Port Vale produced a fine display and team performance at Adams Park this afternoon after capturing a vital point against promotion-chasing Wycombe Wanderers.
A man-of-the-match act from Ryan Boot allowed Gareth Ainsworth’s side to become frustrated during periods where credit also goes to Nathan Smith who impressed on his 100th consecutive start for The Valiants.
Wycombe started the game well and pressurised the Vale defence well. Danger-man, Adebayo Akinfenwa, headed Joe Jacobson’s corner into the ground forcing Ryan Boot to push over.
It game went quiet during periods with either side implementing their quality during the early stages.
It became very end-to-end with supporters enjoying the pick of the action as Ben Whitfield was next to try his luck to open the scoring. Tyrone Barnett followed on from Kyle Howkins’ knock-down allowing Whitfield to let fly on 27 minutes.
Charlie Raglan started at right-back for the 3pm encounter and had the task of marking Nathan Tyson during the game. His threat soon became clear as he made a darting run down the left to whip it across the boss, fortunately no one was there to convert.
Luke Hannant began to cause problems down the middle with Dave Worrall, delivering dangerous crosses on the stroke of half-time.
Boot was yet again called into action, denying Sido Jombati’s header before the half-time whistle was blown.
Dan Turner was then out to make an impression after replacing Anton Forrester at half-time.
The half started well for The Valiants with Turner chasing down every ball played to him and the midfield holding the ship well.
Akinfenwa also proved to be a tough test for both Smith and Kyle Howkins, but they continued to impress.
64 minutes went by as Barnett was next to try his luck. After breaking down the middle, the striker let fly on his left-foot to force Scott Brown to a good save.
It was an entertaining couple of minutes as Wycombe came back. Tafari Moore and Marcus Bean combined well, which lead to a defensive error – allowing the ball to slip behind Howkins. Thankfully, no one was at the backpost to convert for The Chairboys as Vale were let off.
Cristian Montano has recently been the star-man in the last few weeks and made a dangerous run forward crossing in towards the backpost where nobody was to be found.
Raglan somehow managed to find his way on the edge of the area as he left fly on 75 minutes. A good save was yet again forced from Brown with Neil Aspin’s men pushing forward.
Boot was yet again called into action, making a great save from Mackail-Smith’s left-footed effort from six yards. Ten minutes remained with both sides looking to take all three points.
With just minutes remaining, Boot kept the score goalless producing a fine double stop. Firstly, denying Mackail-Smith and then jumping on the ball at the last second to deny any forceful finish.
Overall, a good performance from Neil Aspin’s men who impressed throughout the afternoon. An excellent point goes back to Burslem with Chesterfield up next on Good Friday.
Wycombe Wanderers Team: Brown, Moore, Jacobson, Jombati, El-Abd ©, Gape, Bean, Thompson (Bloomfield 65), Freeman (Makail-Smith 62), Akinfenwa, Tyson (Kashket 62).
Unused Subs: Ma-Kalamby, Cowan-Hall, Harriman, Williams.
Port Vale Team: Boot, Raglan, Smith, Howkins, Montano, Pugh ©, Hannant, Whitfield, Worrall (Harness 84), Forrester (Turner 45), Barnett.
Unused Subs: Hornby, Gibbons, Howe, Davis, Middleton.
Attendance: 4620 (208 away supporters).