Match Report from UnderhillSaturday 9th February 2013
Barnet v Port Vale
Attendance: 2,398 including 696 visiting supporters
BARNET: Graham Stack, Barry Fuller, Mark Byrne, Jon Nurse, Andy Yiadom, Jake hyde, Elliot Johnson, David Stephens, John Oster, Andy Iro, Edgar Davids.
SUBS: Jordan Brown, Clovis Kamdjo, Olly Lee, Sam Cowler, Curtis Weston, Ibra Sekajja, Harry Crawford
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Richard Duffy, Liam Chilvers, Darren Purse, Daniel Jones, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Ryan Burge, Doug Loft, Ashley Vincent, Lee Hughes, Tom Pope
SUBS: Sam Johnson, Adam Yates, Chris Shuker, Calvin Andrew, Sam Morsy, Ben Williamson, Chris Birchall
Micky Adams put out an unchanged team for the fourth game in a row as Vale went in search of a third consecutive win to keep them four points clear at the top of the league.
Vale opted to kick up bank in the first half and were inevitably bombarded in the air at times, with the heading ability of Vale’s central defenders putt o the test.
Tom Pope volleyed high over the crossbar early on in the game but he was soon using his height at te other end of the pitch with Vale under pressure from the home side.
Vale were almost caught out by a training ground corner routine in which Jake Hyde suddenly ran unmarked towards the taker, John Oster, and tried a shot which wasn’t too far wide of Chris Neal’s left hand post.
If Vale had been expecting an easy ride against a struggling Barnet outfit, then they certainly were not getting one, as the home side poured forward time and time again.
Vale seldom threatened at the top of the slope and at times looked nothing more than an average side from an attacking point of view.
Barnet almost got their noses in front in the 40th minute when Andy Yiadom knocked the ball quickly into the Vale box and Jon Nurse hit it first time from close range, but Neal reacted smartly to make a great save.
Neal then clawed one off the line when he got down smartly to his left and Yiadom wasted a golden opportunity, hitting a close range shot from the loose ball wide of the target.
Vale had looked second best for much of the opening forty five minutes and the manager and his staff would no doubt have had a lot to say in the dressing room at half time.
The Bees began the second half pretty much the same as they had played in the first half and again Vale had Neal to thank for keeping the score level.
Oster looked certain to score in the 50th minute, but again Neal reacted to touch the ball over the bar for a corner, with Vale at sixes and sevens.
Vale made a substitution in the 55th minute when Sam Morsy was sent on with Lee Hughes coming off in a tactical change.
Vale looked marginally better with the midfield bolstered but were still not making any headway and they made a second change with Calvin Andrew coming on for Ashley Vincent.
Vale went the closest they had been all game when Sam Morsy left Davids on the deck inside the box and stroked the ball across the face of goal. Calvin Andrew came racing in but couldn’t quite get a touch on the ball.
Tom Pope went close to putting Vale in fron when he rose well to meet a deep cross from Richard Richard Duffy, only to see his header come back off the post.
Vale then made a third substitution. Ryan Burge was replaced by Chris Shuker in the middle of the park.
Vale were now looking a completely different side and they were going flat out for the three points.
Unfortunately they had to settle for a single point, but given the first half performance they will reasonably pleased that, even though they had chances to nick it late on in the game.