Report from ABAX Stadium
Peterborough United v Port Vale
Saturday 12th March 2016
At The ABAX Stadium (London Road)
Attendance 4942 including 237 visiting supporters
Vale came from two goals down to pick up what could turn out to be an extremely important away win at London Road, but they had to do it the hard way after the home side went in front in the second minute.
Jon Taylor put the home side in front and Vale trailed at half time after Aaron Williams scored a second and Vale chances looked to be in tatters.
Byron Moore cut the deficit four minutes into the second half and when JJ Hooper levelled five minutes from time it looked like Vale would take a welcome point home with them, but Louis Dodds had other ideas, hitting the winner three minutes later.
Rob Page made one change for the trip to Peterborough, with Chris Neal keeping his place in goal ahead of Jak Alnwick, his fifth consecutive appearance since returning from a loan spell with Scunthorpe United.
Byron Moore came in for Matty Kennedy for Vale’s only change, with the news that Ajay Leitch-Smith hadn’t travelled after tweaking his hamstring late on in Friday’s training session.
Vale couldn’t have got off to a worse start to the game, despite winning a corner with just thirty seconds on the clock, as they went behind after seventy-one seconds.
GOAL: The home side got the ball up the pitch quickly and spotting a gap in the Vale defence, Harry Toffolo played the ball in to Jon Taylor, who finished the move of slotting past Chris Neal from inside the box.
Vale continued on the front foot but were finding it difficult to gert through a determined and resolute home defence.
Vale were hit on the break a couple of times, living it dangerously as they pushed bodies forward in the chase for an early equaliser.
Louis Dodds went close for the Vale but his shot was blocked and straight after Theo Robinson’s shot flew just the wrong wised of the post.
Sam Foley then headed over after Byron Moore had done well to pull the ball back from the byeline, with Vale showing signs they could get themselves back in the game.
Vale were certainly on top of things and it was a case of keeping up the concentration at the back with the likely hood that the home side would send in a long ball for their front runners.
There was a scare for the Vale midway through the first half when Ryan Inniss appeared to be troubled by his shoulder, but he was determined to play on.
On the half hour there were further troubles for the Vale when Inniss fell awkwardly inside the Vale box. The game was halted as the Vale defender received treatment, before he was eventually taken off on a stretcher and replaced by Ryan McGivern.
GOAL: Things were really scrappy once play resumed, but the home side doubled their lead in the 41st minute when Vale were again hit with a long ball and Aaron Williams rifled home from the edge of the box.
That there were eight minutes of first half stoppage time played was largely do=wn to the injury of Inniss, but neither side threatened their opponents goal within that time.
Vale looked a little sluggish in the opening couple of minutes of the second half, but by the 49th minute they had reduced the arrears.
GOAL: Sam Foley crossed from the left and the ball eventually fell to the feet of BYRON MOORE, who switched the ball over to his left foot before calmly slotting home.
Vale were beginning to show they were in business once again, but it took a two handed save from Chris Neal to push over a fierce free kick from Marcus Maddison to keep Vale in the hunt.
Vale were not making any headway, however, and Rob Page sent on JJ Hooper to replace Theo Robinson on 65 minutes.
Hooper was soon in the action, picking up a throughball from Anthony Grant but his angled drive flew past the far post.
Vale made a further change in the 76th minute when Sam Kelly took to the field as a straight replacement for Byron Moore.
Vale were looking much the better of the two sides in the closing stages of the game without really hurting the home side where it mattered.
GOAL: That changed five minutes from time, however, when a cross from the left by McGivern was met with a glancing header from JJ HOOPER and Vale were level.
GOAL: Then in the 88th minute there were further reasons for celebration when LOUIS DODDS netted to put Vale in front for the first time in the game, earning a superb away win.