Burton Albion v Port Vale
Saturday 24th October 2015
At the Pirelli Stadium
Attendance: 4,076 including approximately 1,500 visiting supporters
Despite holding out for much of the game with ten men, Vale finally went down two goals to nil when opponents Burton Albion finally ended their goal scoring drought.
Vale were reduced to ten men midway through the first half when Uche Ikpeazu received his second yellow card of the game, leaving Vale with an uphill struggle.
Vale gave everything they had got, defending like their lives depended on it but seemed to drop their standards slightly once the home side were reduced to ten men in the 78th minute and punished when Burton hit two goals in the last five minutes of the game.
Vale made three changes to their starting line-up. Richard Duffy returned from suspension to take hia place in the heart of the defence, with Remie Streete making way.
Injuries to Enaoch Andoh, Byron Moore and Chris Birchall saw a bit of a reshuffle, with Michael O’Connor coming back into central midfield.
Rob Page decided to play with Uche Ikpeazu up front as a lone striker, with Louis Dodds on the right side of midfield and Colin Daniel on the left offering support when Vale pressed forward.
It was a bright start for the Vale, with much of the play in the opening minutes taking place inside the Burton half of the pitch.
Vale were having plenty of possession, without creating too many chances, but they did go close to an early opener on 5 minutes after winning a free kick out on the right.
Sam Foley took the set piece, sending a well-flighted ball into the box and it was Ryan McGivern to rose the highest, heading just wide of the target.
Play was halted after twenty minutes to allow Burton’s Robbie Weir to receive treatment following a challenge from Uch Ikpeazu, for which the Vale man was shown a yellow card.
Vale found themselves down to ten men on 25 minutes when Ikpeazu was adjudged to have taken a div inside the Burton box and was promptly shown a second yellow card, followed by the obligatory red.
Up to that point, Vale had been playing with a lone striker leading the line, so a reshuffle was called for and Colin Daniel came inside from the left hand side.
Despite being a man down, Vale clearly had no intentions of sitting back, packed inside their own half. They continued to play inside the Burton half, looking to strike first.
The home side began to have more of the ball, but despite them now dominating affairs, they rarely threatened Jak Alnwick’s goal – that was as much to the hard work put in by Rob Page’s players as anything.
Vale midfielder Michael O’Connor went close to an opener three minutes after the restart, his 25 yard volley dipping late and catching the top of the net.
A timely interception at the other end saw Ben Purkiss get in a header to prevent Mark Duffy from heading home at the back post.
Richard Dufy picked up a yellow card after conceding a free kick right on the edge of Vale’s a8 yard box as the home side pressed for an opener.
Vale found themselves under intense pressure but a combination of good defending and poor finishing, or to be more precise, a refusal to shoot, kept the scores level.
On saying that, Jak Alnwick had to be alert in the 68th minute, touching a 25 yard effort from Mark Duffy over the bar for a corner kick.
Vale made a change in the 78th minute – Colin Daniel was replaced by JJ Hooper for his first league appearance for the Valiants.
The home side was reduced to ten minutes later following a crunching challenge on Sam Foley by Robbie Weir, who received a straight red.
Vale still had work to do, however. Anthony Grant was on hand to keep out an effort from John Moussino, but a minute later the home side took the lead when TOM NAYLOR headed home from close range.
Vale made a second substitution a minute later when Ryan Lloyd replaced Colin Daniel and then in the 89th minute Ajay Leitch-Smith came on for Michael O’Connor.
GOAL:There was still more action to come however and it was the home side who struck gold when NASSER EL KHAYATI slotted home a second goal to wrap up the three points.
BURTON ALBION:Jon McLaughlin, Phil Edwards, Shane Cansdell-Sherriff, John Mousinho, Robbiw Weir, Lucas Akins, Nasser El Khayati, Tom Naylor, Timmy Thiele, Mark Duffy, Jerome Binnom-Williams. SUBS: Remi Matthews, Calum Butcher, Aurelien Joachim, Zeli Ismail, Anthony Connor, Matty Palmer, Tom Flanagan.
PORT VALE:Jak Alnwick, Ben Purkiss, Ryan McGivern, Richard Duffy, Carl Dickinson, Anthony Grant, Louis Dodds, Michael O'Connor, Sam Foley, Colin Daniel, Uche Ikpeazu. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Remie Street, JJ Hooper, Adam Yates, Ajay Leitch-Smith, Sam Kelly, Ryan Lloyd