Port Vale v MK Dons
FA Cup 1
At Vale Park
Saturday 8th November 2014
Attendance: 4,120 including 314 visiting supporters
If it’s goals you want then this game had it all with the ball hitting the back of the net on seven occasions. Unfortunately for Vale four of those went past Vale ‘keeper Chris Neal.
Vale went in front thanks to an own goal from Jordan Spence, before being pegged back when Benik Afobe levelled for the visitors before Carl Baker put them ahead, only for Vale to level through Dany N’Guessan right on half time.
AFOBE put MK Dons ahead from the spot early in the second half and substitute Danny Green then extended the lead with a tap in.
A second own goal after Mark Marshall had struck the post gave Vale hope, but the visitors held on to earn a place in the hat for the second round draw.
There were no surprises when Vale revealed their starting eleven to face MK Dons in the first round of the FA Cup at Vale Park following the performance against Colchester in Vale’s previous game.
Skipper Carl Dickinson returned from suspension, but he had to make do with a place on the bench as Rob Page kept the side as it was at the Weston Homes Community Stadium seven days earlier.
For the visitors, boss Karl Robinson decided to make five changes, yet is was the visitors who started much the stronger of the two in the opening minutes of the game.
Indeed, the Dons came close to an 8th minute opener when a shot from the edge of the box by Ben Reeves beat Chris Neal, struck the underside of the crossbar, but dropped on the right side of the lines form a Vale point of view.
The Valiants had been pinned back deep inside their own half for much of the opening ten minutes, but it was the home side who struck first in the 11th minute.
GOAL:Chris Lines played the ball out to the right, where it was picked up by the overlapping Adam Yates, who crossed into the box. Ben Williamson tried a shot, which took a big deflection off JORDANSPENCE on its way over the line.
Vale had Ryan McGivern to than k for preventing a 20th minute equaliser after Will Grigg had wriggled his way to the byline, drawing Neal off his line at the same time.
With two Don’s players waiting and the goal at their mercy, Grigg lifted the ball into th box but the slightest of touched by the blonde had of Northern Ireland international McGivern denied them the opportunity to level the scores.
The visitors continued to put Vale on the back foot, with Vale defending as a team with everybody but Ben Williamson back deep inside their own half.
GOAL:Despite all of Vale’s efforts, the visitors levelled in the 31st minute when Mark Randall carved open the Vale defence with a beautifully weighted through ball and BENIK AFOBE supplied the finish, slotting past the advancing Neal from 12 yards.
Vale managed to cause a few problems of their own but it was still the visitors who were making most of the running and it was no real surprise when they got a second goal.
GOAL:Vale were being pegged back when CARL BAKER received the ball to feet 25 yards out, he turned and fired through a sea of bodies before crossing the line inside Chris Neal’s right hand post.
GOAL:Vale were back on level terms with four minutes when a cross from the right eventually fell at the feet of DANY N’GUESSAN, who drove home from 12 yards.
The visitors’ appeals for a penalty kick early in the second half fell on deaf ears when Ofobe went down inside the Vale box, but a similar decision went against the home side a few minutes later.
GOAL:This time it was Samir Carruthers who went tumbling inside the Vale box following a challenge by Williamson and the referee pointed straight at the spot. AFOBE sent Neal the wrong way with the penalty to restore the Dons’ lead.
Vale went close to an immediate equaliser when a diving header from Williamson struck the upright – it would not have counted, however, as the referee’s assistant raised his flag for offside.
Vale then made a double change in the 63rd minute. On came Byron Moore and Colin Daniel, replacing Williamson and Birchall.
If Vale had been second best up to that point, things started to change with Vale on the front foot, though in fairness they still weren’t giving Dons’ ‘keeper Dave Martin an awful lot to do.
Vale made a third change in the 80th minute, throwing an extra body into the mix with Louis Dodds coming off the bench to replace defebnder Adam Yates.
GOAL:It backfired somewhat within sixty seconds, however, when Dons’ substitute DANNY GREEN stroked the ball home at the back post to give his side a two-goal advantage.
GOAL:Vale hit back in the 84th minute. Dodds fed Marshall, who slipped into the box and shot towards the far post. The ball struck the upright and hit Dons’ defender TOM FLANAGAN before crossing the line.
PORT VALE:Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Ryan McGivern, Chris Birchall, Ben Williamson, Richard Duffy, Chris Lines, Michael O’Connor, Mark Marshall, Remie Streete, Danny N’Guessan. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Louis Dodds, Colin Daniel, Michael Brown, Carl Dickinson, Jordan Slew, Byron Moore.
MK DONS:David Martin, Dean Lewington, Tom Flanagan, Kyle McFadzean, Samir Curruthers, Ben Reeves, Will Grigg, Jordan Spence, Carl Baker, Mark Randall, Benik Afobe. SUBS: Lee Hodson, Danny Green, Ian McLoughlin, Harry Hickford, Kabongo Tshimanga
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