Port Vale v Millwall
At Vale Park
Tuesday 15th September 2015
Attendance: 4,477 including 210 visiting supporters
Vale’s chance of a top six place was blown away by an impressive Millwall side who kept up their unbeaten record away from home with a third win in four games on the road.
The visitors dominated during the first half and went close on several occasions, before eventually taking the lead when Mark Beevers headed home at the far post in the 58th minute.
Vale looked like they might claw something back from the game in the latter stages, but in stoppage time Millwall were rightly awarded a spot kick and substitute Lee Gregory fired home the Lions’ second goal from the spot to secure the win for Neil Harris’ side
As expected, given that Vale had no fresh injuries following the win over Wigan Athletic at the weekend, Rob Page went with the same starting eleven for the visit of Millwall, and he kept the same bench.
The visitors were quick off the mark and almost went ahead in the 3rd minute of the game when the Vale defence was carved open a little too easily.
After a bit of a scramble inside the Vale area Millwall looked certain to go in front when Aiden O’Brien was able to get a shot in, with Vale ‘keeper Jak Alnwick off his line, but Richard Dufffy was well placed to head off the goal line.
Lnwick was soon in action, tipping a thunderbolt from Ed Upson over his crossbar and he then made an excellent save to keep out a powerful downward header from Steve Morison.
Vale were looking vulnerable every time the visitors went anywhere near their goal and that was becoming quite frequent in the opening minutes.
Things began to settle down a little and Vale started to play a bit themselves, forcing the visitors to retreat back inside their own half.
The danger hadn’t disappeared entirely, but there was less intensity of attacks for the Vale defence to deal with as the first half went on.
Vale were finding it difficult to find a way through a well organised Millwall defence, but in stoppage time Ikpeazu’s determined run on the right almost carved an opener for the Vale.
The big man forced his way past three Millwall defenders and chipped the ball across to his left for Enoch Andoh to send in a close range powerful header, but Lions’ ‘keeper Jordan Archer was its equal, pushing over his crossbar.
Vale made a substitution at the commencement of the second half, the change coming at the heart of the defence with Ryan Inniss coming on in place of Remi Streete.
Millwall continued to be a threat whenever they pressed forward and Vale had to be at their best to keep them at bay, throwing bodies in the way of anything looking anything like a threat.
GOAL:All of their hard work was undone in the 58th minute, however, when a right wing corner from Shaun Williams towards the far post was met by the head ofMARK BEEVERS, who made no mistake with a firm header.
Five minutes later Rob Page made another change, introducing Ajay Leitch-Smith as a replacement for Louis Dodds.
Ikpeazu’s strength again created a half chance when he fed the ball into the path of Andoh, whose fierce 20 yard drive fizzed just inches over the Millwall crossbar.
Foley was the next Vale player to try his luck when he latched on to a short ball played by Byron Moore, advanced a couple of yards and struck a low shot which Archer did well to push around his upright.
There was a bit more urgency to Vale’s play by now. They knew they had to take risks if they were to come out of the game with anything to show for their efforts.
Vale again went close when Ikpeazu scooped a low cross from Ben Purkiss over the bar, with the Vale crowd beginning to sense they were witnessing a comeback.
Vale made a third change in the 82nd minute, Jak McCourt coming off the bench in place of Sam Foley in the middle of the park.
GOAL:But in stoppage time the visitors were awarded a penalty when Jak Alnwick brought down substituteLEE GREGORYinside the box and the Millwall man tucked away the spot kick to seal the three points
PORT VALE: Jak Alnwick, Ben Purkiss, Remi Streete, Richard Duffy, Carl Dickinson, Byron Moore, Sam Foley, Anthony Grant, Enoch Andoh, Louis Dodds, Uche Ikpeazu. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Chris Birchall, Ryan Inniss, Colin Daniel, Jak McCourt, Ryan Lloyd, Ajay Leitch-Smith
MILLWALL:Jordan Archer, Carlos Edwards, Tony Craig, Shaun Williams, Ed Upson, Fred Onyedinma, Mark Beevers, Byron Webster, Steve Morison, Aiden O’Brien, Nadjim Abdou, SUBS: David Forde, Joe Martin, Paris Cowan-Hall, Lee Gregory, John Marquis, Shane Ferguson, Ben Thompson.