Shrewsbury Town v Port Vale
Friday 25th March 2015
At the Greenhous Meadow
Attendance: 7,019 including 1,300 visiting supporters
Vale left the Greenhous Meadow with a point, but will have been disappointed not to take the three points they will have felt they deserved after bossing the second half against Shrewsbury Town side who stretched their unbeaten run to nine games.
Louis Dodds had given Vale the lead when he darted in to head home in front of a large contingent of visiting supporters in the 59th minute and the win looked on for the Valiants.
Sullay Kaikai had other ideas however, smashing the ball past Jak Alnwick in the 73rd minute, much to the disappointment of a Vale side who felt they had deserved more.
Vale made three changes for their Good Friday fixture against Shrewsbury Town, one enforced and two for tactical reasons.
Ryan Inniss came back into the heart of the Vale defende and Sam Kelly came in to replace Byron Moore, and with Anthony Grant picking up a bug, that created an opportunity for Michael Brown to step in.
Vale started the game on the front foot, forcing three corners in the opening three minutes of the game and going close to taking an early lead from the third flag kick.
Ryan Inniss got up to meet the ball with a powerful header, forcing a superb reflex header. The loose ball came to an unsuspecting Richard Duffy rather suddenly and he was unable to direct his header on target.
If Vale supporters at the other end of the ground thought Vale would be having things all their own wasy, the experienced Richie Wellens reminded them they could take nothing for granted, chipping narrowly over Jak Alnwick’s goal.
It seemed to settle the home side down and despite Vale’s strong start, the two sides began to look evenly matched all over the pitch.
Louis Dodds did well to control a high ball inside the Shrewsbury 18 yard box before laying it into the patch of JJ Hooper, but his first time effort flew high over the crossbar.
Things were still pretty even but Vale again carved out a goal scoring opportunity when Kellt played the ball down the left flank to Hooper.
Hooper controlled, took a look and then laid the ball back a couple of yards to the egd of the box to O’Connor, but again the shot was lifted well over the bar.
Carl Dickinson then hit a low 25 yards drive just inches wide of Mark Halstead’s left hand upright, with Vale again taking the inituitive.
Whilst it would perhaps be a bit harsh on the home side to say Vale were bossing the game, they were certainly creating more chances and O’Connor again went close in the 41st minute, his stinging drive from just outside the box being touched over the bar by Halstead.
Vale started well after the interval and again should have got their noses in front. Hooper held up play well and again played the ball inside for O’Connor, but his shot was too tame to cause the ‘keeper problems.
GOAL:Vale deservedly took the lead on 59 minutes when Sam Kelly’s cross was touched on by the head of Hooper and LOUIS DODDS was on hand to nod over the line via the underside of the crossbar.
The home side almost drew level within minutes when attempts by Inniss to run the ball out for a goalkick backfired and the ball was knocked inside.
The home side had three attempts at an equaliser from close range, one blocked, one knocked off the line by Ben Purkiss and another by Alnwick.
Doods almost added a second goal for the visitors following a run from Kelly, whose shot was blocked, but this time Dodds lifted his shot over the bar.
GOAL:The home side got themselves back in the game with a quality strike in the 73rd minute from Sullay KaiKai, who hit an angled drive from the edge of the box inside Jak Anlwick’s right hand upright.
Vale mad a double substitution in the 77th minute with the introduction of Matty Kennedy and Byron Moore for Sam Kelly and Sam Foley.
Jak Alnwick was called into action in the 87th minute when substitute Aka Apro went clean through, but the Vale ‘keeper raced off his line and made the save.
The home side went down to ten men in stoppage time when Nathaniel Knight-Percival shoved Richard Duffy to the ground with both hand, right in front of the referee and was duly red-carded.
Vale were expecting a spot kick to be awarded, but after consulting his linesman, the referee awarded a free kick to the home side.
SHREWSBURY TOWN: Mark Halstead, Jermaine Grandison, Kyle Vassell, Richie Wellens, Shaun Whalley, Sullay Kaikai, Junior Brown, Jack Grimmer, Abu Ogogo, Andy Mangan, Natahiel Knight-Percival. SUBS: Jayson Leutwiler, Ian Black, Scott Vernon, Jordan Clark, Jack Hendry, Jean Louis Akpa Akpro, Larnell Cole.
PORT VALE: Jak Alnwick, Ben Purkiss, Carl Dickinson, Richard Duffy, Michael O'Connor, Louis Dodds, Sam Foley, JJ Hooper, Michael Brown, Sam Kelly, Ryan Inniss. SUBS: Ryan McGivern, Chris Birchall, Matty Kennedy, Adam Yates, Byron Moore, Ryan Boot, Theo Robinson