Port Vale v Walsall match reportPort Vale v Walsall
At Vale Park
Saturday 9th August 2014
Attendance: 7,050 including 1,145 visiting supporters
It was a game of two halves as far as Vale were concerned as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Vale Park by Walsall in the opening league fixture of the season.
minute strike from Tom Pope.thVale had much the better of things in the opening forty five minutes and went in leading at the interval thanks to a 26
minute through Tom Bradshaw and looked quite capable of getting a second, forcing Vale into a reshuffle.thVale struggled to boss things so easily in the second half, however, and Walsall deservedly equalised in the 59
Sam Johnson won the battle of the ‘keepers as last season’s Player of the Year, Chris Neal, was forced to settle for a place on the bench.
On loan Fredieric Veseli was favoured over Adam Yates at right back, whilst Ben Williamson was hoping to re-create his pre-season goal-scoring form as partner to Tom Pope up front.
Vale were having much of the play without causing the visitors too many problems, but that all changed on 25 minutes when Vale took the lead.
GOAL: slammed the ball home at the far post to open his and Vale’s account for the season.TOM POPELouis Dodds couldn’t quite get a clean touch on Mark Marshall’s low angled cross from the left and the ball escaped the attentions of two Walsall defenders, but
Ashley Grimes had an opportunity to put the visitors on level terms but fired over the bar from 20 yards in a rare Walsall threat on goal.
minute but the referee had already stopped play after seeing the flag raised for offside.stFormer Vale loanee, James O’Connor, had the ball in the Vale net in the 41
Vale almost grabbed a second goal a minute later when Marshall again got to the by-line – his cross was met by a first time shot from Louis Dodds, but his effort was just wide of the far post.
Vale began the second half pressing hard and were not too far off again when Michael O’Connor’s 20 yard free kick whistled past O’Donnell’s right hand post.
GOAL: levelled the score after Vale filed to clear their lines.TOM BRADSHAW A 25 yard shot from Ashley Grimes flew over the bar, but a minute later
It was ‘backs to the wall’ as far as Vale were concerned with the Saddlers pressing for a second goal and the home side were getting increasingly frustrated.
minute with Steve Jennings coming on in place of Louis Dodds.thThe situation prompted Micky Adams to make a change in the 74
Sam Johnson produced the save of the match on 77 minutes, flinging himself to his left to push away a rasping drive from Walsall left back Andy Taylor.
minute Vale made a further two substitutions, Chris Robertson and Michael Brown coming on to replace Freddie Veseli and Chris Lines.thIn the 85
Tom Pope, 26
Tom Bradshaw, 59
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Chris Robertson, Chris Birchall, Adam Yates, Michael Brown, Steve Jennings, Ryan LloydSUBS:Sam Johnson, Freddie Veseli, Richard Duffy, Ryan McGivern, Carl Dickinson, Chris Lines, Michael O’Connor, Ben Williamson, Louis Dodds, Mark Marshall, Tom Pope.
WALSALL: Craig MacGillivray, Dean Holden, Reece Flanagan, Kieron Morris, Amadou Bakayoko, Liam Kinsella, Billy Clifford.SUBS:Richard O’Donnell, Andy Taylor, James O’Connor, Paul Downing, Adam Chambers, Tom Bradshaw, Romaine Sawyers, James Baxendale, Mal Benning, James Chambers, Ashley Grimes.