Vale boss Micky Adams reverted back to playing different sides in each half in Vale’s penultimate home pre-season friendly as they took on Coventry City behind closed doors.
Port Vale (First half):Chris Neal, Adam Yates, John McCombe, Dave Artell, Doug Loft, Louis Dodds, Tadhg Purcell, Ben Williamson, Sam Morsy, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Darren Murphy
Coventry City (First half):Joe Murphy, Jordan Clarke, Kevin Kilbane, Adam Barton, Richard Wood, Reece Brown, Billy Daniels, Carl baker, Callum Ball, Stephen Elliott, Gary McSheffrey.
Vale could well have been a goal down after just twenty seconds when Stephen Elliott slotted the ball into the patch of Callum Ball.
Ball kept himself composed as he homed in on goal, looking certain to give the visitors an early lead, but John McCombe managed to get a foot in at the vital moment and the opportunity was gone.
The Vale side were giving boss Micky Adams plenty to think about with a good display against League One opposition.
Vale made a change in the 21st minute when Ashley Vincent came off the bench to replace Purcell in the Vale attack.
Coventry created another great chance to take the lead when Elliott pulled the ball back for Adam Barton, who had all the time in the world to pick his spot, but he fired straight at Chris Neal.
Vale then went close twice in two minute when first Ben Williamson, then Ashley Vincent each fired inches wide of the target.
Vale went close again in the 34th minute when Doug Loft’s left wing cross was met by the head of Williamson, who was denied by a terrific reaction save by Joe Murphy, pushing the ball over his crossbar.
Despite Vale being on top, it was the visitors who got their noses in front when Gary McSheffrey hit a superb 25 yard shot over the head of Neal on 42 minutes.
Port Vale (Second half):Chris Neal, Gareth Owen, Doug Loft, Ryan Lloyd, Ryan Burge, Tom Pope, Ashley Vincent, Chris Shuker, Kingsley James, Clayton McDonald, Joe Davis.
Coventry City (Second half):Joe Murphy, Peter Poloskei, Callum Ball, Stephen Jennings, Joe Henderson, Will Roberts, Roy O’Donovan, Joe Pegg, Kevin Malaga, William Edjenguele, Shaun Jeffers.
Vale were looking a little subdued in the opening exchanges of the second half and it was the visitors who were making most of the running.
The home side began to settle and almost levelled on 58 minutes when Loft got behind the Coventry defence to put in a cross and Tom Pope’s header was blocked on the line by Joe Murphy.
Undaunted, the visitors went down the other end and almost added a second when Hungarian, Peter Poloskei rattled the crossbar.
Ashley Vincent hit the side-netting when perhaps he ought to have done better, in a rare second half Vale attack.
Clayton McDonald then put Tom Pope in the clear and the Vale striker had just the ‘keeper to beat. Murphy came out to narrow the angle and stuck a foot out to prevent Pope from netting the equaliser.
Vale gradually got stronger as the second half went on, but rarely troubled the Coventry ‘keeper. It was a good workout however, and it leaves a lot for Micky Adams to ponder over.