Barnsley v Port Vale
Saturday 31st January 2015
Attendance: 8,660 including 335 visiting supporters
Vale’s first game at Oakwell for just under a decade ended in defeat after the Valiants had shot themselves in the foot either side of half time,
Chris Neal’s own goal two minutes into seven added minutes of stoppage time in the first half saw the home side with the advantage at the interval, and just 48 seconds into the second half the home side got a second goal to leave Vale with a mountain to climb.
To their credit Vale’s heads didn’t drop and they pulled one back through Colin Daniel in the 66th minute and looked like they may just get something from the game – sadly it wasn’t to be.
Vale made three changes for the game at Oakwell, with just the one of them enforced, due to Louis Dodds missing out after breaking a toe in Vale’s home defeat to Crewe Alexandra.
Chris Birchall and Michael Brown stepped down, and in came Chris Lines, Colin Daniel, along with Tom Pope, who started his first start in three months.
The game started quite even with the two sides matching each other all over the pitch, but Vale had a problem in the 8th minute when Fredi Veseli went down inside his own box.
Attempting to shield the ball in order that Chris Neal collect, whilst being pressured by Barnsley’s Conor Hourihane, the Vale defender appeared to fall awkwardly and required lengthy treatment on the pitch.
The stretcher taken on by medics wasn’t required and Veseli was able to rejoin the action a few minutes later.
Both sides had spells of possession and each tried to play football, but there were too many passes going astray and neither sidereated too much in front of goal.
The home side were looking marginallt the more dangerous of the two sides, however, and Chris Neal was certainly he busier of the two ‘keepers.
Chris Neal had to be on his toes to keep out a 35 yard dipping shot from Dale Jennings, content to push the ball behind for a corner kick.
Vale made a change in the 33rd minute when Ben Williamson limped off and Chris Birchall came off the bench to take his place.
The substitution allowed Mark Marshall to switch to his favoured left flank, with Birchall on the right and Colin Danie playing as a second striker.
With seven minutes of time added on for stoppages, it was imperative kept up their concentration, but with just two of those minutes gone, the home side took the lead.
GOAL:The tricky Milan Lalkovic sprinted down the Vale right and was allowed to keep going, cutting inside along the byeline before sending the ball towards the near post and Chris Neal appeared to have the last touch before it crossed the line.
If the first half had finished badly for the Vale, then the second half couldn’t have started worse than it did, the home side doubling their lead within 48 seconds.
GOAL:Barnsley’s BEN PEARSON picked the ball up just inside the Vale half and took off, running straight at goal before unleashing a 25 yard shot that took a slight deflection on its way into the Vale net.
In fairness to the Vale, they didn’t drop their head and feel sorry for themselves, they kept plugging away and the generall feeling was if they could just pull one back they might just get something out of the game.
Michael O’Connor and Chris Birchall each went close with dipping shots that only just cleared the Barnsley crossbar, as the visitors pushed the home side deep into their own half.
GOAL:On 66 minutes they got the goal they had been threatening when Carl Dickinson crossed first time from the left and COLIN DANIEL swept the ball home from close range.
Vale had the home side on the rack and almost scored a second when Chris Lines’ corner kick from th left was met with a powerful back post header by Tom Pope, and the home side gratefully hacked the ball off the line with Turnbull beaten.
Hemmings reall ought to have restored the home side’s two goal advantage when he was gifted an opportunity to beat Chris Neal, but he dragged his shot wide.
Vale continued to press for an equaliser, but it just wouldn’t go their way and Vale were forced to return home empty handed.
BARNSLEY: Turnbull, Lewin Nyatanga, Martin Cranie, Conor Hourihane, Kane Hemmings, Dale Jennings, Jean-Yves M’Voto, Peter Ramage, Ben Pearson, Milan Lalkovic, George Waring. SUBS: Adam Davies, Josh Scowen, Sam Winnall, Paul Digby, George Smith, Leroy Lita, Alex Kiwomya.
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Fredi Veseli, Carl Dickinson, Mark Marshall, Chris Lines, Michael O’Connor, Colin Daniel, Ben Williamson, Tom Pope. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Richard Duffy, Ryan McGiven, Chris Birchall, Michael Brown, Byron Moore, Ryan Lloyd.
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