It was a Tom Pope penalty ten minute from time that secured the Valiant victory for Port Vale as Jon McCarthy returned to Vale Park.
Both sides needed a win going into this clash as Neil Aspin’s men came out on top infront of our brand-new fitness coach.
Vale started the game well and were pushing forward from the off. David Worrall whipped in an excellently timed cross, only for Tom Pope to head straight into the arms of James Stephens in the Barnet goal.
Ten minutes in and the two players combined once again. The midfielder on-loan from Millwall slipped the ball into Pope who buried his shot straight at the keeper.
Jack Taylor looked lively in the middle for The Bees as he tried his luck with a curling effort towards Ryan Boot. 17 minutes in and the game remained goalless with Boot making it look like an easy safe.
The crosses continued to cause a threat for the visitor’s as Antony Kay whipped in a ball towards the near post, which Worrall got onto the end of and header into the ‘keeper on 24 minutes.
It was set to be a feisty encounter with a very quiet but physical half for majority of the first 45. Barnet continued with their physical presence which very nearly paid off on several occasions. John Akinde tried to chip the ball over Boot from the edge of the box after the Vale keeper rushed out, luckily the effort went well-over the bar.
Marcus Harness got the second-half off to good start as his 18-yard free-kick scraped the top of the bar on 47 minutes.
53 minutes in, Charlie Clough failed to trouble Boot once again as his header from the corner flew well over and into the travelling supporters.
Arguably, Vale’s best chance of the came within minutes as Pope found Anton Forrester on the edge of the box. His snapshot forced Stephens to a good, low save as Barnet remained level.
Harness then picked up the ball from around 20-yards out and fired a low drive towards the Barnet ‘keeper, where he made a good save to deny Marcus on 66 minutes.
The Valiants then received their first booking of the afternoon as Pope tripped up a Barnet midfielder as they drove towards goal.
Barnet had their best chance of the game on 77 as Akinde raced in behind the Vale defence and forced Boot to a low save, allowing the scoreline to remain goalless.
A penalty was awarded to Vale, as James Gibbons was brought down after a good run into the box. League Two Player of the Month, Tom Pope stepped up and buried home to make it advantage Neil Aspin.
The win makes it four unbeaten now in all competitions as Port Vale rise to 18th in the League Two table. Mansfield Town are Tuesday night’s opponents as they travel to Vale Park.
Port Vale Team: Ryan Boot, James Gibbons, Tom Anderson, Nathan Smith, Gavin Gunning, Danny Pugh ©, Antony Kay, David Worrall, Marcus Harness (Cristian Montano 71), Tom Pope, Anton Forrester (Dan Turner 76).
Unused Subs: Sam Hornby, Adam Yates, Tyler Denton, Billy Reeves, Michael Tonge.
Barnet Team: James Stephens, Harry Taylor, Ricardo Santos, Charlie Clough, Andre Blackman (Simeon Akinola 55), Ryan Watson, Jack Taylor (Jean-Louise Akpa Akpro 82), Jamal Campbell-Ryce (David Tutonda 55), Dan Sweeney, John Akinde, Shaquile Coulthirst.
Unused Subs: Craig Ross, Michael Nelson, Mauro Vilhete, Alex Nicholls.
Attendance: 4207 (106 away supporters).