REPORT: Vale v Bury
Port Vale v Bury
Friday 20th January 2017
At Vale Park
Attendance 4,338 including 405 visiting supporters
Vale were forced to settle for a point despite twice taking the lead as Bury came from behind each time with two goals from the in-form James Vaughan.
Tyler Walker showed just why caretaker boss Michael Brown had shown faith in the youngster, when he hit a beautiful strike to open the scoring with 19 minutes played.
Vaughan levelled for the visitors before Vale retook the lead when Ryan Taylor scored from the spot after Walker had been upended in the box, but Vaughan again equalised to give Bury a share of the points.
Michael Brown made four changes to the side that were beaten in the FA Cup at Huddersfield , with Vale fielding three debutants as they lined up to face a Bury side which included form Vale favourite Tom Pope.
New signing Chris Eagles had to settle for a place on the Vale bench, but there were starts for both Callum Guy and Tyler Walker and also for JJ Hooper, who formed a strike partnership with Walker.
Jak Alnwick didn’t quite make it back from injury, while Anthony de Freitas, Rigino Cicilia and Sam Kelly all found themselves named amongst the substitutes.
Vale began the game on the front foot, pressing hard to keep the visitors inside their own half, with Jerome Thomas looking particularly lively down the left flank during the early exchanges..
Vale went close to opening the scoring on 7 minutes when he spotted a gap and had a go at goal, There was a slight bend on his shot and the ball whistled just a couple of inches past the Bury’s left hand post.
The visitors were presented with an opportunity two minutes later when Ryan Boot came racing off his line. He didn’t get the cleanest of touches and the ball fell to James Vaughan.
In fairness to the Bury forward, who had netted four goals in his side’s previous fixture, he had to snatch at the chance and fortunately for the home sidehe was unable to hit the target.
A few minutes later, hesitancy from Vale’s rookie ‘keeper almost saw the visitors take the lead when Vaughan again raced onto a loose ball, this time getting his shot on target.
With Ryan Boot stranded on the edge of the box, Nathan Smith came to the rescue, hooking the ball over his own crossbar as it was about to cross the line.
GOAL: Vale didn’t deserve to go behind, and in fact it was Michael Brown’s side who took the lead on 19 minutes when TYLER WALKER was allowed to run at the visitors’ defence, before hitting a shot to the ‘keeper’s right for his debut goal.
Vale continued to keep it tight at the back, meaning Boot was little more than a spectator for much of the time, as Vaughan and Tom Pope were kept fairly quiet.
Vale shot themselves in the foot five minutes before half time when Jerome Thomas gave the ball away cheaply on the Vale left.
GOAL: The visitors immediately crossed low into the box and James Vaughan came racing in to apply the finishing touch from close range for his third goal against the Valiants this season.
GOAL: Two minutes into first half stoppage time Vale were awarded a penalty when Tyler Walker was brought down in the box. RYAN TAYLOR stepped up to take the spot kick and sent Rob Lainton the wrong way.
Vale began the second half strongly, looking to strengthen their lead, but they got caught out with too many men pushed forward and were hit on the counter attack.
GOAL: Jacob Mellis was able to sprint upfield unchallenged, before slipping the ball into the path of Vaughan to hit his second goal of the game in the 55th minute.
Vale struggled to get any rhythm into their play for a while, with the visitors working exceptionally hard to make things difficult for their hosts.
Vale went close to a third goal when Ryan Taylor got on the end of a left wing cross from Kjell Knops to plant a firm heard just wide of the target.
Vale then made two changes, with 69 minutes on the clock, On came Chris Eagles and Anton Forrester, replacing Jerome Thomas and JJ Hooper.
Walker went close minutes later following a one-two with Forrester, but he couldn’t keep his shot down and Lainton watched as the ball flew over his crossbar.
The substitutions had given Vale the fresh legs they had been looking for and they were now in control again, forcing the visitors on to the back foot.
Vale made their third and final change in the 89th minute when Rigino Cicilia was sent into mix, replacing debutant Tyler Walker.
PORT VALE: Ryan Boot, Ben Purkiss, Remie Streete, Kjell Knops, Nathan Smith, Callum Guy, Jerome, Thomas, Tyler Walker, Ryan Taylor, Anthony Grant. SUBS: Harry Pickering, Sam Kelly, Rigino Cicilia, Anton Forrester, Sebastien Amoros, Anthony de Freitas, Chris Eagles.
BURY: Rob Lainton, Greg Leigh, Cameron Burgess, Anton Kay, Tom Pope, James Vaughan, Jacob Mellis, Tom Soares, Scott Burgess, Hallam Hope, Reece Brown. SUBS: Ben Williams, Kelvin Etuhu, Danny Mayor, George Miller, Jacob Bedeau, Callum Styles, Jack MacKreth