Port Vale v Charlton Athletic
Tuesday 18th October 2016
At Vale Park
Attendance 3,494 including 253 visiting supporters
Alex Jones scored from the spot to rescue a point for the Vale with his eight goal of the season to cancel out Frederick Ulvestad’s 29th minute opener for The Addicks.
Jones kept his cool after being brought down inside the box by Morgan Fox and Charlton ‘keeper Declan Rudd could only help his spot kick into the roof of the net in the 85th minute.
The point was enough to liVale back into 6th spot after slipping out of the play-off places following a 4-0 defeat against Sheffield United in their previous game.
Vale made three changes to the starting line-up following the defeat at Bramall Lane at the weekend, one of those was forced due to the injury of midfielder Sam Foley.
Quentin Pereira came in to replace Foley and he was joined by Paulo Tavares, who returned from injury to leave Sebastien Amoros claiming a spot on the bench.
The big selection surprise of the night was the omission of skipper Ben Purkiss who wasn’t even named in the squad. Calvin Mac-Intosch was drafted in as his replacement.
Vale looked like the nightmare at Bramall Lane had been long forgotten, starting the game brightly and knocking the ball around well in a positive manner.
The visitors were on the back foot right from kick off and struggled to cope with the pace of the game as Vale pressed forward in search of an early goal.
The home side were never going to keep that up without the visitors threatening at some point and sure enough, Ricky Holmes managed to get in behind the Vale defence to send in a low cross.
With Charlton forwards closing in, Jak Alnwick was forced to help the ball on, getting a hand to it to move the ball away from the danger area.
Vale had Kjell Knops to thank for keeping Charlton at bay in the 18th minute when the Vale defence failed to clear, but the Dutchman was well positioned to make the block and then clear to safety.
Alnwick had to deal with a couple of shots from distance which didn’t worry the Vale ‘keeper too much, but the signs were there that the visitors were growing in confidence.
Josh Magennis might have done better with a back post header which bounced down from the Vale crossbar before being chested back to his ‘keeper by Nathan Smith.
Moments later Smith had to time his tackle to perfection when Johnnie Jackson played the ball in low and Magennis looked odds on to score from close range.
Despite a bright few opening minutes from the Vale, the game had now been turned on its head and it was Charlton who were looking the more impressive of the two sides.
GOAL:Charlton deservedly got their noses in front in the 29th minute when Holmes got the better of Knops on the Vale left, sent in a low cross from the byeline, inviting Frederick Ulvestad to tap home from two yards out.
It was a knock Vale struggled to come to terms with for a while. The home side looked a shadow of the side that began the game full of confidence and by now looked like they had very little belief in themselves.
Vale had to change something, and they did just that at he beginning of the second half when Sam Kelly took to the field as a replacement for Martin Paterson.
Vale started the second half cautiously, gradually feeling their way, looking to see if they could find any openings in the Addick’s defence.
The home side were having plenty of the ball inside the visitors’ half, but rarely tested Addicks’ ‘keeper Declan Rudd as the Charlton defence stood firm.
Vale made a second substitution in the 64th minute, sending on a forward in the shape of Rigino Cicilia to replace defender Kjell Knops.
The change was obviously designed to put more pressure on the visiting defence, but Vale struggled to boss things in the middle of the park to feed the front men.
It took some desperate defending to keep the visitors from grabbing a second goal during one Charlton attack, when Vale were throwing bodies in where it hurts and surviving.
Sam Hart whipped a ball in from the left for Cicilia to get on the end of, but his looping header dropped over the crossbar.
GOAL:The Valiants finally got the break they had been looking for when Morgan Fox upended ALEX JONES inside the box and Jones dusted himself down to smash home from the enalty spot.
With four minutes remaining Dan Turner came off the bench for Quentin Pereira as Vale went in search of a winning goal. Unfortunately it didn’t happen.
PORT VALE:Jak Alnwick, Calvin Mac-Intosch, Remie Streete, Nathan Smith, Kjell Knops, Alex Jones, Paulo Tavares, Quentin Pereira, Anthony Grant, Sam Hart, Martin Paterson. SUBS: Miguel Santos, Kiko, Sebastien Amoros, Anthony de Freitas, Sam Kelly, Rigino Cicilia, Dan Turner
CHARLTON ATHLETIC: Declan Rudd, Johnnie Jackson, Patrick Bauer, Ademola Lookman, Andrew Crofts, Josh Magennis, Ricky Holmes, Frederik Ulvestad, Chris Solly, Morgan Fox, Harry Lennon. SUBS: Adam Chicksen, Roger Johnson, Nicky Ajose, Dillon Phillips, Ezri Konsa, Brandon Hanlan, Lee Novak