REPORT: Vale v Chesterfield
At Vale Park
Friday 30th December 2016
Port Vale v Chesterfield
Attendance 4,027 including 37s visiting supporters
Vale finally got the win they had been lacking as they overcame a battling Chesterfield outfit to record their first league win since they beat Fleetwood at Vale Park in mid-November.
Vale enjoyed s stroke of good fortune when a cross from Jerome Thomas took a deflection to beat Spireites’ ‘keeper Ryan Fulton, but you make your own luck in this game and it was no more than Vale deserved over the 90 minutes.
It was a spirited display from the Valiants, who put in the kind of performance Caretaker Manager Michael Brown will have insisted upon.
Michael Brown made two changes for the visit of Chesterfield as Vale went looking to improve their recent form and help lift themselves back up the League One table.
In came Ben Purkiss for his first start since he faced Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in October – he was joined by the recalled Sam Kelly, who was on the bench in Vale’s previous fixture.
The two to miss out were Paulo Tavares and Alex Jones, who was a late omission due to illness after being named in the team prior to kick off.
Vale were on the back foot in the early stages of the game as the visitors looked to take advantage of any lack of confidence they might detect in a Vale side without a win in eleven outings.
Anthony de Freitas was well positioned to block a shot from former Vale loanee Jay O’Shea and Kjell Knops moved sharply to block the path of Reece Mitchell as Vale stood up to the efforts of the Spireites.
Vale were looking to hit the front men quickly, with Jerome Thomas playing just behind Rigino Cicilia, as the visitors were leaving their defenders exposed as they tried to go forward in search of an early goal.
Vale still struggled to test Ryan Fulton in the Spireites goal, however, with the goalkeeper largely a spectator for much of the opening half hour.
Vale were certainly scrapping for every ball, culminating in a couple of yellow cards for Michael Brown’s men, but the home crowd were warming to their efforts.
Cicilia tested Fulton from close range, with the Chesterfield ‘keeper turning the ball out at his near post at the expense of a corner kick, then Sam Kelly hit a rasping drive inches over the bar as Vale continued to press.
Vale then had a let off at the other end when Ched Evans was free to shoot at the back post after Alnwick had saved from Ariyibi, but the Vale ‘keeper got down smartly to block again.
Vale tinkered with the side slightly at half time, with de Freitas starting on the left and Kelly on the opposite flank and they went close three minutes after the interval.
Taylor’s deep cross was knocked down by Cicilia and Anthony Grant came racing in to try and get a shot in, but under pressure, could only fire over the bar.
Ryan Taylor was well placed to shoot when Cicilia played the ball into his path but his shot was well held by Fulton in the Spireites goal.
GOAL: took a deflection on its way past Fulton and Vale had the lead.JEROME THOMAS minute they got that little bit of luck they needed when an intended cross from stVale were beginning to press a lot higher up the pitch and in the 61
Vale were not content to sit on their lead and the home side pushed forward in search of a second goal to give themselves a bit of breathing space.
minute but he snatched at his chance and fired high over the Vale crossbar.thRai Simons had an opportunity to level for the visitors in the 78
Vale made two late changes, when Dan Turner came off the bench to replace Jerome Thomas and Kiko came on for Sam Kelly.
There were what seemed a rather generous five minutes added on, during which time Vale made a further change when Sebastien Amoros replaced Anthony de Freitas, and Vale took all three points in Michael Brown’s first game in charge.
PORT VALE: Rigino Cicilia, Dan Turner, Kiko, Quentin Pereira, Miguel Santos, Sebastien AMoros, Gezim Shalaj.SUBS:Jak Alnwick, Ben Purlkiss, Remie Streete, Kjell Knops, Sam Kelly, Jerome Thomas, Nathan Smith, Alex Jones, Anthony de Freitas, Ryan Taylor, Anthony Grant.
CHESTERFIELD: Ryan Fulton, Sam Hird, Gary Liddle, Ian Evatt, Ched Evans, Reece Mitchell, Liam Mitchell, Liam O’Neil, Jon Nolan, Dion Donohue, Jay O’Shea, Gboly Ariyibi. SUBS: Dan Gardner, Lloyd Allinson, Rai Simons, Tom Anderson, Conor Wilkinson, Jake Beesley, Curtis Morrison.