Port Vale v Gillingham
At Vale Park
Saturday 15th August 2015
Attendance: 5,067 including 273 visiting supporters
Vale’s unbeaten start to the season continued with a 1-1 draw against early leaders Gillingham after the Valiants came from behind to earn a share of the points.
It was nothing more than the home side deserved, despite the Gills getting an early goal when Bradley Dack hammered the ball home from close range in the 16th minute.
Louis Dodds levelled the scores on 34 minutes and Vale went close to a second when defender Ryan Inniss headed against the visitors’ crossbar, but in the end neither side managed to nick all three points.
Rob Page made two changes from the side which started against Burnley in midweek with Uche Ikpeazu coming in for Ajay Leitch-Smith up top and Ryan Inniss in for Remie Streete, who tweaking his hamstring in the Capital One Cup victory
In an explosive start to the game, both ‘keepers were tested within the opening sixty seconds and the two sides continued to show their attacking intentions from then on.
Vale were not being allowed to play the same attractive football displayed at Crewe and again against Burnley, but in flashes, they certainly showed their intentions to do so.
The visitors took the lead in the 16th minute after an elementary by the Vale following a back pass to his own ‘keeper by Richard Duffy.
Under pressure from former Vale forward Ben Williamson, Ben Alnwich snatched hold of the ball to give away a free kick on his 6 yard line.
GOAL:Those types of free kicks rarely seem to produce a goal, but this one did – BRADLEY DACK hammering the ball into the roof of the net as Vale conceded for the first time this season.
There were loud appeals for a penalty on 28 minutes when Enoch Andoh was chopped down as he headed for goal following a splendid one-two involving the Vale winger and Uche Ikpeazuu.
With Andoh in full flow, he was hacked down by Ryan Jackson, with Vale convinced the offence had taken place inside the box. The referee disagreed and awarded a free kick right on the edge of the area.
By now Vale were in full flow and forcing the visitors, who had been so impressive early on in the game, to defend deep inside their own half.
GOAL:Vale got the reward they deserved right on 34 minutes. Anthony Grant chipped the ball towards the box, towards Byron Moore. The winger chested it down to LOUIS DODDS, who produced a fine finish, firing and angled shot into the bottom left hand corner from just outside the box.
Moments later Stuart Nelson in the Gillingham goal had to be at his bet, diving low to his left to turn a powerful drive from Dodds out for a corner, after another neat Vale move.
Nelson was forced into another save down to his left in first half stoppage time, makin a one-handed save to touch Grant’s 25 yard effort around his upright.
Five minutes into the second half Vale made a change. Enoch Andoh went off injured and Sam Kelly came off the bench to take his place on the left flank.
Vale went close to a second goal when Sam Foley floated a free kick into the box and Ryan Inness rose to meet the ball, heading against the Gillingham crossbar.
Vale made another change in the 73rd minute with the introduction of Michael Brown into the midfield, Sam Foley making way and two minutes later Colin Daniel came on for Uche Ikpeazu.
Vale couldn’t afford to take anything for granted as Gillingham looked threatening when they ventured forward, with Dack looking particularly dangerous for the visitors.
With time running out, a sublime throughball from Dodds set Moore on his way to the byeline and his cross looked destined for substitute Daniel, but a Gillingham defender got the slightest of touches to take the ball away.
PORT VALE: Jak Alnwick, Ben Purkiss, Carl Dickinson, Ryan Inniss, Richard Duffy, Louis Dodds, Sam Foley, Byron Moore, Uche Ikpeazu, Enoch Andoh, Anthon Grant. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Chris Birchall, Ajay Leitch-Smith, Colin Daniel, Michael Brown, Sam Kelly, Remie Streete.
GILLINGHAM: Stuart Nelson, Ryan Jackson, Bradley Garmston, John Egan, Jordan Houghton, Ben Williamson, Luke Norris, Bradley Dack, Brennan Dickenson, Josh Wright, Adedeji Oshilaja. SUBS: Glenn Morris, Max Ehmer, Jake Hessenthaler, Rory Donnelly, Jermaine McGlashan, Darren Oldaker, Elliott List.
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