Swindon Town v Port Vale
Saturday 20th August 2016
At The County Ground
Attendance 6,182 including 309 visiting supporters
Vale’s unbeaten start to the new season in League One came to an end when they were narrowly beaten by Swindon Town.
Bradley Barry scored the only goal of the game just two minutes into the second half, the first league goal conceded by Vale since the final match of last season, and that was enough to separate the two sides.
Vale had soaked up the early pressure applied by the home side but finished the first half well on top, without grabbing the goal that could well have made all of the difference and Bruno’s men must now put the defeat behind them and concentrate on their next fixture.
Vale made one enforced change after defender Kjell Knops was passed fit for the game at the County Ground, not the best of hunting grounds in recent years for the Vale.
With Jerome Thomas ruled out of the Vale line-up, it gave an opportunity to Anthony de Freitas to impress as the manager looked for him to repeat his performance after coming off the bench in mid-week.
Anton Forrest again started after impressing against Rochdale on Tuesday evening, meaning fit-again Rigino Cicilia had to settle for a place on the Vale bench.
Vale did very little to threaten their hosts in the opening exchanges, when they were forced to defend deep inside their own half as the Robins went in search of an early goal.
Anton Rodgers fired wide for the home saide when perhaps he ought to have at least hit the target and Bradley Barry had an angled drive blocked by the feet of Jak Alnwick.
At the other end, Anton Forrester hit a low drive that in truth never really troubled home goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux, who collected the ball quite comfortably at his feet.
Remie Streete came to Val’s rescue when he threw himself in the way of a 15 yard shot from Yaser Kasim as the home side continued to dominate the game.
Vale were having spells when they were in possession, building patiently from the back, but with little effect in the final third.
That’a not to say they didn’t look threatening on occasions, but it was difficult to see where the goals were going to come from with so few actual goal-scoring chances being created.
Lloyd Jones did well to get in the way of a close range effort from JJ Hooper as the Vale striker managed to get in position to get on the end of a sweet Vale move.
And the stiker was unlucky not to open the scoring barely a minutes later when, again on the edge of the six yard box, his shot was somehow blocked by the Robins’ ‘keeper.
The Valiants were by now playing much further up the pitch and looking dangerous. It was the home side’s turn to taste what it was like on the back foot.
Forrester almost put Vale ahead when he turned sharply inside the box and, falling back, tried a left foot shot which took a deflection to take it past the far post and Vale had to settle for a corner kick.
JJ Hooper then got up well at the back post in Vale’s next move, but couldn’t quite get over the ball to head it down, nodding it just slightly high and wide.
GOAL: Vale were lapse in their defending in the opening minutes of the second half and the home side took full advantage when Bradley Barry hammered the ball into the roof of the net for a 47th minute opener.
Vale made their first change in the 57th minute when Anton Forrester, who had needed treatment a couple of minutes earlier, was replaced by Alex Jones.
Ale were still very much in the game and they pressed forward with confidence, playing some great stuff, making the home side work exceptionally hard to hold on to their lead.
Vale made a further substitution in the 71st minute with Chris Mbamba coming off the bench to replace Paulo Tavares
Then in the 75th minute Vale introduced Rigino Cicilia who came on for Anthony de Freitas, who was limping slightly as he came off the pitch.
Vale almost pulled an equaliser out of the bag in the 83rd minute when the ball was knocked down inside the box and Cicilia hit a shot which Vigouroux managed to touch over the crossbar.
Lawrence Vivouroux, Nathan Thompson, Anton Rodgers, Jamie Sendles-White, Michael Doughty, Yaser Kasim, James Brophy, Nathan Delfouneso, Bradley Barry, Lloyd Jones, Luke Norris. SUBS:
Conor Thomas, Johnny Goddard, Will Henry, Ellis Landolo, Jordan Stewart, Darnell Furlong, Jermain Hylton
PORT VALE: Jak ALnwick, Remie Streete, Kjell Knops, Paulo Tavares, JJ Hooper, Sam Foley, Jerome Thomas, Anton Forrester, Nathan Smith, Anthony Grant. SUBS: Calvin Mac_Intosch, Sam Kelly, Chris Mbamba, Ryan Boot, Alex Jones, Sebastien Amoros, Rigino Cicilia