Match Report - Vale v Bradford City
Saturday 17th August 2013
Port Vale v Bradford City
Connor Ripley, Kyle Reid, Alan Connell, Raffael De Vita, Matt Taylor, Carl McHugh, Ricky Ravenhill SUBS: Jon McLaughlin, Stephen Darby, James Meredith, Andrew Davies, James Hanson, Garry Thompson, Mark Yeates, Gary Jones, Nahki Wells, Rory McArdle, Nathan Doyle. BRADFORD CITY:
Gavin Tomlin, Chris Shuker, Ben Williamson, Anthony Griffith, Richard Duffy, Louis Dodds, Chris Birchall SUBS: Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Chris Robertson, Carl Dickinson, Daniel Jones, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Chris Lines, Doug Loft, Kaid Mohamed, Lee Hughes, Tom Pope. PORT VALE:
6,552 including 1,135 visiting supporters At Vale Park
Vale recorded their first victory of the season with a deserved three points against a good Bradford City side, who played their part in an all-action ninety minutes at Vale Park.
Lee Hughes put the Valiants ahead just before half time, only for Nahki Wells to level matters four minutes after the break, but the match was decided by skipper Doug Loft's well struck 66th minute 25 yard drive.
Not happy with the performance at Colchester in Vale’s last match, Micky Adams made four changes to the starting line-up for the visit of Bradford City.
Lee Hughes came in to replace Gavin Tomlin, partnering Tom Pope up front, whilst Jennison Myerie-Williams was reinstated, Along with Adam Yates and Kaid Mohamed, with Anthony Griffith, Liam Chilvers and Richard Duffy all joining Tomlin on the Vale bench.
In a lively start to the game there was action at both ends, but it was the visitors who went closest to getting an early breakthrough when they won a free kick by the corner flag on four minutes.
The ball was whipped into the box and was headed away by skipper Doug Loft, but only as far as Nathan Doyle, who hammered in a shot from 20 yards which took the slightest of deflections to take it over the bar.
It was soon developing into a great game for the neutral, with play switching from one end to the other in an action-packed start to the game.
If manage Micky Adams had questioned his players’ enthusiasm seven days earlier at Colchester, then there was no evidence of a repeat in this game.
Whatever the game was lacking in terms of finesse, it certainly made up for passion and commitment, with both sides playing their part.
When there is so much passion and commitment in a game it can often boil over into something completely different, and it threatened to do so when Bradford’s McArdle and Lee Hughes tangled near to the touchline, and things threatened to spiral out of control.
Thankfully the match officials managed to calm things down after few minutes and the match resumed, with striker Tom Pope in the thick of things.
For the third time in the game he managed to get his head onto a cross, but again he missed the target, this time sending his header over the crossbar.
Vale, as they had for much of the first half, continued to press forward and they almost got the breakthrough they deserved in the 37th minute.
Lee Hughes hit a fierce low drive which tested Bradford ‘keeper Jon McLaughlin, who got down sharply to his left to make the save and he flowed that up by pushing the follow up effort from Kaid Mohamed out for a corner.
GOAL: Vale finally got their noses in front in the 42nd minute following a poor back pass from James Meredith. LEE HUGHES took full advantage, side-stepping McLaughlin to squeeze the ball in from a tight angle.
Nahki Wells fired wide early on in the second half as the visitors looked to get themselves straight back in the game, then Mark Yates wasted an opportunity, slicing wide of the target.
The visitors then had appeals for a penalty turned down when defender Andrew Davies went down inside the Vale box.
GOAL: The warning signs had been there since the second half kicked off, with Bradford looking very threatening and sure enough the visitors levelled in the 49th minute when NAHKI WELLS prodded home from close range.
GOAL: Vale seemed to have gone off the boil and need to find something from somewhere, and they did just that in the 66th minute when Hughes played the ball back into the patch of skipper DOUG LOFT, whose 25 yard thunderbolt took a deflection on its way into the net.
It was just what the home side needed to put some belief back into the whole team and the supporters alike, following a strong spell from a very good Bradford outfit.
All of a sudden it was Vale who were asking all of the questions, almost as though a collective belief and confidence pill had been swallowed. It was now the Valiants who were dictating things.
Yet the visitors still posed a real threat and Vale were called upon to defend stoutly in order to keep their noses in front, which they did as Bradford went flat out for an equaliser.
Vale mad a change with 90 minutes on the clock, with Louis Dodds coming on to replace Lee Hughes, with five minutes of stoppage time indicated.
Three minutes into time added on, Anthony Griffith came off the bench to stiffen things up in the middle of the park, replacing Jennsison Myrie-Williams.