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Record breaking captain Tom Pope left frustrated by Newport result

2 September 2018

After netting his 56th goal at Vale Park to become the all time record goal scorer at the ground, Tom Pope would've hoped his record breaking moment would be enough to earn Vale at least a point against Newport County in the 2-1 defeat.

Popey's third goal of the season pulled the Vale back on level terms after falling one behind to a Scott Bennett goal, but it wasn't enough as Newport struck again early in the second half to take all three points.

As Pope wheeled away in celebration of his equaliser accompanied by his teammates, it was a moment which had fans inside the ground celebrating and applauding the fantastic achievement. For Popey however, it was all about the result and is more concerned about getting points on the board for Vale rather than celebrating his own personal record. 

The humbled striker said it's a moment he may look back on in 20 years time down at the pub and tell everyone he was the record goal scorer, but for now he's focused on Vale picking up a win and moving the club up the table.

"I've said before, individual records, honours, trophies, it's a team game. It's not something I pride myself on, so it's one of them...I think at the minute when you're losing games of football that's the last thing you want to think about really.

"I think as a striker you want to score every week. At Carlisle I had a good chance with a header which I'd normally score, last week I didn't have a chance. I thought today for large spells we dominated and it's the best we've played since the opening game. I actually quite enjoyed it!

"We got forward, put plenty of crosses in, hit the post two or three times. It's just one of them days where decisions and luck wasn't on our side."

A moment which could have turned the tide for Vale yesterday afternoon was midway through the second half, when Popey's goal bound header appeared the strike the arm of a Newport defender inside the six yard box.

Despite the mass protests from everyone inside the ground, the referee waved away any claims of a penalty and awarded Vale a corner. 

Neil Aspin in the week confirmed the club had received three apologies from referees over penalty decisions in recent weeks, and a fourth one could very well be on it's way. It was a moment which left Popey and everyone else inside the ground scratching their heads at.

"I don't like using excuses, I don't like blaming other people. I'm one of them that believes you've got to look at yourselves. I think today everybody did well, a couple of poor goals to concede which took ricochets and they had the luck.

"It was a stonewall penalty any day of the week. A million percent, I don't know how he can't give it. His arm is two feet above his head, it's not a case of a ricochet and come off his leg and hit his arm. He knows it's gone over his head and he's raised his arm to clear it. 

"I don't know anyone can give that..."


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