Super subs change game
Match-winner Chris Birchall was thrilled to come on as a half-time substitute and score the winner against his former side as Vale came from behind to beat Coventry City 3-2 at Vale Park.
Callum Wilson gave the visitors the lead with a neat finish before Tom Pope’s looping header from Lines’ free-kick levelled the match.
Franck Moussa silenced the Vale Park crowd with a 30-yard screamer to give the Sky Blues a lead going into half-time.
Birchall and Ben Williamson were introduced at half-time and on the hour-mark the subs combined to assist Doug Loft.
More great work from Williamson allowed Birchall to stab home the winner on 83 minutes and give Vale a deserved win.
He told Valiant Player afterwards: “First it was just nice to get on the field, I started a couple of games a few weeks ago then I out the team so it was nice to be called upon at half-time and come on and the team played well second-half.
“It’s a great scalp for us today.
“I got the shout to go on the right-hand side and I like playing there or in the middle so it was great to be called upon.”
Manager Micky Adams’ half-time changes seemed to put Coventry on the back foot and Birchall explained afterwards that the gaffer wanted Vale to start causing them problems from the begining of the second-half.
“He (Micky Adams) said just go out and work hard and get crosses in the box and try and give them a problem.
“He (Micky Adams) didn’t really concentrate on defensive issues at half-time, it was more about taking it to them and attacking them.
“When I am out there I am just concentrating on trying to do well, keep the ball and try and change the game in any way that I can,” he explained.
Williamson admittedly could have had a hat-trick on another day but his involvement in Vale’s second-half performance was there for all to see, Birchall was full of praise for his fellow substitute.
“He is always an outlet when you’re stuck on the ball you can play in behind and play down the channels, he works his socks off and he’s done it again today.
“He was a big part of the team and why we turned it around.”
Vale stood a late charge from Coventry and Anthony Griffith’s last-ditch tackle on Leon Clarke saved Vale from a certain goal.
Birchall said of his teammate: “Griffs’ tackling in the final 20 minutes was phenomenal and I think the defending in the second-half was completely different.”