Port Vale v Mansfield
Tuesday 4th October 2016
At Vale Park
Attendance: 1,025 including 61 visiting supporters
Vale’s impressive home record took another knock when they fell to their second defeat within the space of four days when Mansfield took all three points with a narrow victory.
Stags’ substitute Matt Green netted the all-important goal midway through the second half and Vale will now go to Doncaster Rovers in November needing a favourable result to ensure they progress into round two of the competition.
The defeat leaves Vale on three points, sitting in second place in the table on goal difference over Mansfield, and a defeat at Doncaster could see Vale lose out.
Bruno Ribeiro made six changes to his starting eleven to face Mansfield Town in the Checkatrade Trophy game at Vale Park.
After picking up his fifth booking of the season against Coventry on Saturday Paulo Tavares was able to start and will instead miss the game at MK Dons as the bookings don’t carry over into this competition.
Miguel Santos came in for his first appearance in goal, replacing regular first team choice Jak Alnwick, and he was joined by Calvin Mac-Intosch, Sebastien Amoros, Quentin Pereira, Kiko and Riginio Cicilia.
The other five players who were rested after starting against Coventry City in Vale’s previous fixture were Remie Streete, Sam Foley, Martin Paterson, Jerome Thomas and Michael Brown.
The Stags had two former Vale players in their ranks in their defensive pairing of Lee Collins and Krystian Pearce. Collins made 163 appearances for the Vale while Pearce featured twelve times during a loan spell in 2008.
Vale dominated the early proceedings in a game which looked a little more physical than some of the Vale players were used to since moving to England in the summer.
Rigino Cicilia and Tavares each had shots at goal from distance, neither troubling Stags’ ‘keeper Scott Shearer, each drifting off target.
Chris Hamilton had a half chance at the other end, but under pressure from Nathan Smith, he could only lift the ball high over the crossbar from close range.
The visitors really ought to have taken the lead in the 42nd minute when Darius Henderson rose unmarked to meet a left wing cross from Benning, only to somehow steer his header wide of the target.
Vale made a change at the start of the second half with Gezim Shalaj coming on to replace Paulo Tavares.
There were injury concerns for the Valiants early on in the second period when Nathan Smith went down inside the Mansfield box but he was soon on his feet again, albeit limping badly - he was able to continue, however.
Shalaj showed off his ability when he came inside from the right to beat two Mansfield defenders before unleashing a fierce drive which flew inches over the bar.
Vale as a whole were looking much more dangerous by now, though in fairness, they still weren’t giving Shearer a lot to do in the Mansfield goal.
GOAL: Despite Vale picking up the pace, it was the visitors who scored the first goal of the game when, in the 66th minute, substitute Matt Green finished from close range at the back post when the Vale defence were caught napping.
Vale kept plugging away, pushing the visitors back deep inside their own half at times yet still not really threatening where it mattered.
Vale replaced Kiko on 84 minutes, sending on the fresh legs of Chris Mbamba, who took up his position on the right flank, with Shalaj switching over to the left.
PORT VALE: Miguel Santos, Ben Purkiss, Calvin Mac-Intosch, Nathan Smith, Sam Hart, Sebastien Amoros, Paulo Tavares, Quentin Pereira, Kiko, Rigino Cicilia, Alex Jones. SUBS: Hezim SHalaj, Omar Haughton, Michael Brown, Chris Mbamba, Nathan Ferguson, Luke Dennis
MANSFIEL D TOWN: Scott Shearer, Rhys Bennett, Malvind Benning, Lee Collins, Krystian Pearce, Chris Clements, Chris Hamilton, Ashley Hemmings, Oscra Gobern, Darius Henderson, Tom Marriott. SUBS: Matt Green, Brian Jensen, Kevan Hurst, Mitchell Rose, Jamie McGuire, Danny Rose, Corbin Shires.