Birchall at the double as Vale beat Walsall
Walsall 3 (1) v Port Vale 4 (2)
Tuesday 08 September 2015
RESERVES WINNING START TO TITLE DEFENCE
WALSALL:Liam Roberts, Kyle Rowley (Jordan Sangha 60), Lee Naylor (Reakwon Smith 60), Sem de Wit, Matt Preston, Isaiah Osbourne, Anthony Forde (Amadou Bakayoko 67), Liam Kinsella, Jordan Cook, James Baxendale, Jordan Murphy.
SUBS NOT USED:Dan Jezeph, Mazair Kounyar.
PORT VALE:Ryan Boot, Chekaine Steele, Alex Morris, Ryan Lloyd, Billy Reeves, Ryan McGivern, Chris Birchall, AJ Leitch-Smith, JJ Hooper, Colin Daniel, Sam Kelly.
SUBS NOT USED:Calum Ferrie, James Gibbons, Dan Turner, Omar Haughton, Mackenzie Faulkner
minute when Murphy tested Boot with a shot from the right wing that he dealt with comfortably, however within 60 seconds it was 1-0 to the hosts as Vale conceded possession in the penalty area and in an effort the retrieve the situation McGivern stuck out and leg and a penalty resulted that Cook tucked away.thFor the second season running Vale Reserves began the season with an away game at Walsall; this time it was played at the Saddlers’ training ground and not Chasetown but the result was the same with a win and 2 goals from Chris Birchall. The game began slowly and the first effort came in the 7
out on the left edge of the penalty area and put over a pin point cross that evaded the defenders and AJ brought it down and placed it high into the far side of the net across the ‘keeper. Walsall had much the better of the next 15 minutes with Boot saving a header from Murphy, collecting through balls to snuff out other promising attacks and Murphy also slicing wide from a good position.Leitch-Smith minute as Birchall saw thVale scored an equaliser in the 14
took a step forward and lashed a shot just inside the near post from 25 yards giving the ‘keeper no chance. Walsall had the best of the game until halftime as Morris headed off the line and Boot was at full stretch to push a goal bound effort from a free-kick away after it had skidded through a ruck of players.LloydA Vale attack had broken down at the edge of the box but the ball ran free and Birchall then brought a good save from Roberts before Vale took an unexpected lead just after the half-hour mark.
on the right wing once more, he ran at goal whilst also holding off the defender and as the goalie advanced and a tackle came in hammered the ball home.Birchall on the right wing, he advanced a few yards before turning inside and unleashing a 35 yard diagonal shot across the ‘keeper and into the far corner of the gaol before the full back could get a tackle in. Next to threaten was Lloyd who saw another shot from outside the area pushed over the bar at the last second as Vale now dominated the game and with. With only 8 minutes of the second half gone Vale were 4-1 up after Hooper fed BirchallVale scored a goal just 14 seconds after the restart as the ball was played out wide to
minute before Boot saw real action in the second half as comfortably collected a shot and soon after Sangha shot wide from the edge of the area. With 15 minutes to go Vale almost added a fifth as Birchall threaded a ball through for Hooper to run at goal; he tried to place the ball through the ‘keeper’s legs but it took a slight deflection and hit the post and went out for a corner.thVale were in complete control at this point with Daniel seeing a goal bound header plucked out of the air at the last moment and then a Kelly cross saw Daniel control, turn and hit the bar with a snap shot. It was the 69
minute as Cook slotted home from close range after just missing from a good position. Walsall poured forward during the 3 added minutes with even the ‘keeper coming up for a corner but Vale held on to take the points.thThe balance of the game then changed completely with Walsall piling the pressure on Vale and Cook shot just wide after a nice move that presaged what was to come. With 10 minutes remaining Walsall pulled one back as Vale conceded possession in the penalty area and the ball was played across the edge of the box where Sangha drove the ball home. The pressure continued and Boot coming to Vale’s rescue again with a number of saves included one that changed direction after hitting McGivern. Walsall’s reward did come in the 89
Lindon Roberts – Port Vale Volunteers Group