Millwall v Port Vale
At The Den
Sunday 17th January 2016
Attendance: 7,773 including 287 visiting supporters
Vale fell to defeat at The Den as Neil Harris’ side recorded a deserved double over the Valiants, despite a much better second half display from the visitors.
Vale trailed 3-0 at the interval after Lee Gregory h ad struck twice for the Lions, once from the penalty spot, and a third from Millwall skipper Steve Morrison.
Vale made three substitutions early in the second half and began to impress with their football in spells and managed to pull a goal back when JJ Hooper struck his first goal for the club, but Vale couldn’t add o that and were forced to leave the capital empty-handed
After two straight wins and two clean sheets, nobody was too surprised when Rob Page elected to go with an unchanged side at the Den, where Vale were looking to avenge their only home defeat of the season so far.
Despite the availavility of midfielder Anthony Grant, the manager kept faith in the experienced Michael Bown, who had been so impressive since returning to the side in Grant’s absence.
Millwall skipper Steve Morrison wasted a gilt-edged opportunity to give the Lians the lead in the 4th minute of the game, after Lee Gregory had pulled the ball back from the byline.
Morrison seemed to have the time and space to pick his spot, but he somehow draged his shot wide of the target, much to the relief of the Vale defence.
The home side were occasionally cause the Vale problems down the home side’s right hand side, but generally Vale had coped well.
GOAL:That was all to change in the 14th minute, however, when Jed Wallace’s cross from the right evaded everyon and LEE GREGORY headed home at the back post, nodding the ball beack across towards Jak Alnwick’s left hand post.
Vale went close to levelling a few moments later when Jordan Archer parried Sam Foley’s shot and Colin Daniel latched on to the loose ball but was unable to hit the target.
Both Carl Dickinson and Sam Foley were yellow carded in seperate incidents, which annnoyed their team mates, especially as they felt Abdou should have received similar punishment after a couple of rash tackles.
But there was worst to come ofr the visitors when, in the 34th minute, Richard Duffy upended Gregory inside the box and the referee pointed straight at the spot.
GOAL: LEE GREGORYplaced the ball on the penalty spot and strode up to plant the ball firmly to Alns=wick’s right, squeezing the ball inside the post and into the back of the net.
Vale were undone again on the stroke of half time when Morrison again was given time and space n the Vale left to send in a low cross.
GOAL:Alnwick did well to make a save but couldn’t hold on to the ball and STEVE MORRISON was on hand to take full advantage and he stroked the ball home from close range.
Vale made their first substitution at the start of the second half with winger Sam Kelly coming off th ebench to take the place of Colin Daniel.
In the 55th minute Vale made a further two changes. Louis Dodds came on for Byron Moore and Sam Foley was replaced by JJ Hooper.
Vale were now looking a lot more dangerous than they had in the whole of the opening forty five minutes, although they faced an uphill battle.
GOAL:But in the 61st minute they deservedly pulled a goal back when Dickinson sent in a free kick from the left and JJ HOOPER was the quickest to react, finding the net from close range.
There was a scare for the Vale when Aiden O’Brien was allowed to cut in fron the right and run straight at goal. Spotting Upson in space to his left, he slipped the ball into his path, but Alnwick was quick off his line to block.
Vale could only sustain their push for so long and before long the home side began to get on top again and looking threatening every time they went forward.
Dodds forced a good save from Archer, who got down well to hold on to the shot from just outside the box after good work from Kelly.
MILLWALL:Jordan Archer, Shaun Cummings, Shaun Williams, Lee Gregory, Mark Bevers, Buron Webster, Shane Ferguson, Steve Morrison, Aiden O’Brien, Jed Wallace, Jimmy Abdou. SUBS: David Forde, Joe Martin, Ed Upson, Fred Onyedinma, John Marquis, Sid Nelson, Ben Thompson
PORT VALE:Jak Alnwick, Ben Purkiss, Carl Dickinson, Ryan McGivern, ichard Duffy, Michael O’Connor, Sam Foley, Colin Daniel, Michael Brown, Ajay Leitch-Smith. SUBS: Chris Neal, Remie Streete, Louis Dodds, JJ Hooper, Adam Yates, Sam Kelly, Anthony Grant