Kapend's goal the difference as Vale Reserves start with a victory
Rocester 0 (0) v Port Vale Reserves 1 (1)
ROMANS: Shaw, Griffiths, Mottershead, Nutt, McBride.Subs used in 2nd Half:Froggatt, Wadsworth, Cawley, Land Allen, Martin, O’Reilly, Brown, Ritchie-Smith, Carty, Williams.
Half:stVALE 1Harry Pickering, James Gibbons, Charlie Walford, Billy Reeves, Mackenzie Faulkner, Luke Dennis, Brad Ede, Chekaine Steele, Jonny Kapend, Dan Turner, Omar Haughton.
Half:ndVale 2Callum Ferrie, James Gibbons, Alex Morris, Ben Fraser, Taylor Attrell, Mike Calverley, Mike Conlon, Chekaine Steele (Billy Reeves 65), Tom Ashton, Brian Barton, Liam Mottram.
Kapend, Steele and Haughton again combined to cut through the Rocester side and Turner’s cross was cut out for another corner. Rochester pushed on the Vale team from the off and kept them in their won half for the first 5 minutes but Vale then began to assert themselves with some slick passing moves, moving the ball quickly past the home midfield and defence to cause problems. Vale won the first corner of the game after Kapend had initially done well at the star of the move and the ball was plucked from off his head by Froggatt as the corner was swung over.
who coolly tucked it into the corner of the net.Kapend minute Vale took the lead as the referee waved play on as Vale were in possession after Reeves had been flattened on the half-way line. Haughton nutmeged his opponent and broke towards the right wing he found Turner with a pass and his shot was pushed away by the ‘keeper but only to thRocester responded with some neat moves themselves and the first was a cross from the right; the ball reached Williams but he could not get his shot away and Pickering easily collected the loose ball. Williams then saw a shot blocked by Gibbons and was soon heading over from a good position. Vale hit back from this pressure with an incisive move where Land had to be sharp to cut out a ball to Turner that would have caused problems. In the 17
Rocester then created a chance in the Vale box but it was scrambled away from the line and away to safety. Approaching the half hour mark Vale should have extended their lead as Turner received the ball in midfield, turned and played the ball first time to Haughton; he fed in Turner with a shooting chance on goal but a slight hesitation allowed a saving tackle as Kapend was also waiting with no marker. Haughton was soon in action down the left and his pass allowed Steele to move towards goal before shooting wide of the near post. At the other end of the pitch Carty then blasted over the bar from a good position, but fortunately for him he was already being flagged for offside.
Rocester were pushing to get back in the game before half time and Faulkner was called on to pull off a terrific clearing header but the referee also indicated ne had been fouled as he made it, so a free kick for Vale relieved the pressure. Vale had the last effort of the half as Haughton broke forward and shot from range but it flew over the goal and out of the ground.
Vale made comprehensive changes for the second period with only Gibbons and Steele staying on. This even younger Vale XI looked to be in little danger of conceding an equaliser and soon settled down to create further problems for the home team with Mottram getting a shot way that did not cause too much concern to Froggatt. After 6 minutes of the period Conlon saw a shot hit the outside of the far post and roll away to safety as Vale looked comfortable with a quick passing game and Barton soon saw Froggatt diving to collect he ball at his feet to ensure Rocester stayed in the hunt.
Vale were continuing to make the majority of the attacking progress and Steel saw a shot saved at the second attempt and Gibbons surged towards the penalty area before putting his shot just wide. After 65 minutes Reeves replaced Steele after he had recently had to receive treatment for a knock. With 20 minutes remaining Calverley seemed unlucky to be penalised for what seemed a good challenge 10 yards outside the box; the resulting free-kick caused no problems for Ferrie as it sailed well over the bar.
Vale continued to press and looked to be about to net another as the ball headed towards Conlon and another Vale attacker at the far post but a touch by a defender took the ball out for a corner. With 3 minutes remaining Rocester almost got an equaliser as a left wing cross swept through the Vale goalmouth evading everyone and Vale took a narrow but deserved win.
LINDON ROBERTS – Port Vale Volunteers Group