Port Vale v Doncaster Rovers
At Vale Park
Saturday 22nd August 2015
Attendance: 4,775 including 357 visiting supporters
Vale stretched their unbeaten start to the season to five games and recorded their first league win with what can only be described as the demolition of Doncaster Rovers.
The final score may not agree with that statement, but such was the way Vale dominated the game that anybody in attendance will surely say the same thing.
Vale missed an early penalty and hit three goals, but it could easily have been many more and if it had been, the visitors would have had no complaints.
In the end they had to settle for a first half goal from Sam Foley and two in the second half from Uche Ikpeazu and Byron Moore.
Vale made one change from the eleven who came back from the County Ground with a point in midweek when a late spot kick scored by Sam Foley levelled the scores against Swindon Town.
With Enoch Andoh recovering from a tight hamstring, he stepped in to replace Sam Kelly, who had to make do with a place on the bench.
Vale started on the front foot and looked likely to grab an early goal with the pressure they were applying on the visitors.
Uche Ikpeazu fired over the bar and then Vale were given a golden opportunity to get their noses in front when winger Andoh went over inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot.
Hero in midweek with his late goal from the spot, Sam Foley placed the ball down, but this time the outcome was different with Rovers’ ‘keeper Thorsten Stuckmann diving to his right to make the save.
Stuckmann was certainly earning his wages with Vale well on top, knocking the ball around well and attacking at every opportunity.
The German ‘keeper reacted brilliantly to keep out a header from Louis Dodds, that was heading for th top right corner of the goal in the 24th minute.
Then five minutes later Stuckmann flung himself to his left to keep out a Carl Dickinson free kick taken from the edge of the box for yet another impressive save.
It was surely only a matter of time before Vale broke the deadlock and sure enough the opening goal finally came in the 35th minute after another neat move from the Valiants.
GOAL:The ball was switched to the Vale left and picked up by skipper Carl Dickinson – he had a quick look then put the ball inside the box for SAM FOLEY, whose effort left Stuckmann grasping at thin air.
GOAL:Within just sixty two seconds of the second half Vale doubled their lead and it was that man UCHE IKPEAZU again on the scoresheet with a superb finish.
The striker, who had a spell on loan at Doncaster last season, collected the ball 25 yards from goal on the right, switched inside to his left foot and drove a low shot into the far corner.
It was a hammer blow to Paul Dickov’s side, who surely felt they were in with a chance of getting themselves back into the game after Vale had failed to match their first half superiority with the goals they unquestionably deserved.
Ikpeazu almost grabbed himself a hat trick midway through the second half, had his 20 yard effort not taken the slightest of deflections to lift it over the Rovers’ crossbar.
Vale made their first change on 69 minutes with Colin Daniel coming on to replace Enoch Andoh, who left the pitch with the Vale crowd chanting his name.
In the 75th minute the visitors threatened to pull a goal back, but Jak Alnwick did well to save, going down to his left to puch the ball away and Andy Williams’ follow up flew way over the bar.
Vale then made a change, with Ajay Leitch-Smith coming on to replace Ikpeazu up front, with the striker getting a standing ovation as e left the pitch.
GOAL:In the 88th minute Vale got the third goal their play had deserved when Ben Purkiss sent in a low cross from the right and BYRON MOORE applied a sublime finish from close range to beat Stuckmann.
Anthony Grant again won the man of the match award, but in truth it could have been awarded to any one of five or six Vale players.
PORT VALE: Jak Alnwick, Ben Purkiss, Ryan Inniss, Richard Duffy, Carl Dickinson, Byron Moore, Anthony Grant, Sam Foley, Enoch Andoh, Louis Dodds, Uche Ikpeazu. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Remie Streete, Chris Birchall, Colin Daniel, Michael Brown, Ajay Leitch-Smith, Sam Kelly
DONCASTER ROVERS:Thorsten Stuckmann, Cedric Evina, Luke McCullough, Andy Butler, Richie Wellens, Richard Chaplow, Andy Williams, Gary Mackenzie, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, James Coppinger, Harry Middleton. SUBS: Marko Marosi, Mitchell Lund, Rob Jones, Curtis Main, Liam Mandeville, Paul McKay, Billy Whitehouse
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There will be a full match report on the official website moments after the final whistle, with player and manager interviews to come later.
A match gallery (photos courtesy of Gerard Austin) will also appear on the site soon.