REPORT: Shrewsbury v Vale
Shrewsbury Town v Port Vale
Saturday 26th November 2016
At the Greenhous Meadow
Attendance 5,429 including 792 visiting supporters
Vale were forced to make do with a point, despite having slightly the better of things against struggling Shrewsbury side on a bitterly cold afternoon in Shropshire.
Once again it was in the final third where the Valiants failed to take full advantage of their general play, the the home ‘keeper having very little to do throughout the course of the game.
Vale must now turn their thoughts to next Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Hartlepool United, when surely anything but a win will be a major disappointment.
Vale made three changes in the starting eleven to face basement side Shrewsbury Town, lining up against three former players in the home eleven and a former Vale loanee alongside them
Paulo Tavares found himself on the bench and both Martin Paterson and Anton Forrester were ruled out through injury, with Sam Hart, Sebastien Amoros and Kiko coming into the side.
The home side included Louis Dodds, AJ Leitch-Smith, Ryan McGivern and Jack Grimmer, with the Shrews looking to come out on top to climb off the foot of the table.
The early minutes of the game saw both sides attempt to get the upper hand, with neither of them managing to get on top in what was a rather scrappy opening session to the game.
Ivan Toney went close for the home side on 11 minutes with a close range effort which took a slight deflection to earn the home side a corner kick, but nothing came from it.
Sam hart picked up a yellow card after going over just outside the home penalty area, with the referee deciding Hart’s fall was all his own doing.
The home side wasted a golden opportunity to get their noses in front when Leitch-Smith nipped in behind the Vale defence to find himself one on one with Alnwick.
The Vale ‘keeper came of his line quickly to make the block an the loose ball ran kindly for Junior Brown, but thankfully for Vale he fired well over the crossbar.
Sam Kelly forced a save from Leutwiler at the other end, the Shrews’ ‘keeper pushing the ball away to his left, but there was no Vale player available to take advantage.
Then moments later Alex Jones shot over on the turn, with Vale looking for a break-through midway through the first half.
There were signs Vale were beginning to get on top, but they still had nothing to show for their efforts, with Leutwiler having very little do to.
Vale went close when the home side gave away a free kick out on Vale’s left. Ryan Taylor whipped in the free kick, which was met by Remie Street at the back post, but Alex Jones couldn’t quite get enough on the ball to direct it on target.
The home side put Vale under a bit of pressure early in the second half and also had shouts for a penalty turned down, but the referee was well positioned and rightly waved play on.
Vale made their first change on 52 minutes when Rigino Cicilia was sent on to ruffle a few feathers, with Alex Jones dropping deeper and Sam Hart making way.
Action switched from one end to the other with the leg of Alnwick keeping out Shrews’ skipper El-And one moment and a shot from Jones scraping Leutwiler’s crossbar the next.
Vale made a second change in the 63rd minute when Paulo Tavares came off the bench to replace Kiko in the Vale midfield.
Vale began to pile on the pressure, throwing bodies forward in search of an opening goal and looking more confident by the minute.
Bruno Ribeiro made his third and final substitution in the 86th minute, sending on Dan Turner up front while withdrawing Sam Kelly.
SHREWSBURY TOWN: Jayson Leutwiler, Mar Sadler, Ryan McGivern, Ian Black, Ivan Toney, Louis Dodds, Junior Brown, Jack Grimmer, Gary Deegan, AJ Leitch-Smith, Adam El-Abd. SUBS: Mark Halstead, Olly Lancashire, Jim O’Brien, Dom Smith, George Waring, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Ethan Jones
PORT VALE: Jak Alnwick, Remie Streete, Kjell Knops, Sam Kelly, Kiko, Nathan Smith, Alex Jones, Sebastien Amoros, Anthony de Freitas, Ryan Taylor, Sam Hart. SUBS: Paulo Tavares, Rigino Cicilia, Chris Mbamba, Dan Turner, Quentin Pereira, Miguel Santos, Gazim Shalaj.