Vale reserves win at Mansfield
Central League – Divisional
29th August 2012
Mansfield Town 0 Port Vale 1
The Vale reserves won their first game of the season thanks to a goal by Gareth Owen.
The all-important goal came in the 12th minute when a short corner taken by Kingsley James to Tom Morris resulted in a cross that eluded everybody but was bundled in at the far post by Owen.
Sam Johnson produced a good save to deny Matt Rhead to enable Vale to stay in front. At the other end Ben Williamson took up a good position on the edge of the box but was thwarted by former Vale defender George Pilkington.
The surface was slippery after the earlier heavy rain, but the Vale defence held firm whenever Mansfield threatened an equaliser. In the 37th minute, Vale were forced into a change when Darren Murphy went down clutching his leg and he was replaced by Josh Croft.
Vale almost made it 2-0 four minutes into the second half when James did well to intercept a loose ball in midfield and he sent Rob Taylor clear but he drilled his shot just past the far post.
Joe Evans headed clear from under the bar as the Stags poured forward, and they introduced another former Vale player on striker Louis Briscoe in the 55th minute. Briscoe did go close but generally the Vale back line weren’t rattled.
Three minutes from time Croft played Williamson clear on the edge of the box but his shot was saved by the outstretched leg of the home ‘keeper.
Vale team – Johnson, Evans, Morris, Murphy (Croft 37), Davis, Owen, James, Burge, Williamson, Lloyd, Taylor
Subs not used – Boot, Pryor, Marland, Price