough defender before switching feet and trying a shot which whistled just inches over the crossbar.
Vale were putting their visitors under pressure, playing positive passing football deep inside the visitors’ half, with Darren Ferguson’s side having to depend heavily on the counter attack.
GOAL:Despite Vale’s early dominance, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock when the home side failed to deal with a low cross from Marcus Maddison in the 21st minute and CONOR WASHINGTON swept the ball home from 15 yards.
Washington almost had a second goal when, in the 29th minute the Vale defence was caught napping, but Chris Neal’s quick thinking saw him come out to block the Peterborough striker.
GOAL:Vale kept plugging away and they were rewarded with the equaliser in the 32nd minute when Louis Dodds headed down Adam Yates’ cross and CHRIS BIRCHALL was on hand to force the ball over the line from close range.
Chris Neal was called into action again when Maddison found himself clear with just the ‘keeper to beat, but a bit of improvisation from the Vale stopper saw him block with his legs.
GOAL:A terrific start to the second half saw Vale in front for the first time in the game. Christian Burgess’s attempts to find his keeper were in tatters when BEN WILLIAMSON nipped in smartly to intercept, finishing with the outside of his right foot.
Louis Dodds was unfortunate not to increase Vale’s lead in the 51st minute with a superb dipping volley from the edge of the box, which Loach did well to touch over the bar.
When the resulting flag kick came over, Carl Dickinson connected with a powerful header which appeared to have crossed the line before being hacked away.
The referee decided it was not over the line – goal-line technology may well have decided differently.
Vale continued to impress, going close to a third goal on several occasions. An angled shot from Williamson, when he had no right to hit the target, saw Loach gratefully push around his right hand upright.
Then a glancing header from Dodds left the Peterborough ‘keeper flat-footed, only for the ball to glide past the far post to safety.
There was no place for complacency, however, with the visitors looking dangerous on the break, ready to punish any lack of concentration from their hosts.
Vale made their first change on 77 minutes when Colin Daniel came off the bench to take the place of Chris Birchall.
Vale’s failure to add a third goal could have come back to bite them on the backside as the visitors mounted a late assault, pinning Vale deep inside their own half.
A combination of good solid defending along with a pinch of good fortune saw Vale keep hold of their slender lead and record a much deserved victory against one of the better sides in League One.
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Chris Robertson, Fredi Veseli, Carl Dickinson, Chis Birchall, Michael Brown, Michael O'Connor, Mark Marshall, Louis Dodds, Ben Williamson. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Richard Duffy, Chris Lines, Colin Daniel, Byron Moore, Achille Campion, Dany N'Guessan.
PETERBOROUGH UNITED:Scott Loach, Michael Smith, Kgosi Ntlhe, Michael Bostwick, Jack Payne, Christian Burgess, Harry Beautyman, Erhun Őztűmer, Marcus Maddison, Joe Newell, Conor Washington. SUBS: Dion-Curtis Henry, Shaun Brisley, Luke James, Kyle Vassell, Jermaine Anderson, Nathaneil Mendez-Laing, Aaron McLean.
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