Port Vale v Crawley Town
Tuesday 17th March 2015
Attendance: 3,852 including 38 visiting supporters
Vale’s slim chance of making the play-offs took a big blow with a home defeat to a Crawley Town side fighting for their lives to avoid the drop, despite the Valiants twice taking the lead.
Louis Dodds put the Vale in front as early as the 4th minute, only for the visitors to level in the 43rd minute when a shot from Wordsworth took a wicked deflection.
Two minute later Dodds restored Vale’s lead, but again Crawley levelled, this time with a header from Izale McLeod and Richard Wood netted a third for the visitors to ensure a second home defeat in the space of four days.
Rob Page made two changes to the side following the home defeat to Swindon Town at the weekend, though that wasn’t a reflection on how they had played against the Robins.
Byron Moore and skipper Carl Dickinson were both out through injuries, whilst the omission of Ben Williamson was down to a tactical decision by the manager.
In came Adam Yates at right back, with Fredi Veseli moving to centre half and Ryan McGivern playing at left back, whilst Louis Dodds came in to take the place of Williamson.
An earl free kick given away by Michael O’Connor spelled danger for the Vale, when Izale McLeod was brought down 25 yards from goal. Thankfully Wordsworth didn’t manage to hit the target, firing over the bar.
The visitors were to rue that wasted opportunity moments later when Vale took an early lead, with under four minutes on the clock.
GOAL:Mark Marshall’s flag kick from the righ was knocked down by Tom Pope and LOUIS DODDS justified his place in the starting eleven, when he swivelled and slammed the ball into the net.
Colin Daniel wasn’t too far off adding a second when the ball was pulled back to him on the adge of the box and he hit the ball first time, just inches over Lewis Price’s crossbar.
After a period in the game when everything seemed to be played at one hundred miles per hour, as if the ball was a hot potato, things began to settle down and Vale started holding on to the ball and play the passing game.
They were unable to cause the visitors to many problems, however, with Crawley quite prepared to battle for every single ball and make it as difficult as possible for the Vale.
The visitors continued to put themselves about and the finally got a chance to level the scores when McLeod hit a half volley from just outside the box, but a deflection off McGivern took it over the bar.
GOAL:The in the 43rd minute Crawley were level when a shot from the edge of the box by ANTHONY WORDSWORTH took a deflection and Chris Neal was wrong-footed as the ball flew into the net.
GOAL:The visitors’ celebrations were cut short in the 45th minute, however, when Mark Marshall cut in from the left and LOUIS DODDS spotted the opportunity to fire across the goal and inside the far post to restore Vale’s lead.
When Mathais Pogba threatened early in the second half, Fredi Veseli stretched his leg to intercept and prevent the Crawley striker from getting his shot in.
GOAL:If that served as a warning, then it wasn’t heeded and Crawley levelled for a second time in the 55th minute when IZALE McLEOD headed in off the underside of the crossbar from 6 yards.
Vale were not getting the rub of the green and if there was going to be a fifth goal in the game then the visitors were looking favourites to get it.
Vale made a change on 66 minutes with Colin Daniel going off, to be replaced by Ben Williamson as the manager looked to see if the introduction of fresh legs would make a difference.
Veseli was again called upon to sort things out at the back when he managed to get the right side of former Vale striker Gavin Tomlin to prevent a shot, but could not save the ball going out for a corner kick.
GOAL:From the resulting flag kick, RICHARD WOOD found himself unmarked and the defender beat Chris Neal with a powerful header.
Vale made a double substitution in the 77th minute. Tommy O’Sullivan came on to replace Michael Brown in the middle of the park and Achille Campion came on for Tom Pope.
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Chris Robertson, Fredi Veseli, Ryan McGivern, Colin Daniel, Michael Brown, Michael O’Connor, Mark Marshall, Louis Dodds, Tom Pope. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Richard Duffy, Chris Birchall, Ben Williamson, Tommy O’Sullivan, Ryan Lloyd, Achille Campion
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