REPORT: Vale v Walsall
Attendance: 5,854 including 838 visiting supporters
At Vale Park
Monday 26th December 2016
Port Vale v Walsall
Vale put in a largely uninspiring performance in front of their biggest home attendance of the season as Walsall put a dampener on Christmas when they took all three points from the game.
minute when Scott Laird struck at the back post and in truth Vale rarely threatened after that, against what looked like an average League One side in Walsall.thVale fell behind in the 27
All credit to the visitors, however, who se players worked hard throughout the ninety minutes and deserved the win, to keep them above Vale in the table.
Vale made three changes for the visit of Walsall as the home side looked to avenge last season’s final home match defeat at the hands of the Saddlers.
Anthony Grant returned from suspension to take up his place in midfield at the expense of Sebastien Amoros, while Kiko was replaced by Kjell Knops and Jerome Thomas came in for Sam Kelly.
minute shot.thVale were looking for a good start following their disappointing performance at Wimbledon in their previous game and they started well enough, although it could have been different, had Joe Edwards put away his 4
Despite the presence of Grant in front of Vale’s back four, they still looked a little unsure of themselves when the visitors were on the attack in the early minutes of the game.
Vale needed to remain calm and organised and to stay patient until opportunities presented themselves at the other end of the pitch.
There was quite a battle going on in midfield, with neither side dominating affairs, though it could be argued the visitors had marginally the better of things from an attacking point of view.
GOAL: to take full advantage, squeezing the ball in at the back post.Scott Laird minute when Remie Streete went to ground, but the referee allowed play to continued, allowing an unmarked thVale were caught waiting for the whistle in the 27
There was another scare shortly after the goal when Simeon Jackson received the ball inside the Vale box, but he uncharacteristically screwed his shot over the crossbar when perhaps he ought to have done better.
Vale started to press hard in the latter stages of the first half, winning a succession of corner kicks as a reward for their efforts, but they failed to trouble the visitors with any of them.
minute and took a while to get back to his feet, but thankfully he was soon able to continue, without the need for treatment.thThere were concerns for the home side when Anthony Grant received a knock in the 48
minute when a fierce 15 yard shot from Cuvalier was palmed away by Alnwick.stIt was the visitors who had started the second half the better of the two sides and they went close again in the 51
The Vale ‘keeper then did well to get down sharply to make a save from the follow up at the foot of his left hand post as Walsall looked to hurt Vale once again.
Vale gradually managed to step things up a little, at last giving the home crowd something to shout about as they pushed for an equaliser.
The home side made their second substitution on 67 minutes with the introduction of Kiko as a replacement for Knops, as they looked for an injection of pace on the left hand side.
minute when Martin Paterson came on to take the place of Paulo Tavares, who had been suffering from cramp.thBruno Ribiero made a further change in the 80
minute free kick from Ryan Taylor tested the Saddlers’ ‘keeper, but Etheridge managed to push the ball over his crossbar and it was the last chance of the match.thA 95
PORT VALE: Sam Kelly, Martin Paterson, Dan Turner, Sebastien Amoros, Gezim Shalaj, Harry Pickering.SUBS:Jak Alnwick, Ryan Taylor, Remie Streete, Nathan Smith, Kjell Knops, Alex Jones, Anthony Grant, Anthony de Freitas, Paulo Tavares, Jerome Thomas, Rigino Cicilia.
WALSALL: George Dobson, Erhun Oztumer, Kieron Morris, Craig MacGillivray, Kory Roberts, Andreas Makris, Franck Moussa.SUBS:Neil Etheridge, Joe Edwards, Scott Laird, James O’Connor, Jason McCarthy, Adam Chambers, Flo Cuvelier, Simeon Jackson, Issiah Osbourne, Matt Preston, Amadou Bakayoko.