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Neil Aspin demands improvement ahead of Cheltenham Town tie

9 December 2018

Port Vale scraped a point at The Globe Arena against Morecambe on Saturday afternoon, and Neil Aspin was far from impressed with his side's performance.

The Valiants certainly left it late to mount a comeback against The Shrimps having gone two goals down before the break, as Antony Kay found the net with just six minutes of regular time to play.

The experienced midfielder managed to beat the Morecambe offside trap to find himself all alone just six yards from goal, before he placed into the bottom corner to finally bring Aspin's side back into the tie.

Tom Pope maintained his fine goal-scoring form to complete the comeback, as he slammed home an 87th minute header to swing the tie in The Valiants favour. However, all of Vale's hard work was almost undone as The Shrimps immediately headed up the other end to earn a penalty.

Scott Brown brought down the Morecambe forward inside his own box to well and truly end Vale's hopes of gaining a point, however, the Vale stopper went from Villain to Hero in a matter of minutes as he clawed away A-Jay Leitch-Smith's spot kick to secure Aspin's side a hard-earned point. 

Despite coming from two goals down, the boss was far from happy with his sides performance.

He said: "I always try and be honest as a manager and they just didn't perform in that first-half. I've always said, if you play a team who deserve to beat you then I'll hold my hands up, but what does annoy you is when a team out fights you and out battles you to every ball - that's what Morecambe did in the first-half.

"They were full value for their lead and they're going to be disappointed they haven't won the game because on any other day they would've won it. So many players were below par, especially in that first-half and there's no way he (Legge) could've stopped the tide."

The draw now takes Vale three games unbeaten following wins over Yeovil Town and Stoke City Under-21s, and the gaffer wants to see a huge improvement in performance when they welcome Cheltenham Town to Vale Park on Saturday.

Cheltenham will be full of confidence ahead of the tie off the back of a 2-1 victory over Grimsby Town, and the boss believes that Vale need to be much better to overcome The Robins.

"I'll take the point, but I'm not going to take anything away from Morecambe, they fully deserved the lead and put us under a lot of pressure in the first-half and regardless of the result we have to play better.

"I thought the players let themselves down, they let the supporters down and they let me down in that first-half."


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