Match Report from Vale Park for the final Vale Park pre-season game
Port Vale v Bolton Wanderers
At Vale Park
Tuesday 28th July 2015
Attendance: 1,288 including 151 visiting supporters
Vale fell to defeat for the first time in pre-season, losing by the odd goal in three to Championship outfit Bolton Wanderers.
Gary Madine struck either side of half time to give the visitors a two-goal lead, but Vale played some decent stuff and the game could have easily finished all-square.
Sam Foley pulled a goal back for the Valiants and for the second time in the game Vale rattled the woodwork, this time Carl Dickinson crashing a shot against the crossbar.
But the talking point amongst the fans after the game was the worrying sight of one of Vale’s key players limping off early in the game.
Following goalkeeper Chris Neal’s ankle injury last week against Notts County – an injury that will keep him out at the start of the season – boss Rob Page must have been crossing his fingers there would be no more injury problems before the opening day.
minute with what looked like a bad injury.thHe will have been bitterly disappointed therefore to see last season’s player of the year Michael O’Connor got down in the centre circle in the 8
The midfielder received treatment before being helped off the pitch, just as Neal had seven days earlier, and although there is no indication just yet to the extent of the Irishman’s injury, it will be a major concern should it be bad news.
He was replaced by Sam Foley, but it was one of the other summer signings who then went close to giving Vale the lead.
Sam Kelly was allowed to run at the Bolton defence and his shot from outside the box rattled the ‘keeper’s right upright and the ball flashed across the face of goal..
It was generally a fairly low-key affair – void of the type of challenges seen against both Notts County and Getafe in Vale previous two games, but a useful exercise never the less..
The biggest concern as far as the Vale fans in the Lorne Street Stand were concerned was the referee’s assistant on that side seemingly unable to keep up with play, with the fans calling for what seemed obvious offside decisions on several occasion and not getting them.
GOAL:, who looked suspiciously offside, beat Sam Johnson with an angled shot.GARY MADINE minute when once again, the man with the flag was way behind play and thThe fans were understandably unhappy in the 39
Vale made a change at the start of the second half with Remi Streete coming off the bench to replace Ryan Inniss, who had only joined Vale the previous day.
GOAL: got in behind the Vale defence to head home.GARY MADINE minute when the ball was crossed in from the right and thVale were caught napping in the 59
minute, with Ajay Leith-Smith coming and as a replacement for Uche Ikpeazu.thVale made a second substitution in the 66
GOAL:, who raced in the fire home from close range.SAM FOLEYThree minutes later Vale pulled a goal back. Carl Dickinson sent in a deep cross from the left to Byron Moore, whose shot was off target but met by
Rob Page immediately made a third change, with the introduction of Ryan Lloyd for Sam Kelly on Vale’s left flank. Eight minutes later Louis Dodds was taken off for a deserved rest, making way for Enoch Andoh.
Vale almost levelled on 83 minutes when skipper Carl Dickinson screamed for a square ball from Ajay Leitch-Smith – he got the ball to feet, skipped to his left and smashed the ball against the crossbar.
In stoppage time, Byron Moore was brought down inside the box and the refree rightly awarded a spot kick - Moore took it himself, but turned away disappointed after crashing the penalty kick against the crossbar.
It was a good work out for the home side and manager Rob Page, despite the injury to O’Connor, will have plenty of positives to take out of the game.
So, it’s off to Altrincham this weekend and then it’s the big one, the opening game of the season when Vale fans will be at Gresty Road in their numbers.
Ryan Boot, Adam Yates, Remie Streete, Ryan McGivern, Chris Birchall, Ryan Lloyd, Michael Brown, Sam Foley, Enoch Andoh, Ajay Leith-Smith, Colin Daniel.SUBS: Sam Johnson, Ben Purkiss, Ryan Inniss, Richard Duffy, Byron Moore, Anthony Grant, Michael O'Connor, Uche Ikpeazu, Louis Dodds, Sam Kelly. PORT VALE:
Ross Fitzsimons, Jay Spearing, Steven Dobbie, Filip Twardzik, Kaiyne Wollery, Quade Taylor, Kamara Medo, Robert Holding SUBS: Ben Amos, Dean Moxey, Dorian Dervite, Josh Vela, Liam Feeney, Gary Madine, Derik Osede, Mark Davies, Neil Danns, Liam Trotter, Lawrie Wilson. BOLTON: