Campion on the mark as reserves are beaten 2-1
Vale Reserves Lose Ground in Title Race
Wigan Athletic 2 (0) v Port Vale 1 (0)
Wednesday 18 March 2015
WIGAN ATHLETIC:Connor Keane, Tim Chow,MayowaBalogun, Declan Poole, Leon Barnett (Adam Anson 90+2), Liam Langford, Ryan Jennings,JoeyJohnson, Billy Mckay (Louis Robles 73), Mathew Hamilton, Jordan Flores.
SUBS NOT USED:Owen Evans, Sam Cosgrove.
PORT VALE:Sam Johnson, Kyle Clarke, Aziz Deen–Conteh, Billy Reeves (Omar Haughton 66), Richard Duffy, Lewis Burgin, Chris Birchall, Ryan Lloyd, Jonathon Kapend, Achille Campion, Enoch Andoh.
SUBS NOT USED:Harry Pickering, Mackenzie Faulkner, Dan Turner.
The top two in the Western Division met at Wigan Robin Park in a match having a vital say in the race for the title with Vale one point behind Wigan but with two games to play; a win or a draw for Vale would have made the title almost safe. However a narrow defeat means that the fight will almost certainly go to the wire now.
A strong Vale XI faced Wigan’s U21 Development squad and it was Wigan who threatened first as a free kick, after a Deen-Conteh foul, saw a McKay header saved by Johnson. Vale then took command and Birchall was soon setting up Campion for a run down the wing and he made space for a cross into the centre that was headed clear. The next action saw Andoh win a corner and this resulted in a close range shot from Campion that looked goal bound until a defender put his body in the way to block it and in the resulting melee Wigan were awarded a free kick.
Wigan did have a break where a ball over the top skidded on and Johnson was on hand to kick the ball back up-field before the attacker could take advantage. Campion did have the ball in the opposition net but he had already been blown up for offside and the Wigan defence had come to a stop. Bergin saw yellow after a heavy challenge on Jennings before Campion was again in action when cutting in from the left wing to find space to shoot but pulled his shot past the near post. Vale continued to have the majority of the attacking play and two crosses came in from the right wing without causing too much danger and halftime was reached without a goal.
The second half was a completely different scenario with the home team quickly out of the blocks and Duffy was soon making a clearance off the line and the second attempt went into the side netting. Hamilton then saw a good shot beaten away by Johnson before Wigan took the lead with only 6 minutes of the half gone as Flores hit a curling 25 yarder into the far bottom corner of the net. This only encouraged the home side and Flores was soon rattling the post and Johnson was there to save the follow up shot from Jennings. On the hour mark Flores tried his luck from distance again and Johnson was at full stretch to palm it away for a corner.
Vale then started to at least get back in the game after having a torrid 15 minutes and a Birchall cross just eluded Campion’s head as he ran into the box and the ball dropped on Lloyd’s feet at the far post and he couldn’t control the ball. Duffy was then booked for a foul in mid-field and Reeves was injured soon afterwards although he tried to play on. With 66 minutes on the clock Wigan extended their lead as Wigan’s Johnson played a ball through for Wigan Skipper Chow to cleverly hit first time into the net past an oncoming Sam Johnson.
Vale the substituted the injured Reeves with Haughton and had a hard road to get back into the game. With 16 minutes left Deen-Conteh made progress down the wing and his cross was met by Campion whose downward header bounced up into the grateful ‘keeper’s arms and 2 minutes later another Deen-Conteh break saw him play a one-two to find himself in the box where he was tackled but the ball broke to Campion who slotted the ball home at the far post; unfortunately the flag was up for Deen-Conteh being offside.
put the spot-kick away in style and the push was now on to find the equaliser. With time running out a nice feint from Andoh when receiving the ball from a throw gave him room to swing over a cross that Keane only half punched away and Birchall’s shot from outside the box went clear of the bar. In added time a Lloyd corner saw a Bergin header Cleared off the line by Balogun as Wigan hung on to leave the title race wide open.CampionVale did pull one back with 6 minutes left as Deen-Conteh again broke down the wing and as he got into the penalty area he was felled with a penalty resulting.
Lindon Roberts – Port Vale Volunteers Group