REPORT: Vale v AFC Wimbledon
Port Vale v AFC Wimbledon
April 2017stSaturday 1
At Vale Park
A goal in each half was enough to give the Vale what could prove to me three massive points come the end of the season as they saw off a determined Wimbledon outfit to lift themselves out of the bottom four, with results elsewhere favouring the Valiants.
Nathan Smith gave Vale the lead midway through the first half when he got on the end of a cross from Chris Eagles, to steer a powerful header into the back of the net.
Despite holding the lead, Vale know they still had plenty to do, then on 69 minutes Eagles himself hit a scorcher to double Vale’s lead, and ultimately give the home side all three points.
Michael Brown made three changes to the starting eleven to face Wimbledon, in what was another big game for the Valiants as they sought to lift themselves out of the bottom four.
Despite hopes that Remie Streete would make the side, it was decided he wasn’t quite ready, so that meant a start for André Bikey, following his debut from the bench the previous weekend.
Kjell Knops came in for Kiko, after missing a couple of games himself through injury and Rigino Cicilia partnered JJ Hooper up front, in the absence of Anton Forrester.
The visitors started confidently, forcing Vale on the back foot as they looked to unsettle the Vale defence and play on any nerves that might be present.
With under two minutes on the clock Sam Foley was forced to head over his own crossbar with the ball bobbling about dangerously in the Vale penalty area.
But before long Vale began to settle down and cause one or two problems for the visitors at the other end, giving the home crowd a lift at the same time.
minute when Jake Reeves wriggled his wasy past a couple of Vale defenders inside the box to prevent himself with a great opportunity to open the scoring, but his shot hit the side netting.thThere was a scare for the home side in the 16
Within sixty seconds Vale then gave the visitors something to thing about when a powerful drive from Chris Eagles shook the frame of the goal, crashing against Shea’ left upright.
Play immediately switched back to the other end and Mehmet stopped a stinging drive from Parrett, but couldn’t prevent the ball from slipping out of his hands. It rolled agognisingly towards the goal line, but the Vale ‘keeper pounced on it as was about to cross the line.
GOAL:, who’s header gave the ‘keeper no chance.NATHAN SMITH minute Vale took the lead when a right wing cross from Chris Eagles was met by the head of Vale defender stThen in the 21
With confidence clearly on the up, Vale continued to cause problems, but it was imperative they remained disciplined at the back as the visitors continued to probe.
Despite being in front, Vale were not allowed to relax for a single minute, with the visitors obviously believing they could pull a goal back and level the scores.
Early in the second half following a corner to the visitors, Dons’ defender Darius Charles hooked a shot through a crowded Vale area – thankfully just wide of the target.
Vale looked to be inviting pressure and the visitors were more than happy to oblige, again forcing the home side on the back foot for long periods.
GOAL: drove forward and hit a stunning strike onto the top corner of the net, via the inside of the post.CHRIS EAGLES minute when thIt was difficult to see how Vale were going to hang on, but they went one better in the 70
minute when Chris Eagles was taken off for a deserved rest and his place was taken by Anthony de Freitas.thVale made a change in the 77
PORT VALE: Leo Fasan, Sam Kelly, Dan Turner, Scott Tanser, Anthony De Freutas, Billy Reeves, Olamide Shodipo.SUBS:Deniz Mehmet, Ben Purkiss, Kjell Knops, Ryan Taylor, Rigino Cicilia, JJ Hooper, Sam Foley, Danny Pugh, Nathan Smith, André Bikey, Chris Eagles.
AFC WIMBLEDON:: Joe McDonnell. Jonathan Meades, Will Nightingale, Dominic Poleon, David Fitzpatrick, Alfie Egan, Jayden Antwi.SUBSJames Shea, Paul Robinson, George Frtancomb, Jake Reeves, Tom Elliott, Tom Soares, Andy Barcham, Dean Parrett, Sean Kelly, Darius Charles. Lyle Taylor.