Match report from the Crown Oil Arena
At the Crown Oil Arena
Tuesday 4th April 2017
Rochdale v Port Vale
Attendance 4,387 including 851 visiting supporters
Vale were dealt a blow to their survival hopes after going down to ten men midway through the first half against Rochdale when midfielder Danny Pugh was red carded for a tackle right on the edge of the Vale box.
They had competed well up to that point but went on to concede three goals by half time, as well as losing defender Kjell Knops, who was taken off on a stretcher.
It was always going to be a huge ask of the Vale, going into the second forty five minutes and although the scoreline stayed the same, the second half performance, with ten men, must have given the lads confidence.
Michael Brown named an unchanged starting eleven following Vale’s win over AFC Wimbledon three days earlier – the only change coming on the bench, where Kiko came in for Scott Tanser.
Vale began much the better of the two sides, playing high tempo football high up the pitch, forcing the home side to defend deep inside their own half.
Vale, no doubt buoyed by the win at the weekend that took them out of the bottom four, were looking strong in every department and the home side were struggling to get into the game in the opening minutes.
Chris Eagles was forced to change his shirt after receiving a blow to the face, and then again a few minutes later he switched back to his original shirt.
It was always going to be difficult for Vale to sustain their pressure for too long and they were soon forced onto the back foot.
The home side had an opportunity to go in front midway through the first half when Henderson was tripped right on the edge of the 18 yard box by Danny Pugh, who was red-carded for his troubles.
the Vale wall did its job, blocking the free kick before hacking it away to safety.. Things could have got worse for the Vale, but
GOAL: was able to blast the ball home from close range.Matthew Lund the box, and with Vale unable to clear, minute when Vale when the ball bobbled about inrdThe home side took the lead in the 33
During the build-up to the goal, Kjell Knops picked up an injury and he stayed on the floor receiving treatment with the game held up for several minutes, before the defender was taken off on a stretcher and replaced by Kiko.
GOAL:, who stunned the visitors when he chipped the ball in from the right hand corner of the 18 yard box.Donal McDermottThe home side doubled their advantage with 42 minutes on the clock when the ball was fed inside for
Vale made a substitution on 45 minutes as the fourth official held his board up to indicate there would be seven minutes of stoppage time – Anthony de Freitas coming on to replace Rigino Cicilia.
GOAL: spotted the ball and sent Deniz Mehmet the wrong way to extend the home side’s lead.Ian HendersonVale protests were all in vain when the home side were awarded a spot kick six minutes into first half stoppage time. Dale skipper
Vale started the second half brightly, bravely taking the home side on with a belief they could still get something from the game.
Rochdale ‘keeper Conrad Logan did well to push away a stinging free kick from Ryan Taylor that was too hot to handle.
Former Vale player Calvin Andrew got away with just a yellow card following a not so tasty challenge which left Chris Eagles flat out on the turf, but thankfully the Vale man was soon up on his feet.
Had the home side been more accurate with their shooting Vale could have easily slipped even further behind, but to their credit they kept plugging away.
But it was always going to be a struggle, three goals down and playing with just ten men against a side full of confidence.
Vale continued to put in a spirited display, giving the manager a full one hundred percent, but sadly they could find a way back into the game.
Vale made another substitution on 81 minutes when Billy Reeves came off the bench to replace Sam Foley, who it seemed had covered every blade of grass.
ROCHDALE: Peter Vincenti, Ben Wilson, Reuben Noble-Lazarus, Steven Davies, Jamie Allen, Aaron Morley, Mark KitchingSUBS: Conrad Logan, Joseph Rafferty.Jimmy McNulty, Harrison McGahey, Matthew Lund, Calvin Andrew, Callum Camps, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Donal McDermott, Oliver Rathbone, Ian Henderson.
PORT VALE: Leo Fasan, Sam Kelly, Dan Turner, Kiko, Anthony De Freitas, Billy Reeves, Olamide ShodipoSUBS:Deniz Mehmet, Ben Purkiss, Kjell Knops, Ryan Taylor, Rigino Cicilia, JJ Hooper, Sam Foley, Danny Pugh, Nathan Smith, André Bikey, Chris Eagles.