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Frustrated John Askey remains encouraged despite Mansfield draw

27 December 2019

John Askey was left irritated by yesterday’s result, as his side saw a 2-0 lead slip in the final 10 minutes against Mansfield Town, but believes there were positives to take from the performance.

An equaliser in added time saw the Vale held to just a point at the One Call Stadium and the gaffer admitted his team need to make sure they see out games for all three points going forward.

The boss expressed how well he thought his players had performed throughout the game, with the first goal a highlight of the match, showcasing the brand of football he has been looking to employ.

Nathan Smith started the attack, which saw the Valiants break in numbers on the counter, with Will Atkinson and Scott Burgess spreading the play to David Amoo who crossed the ball for Smith to finish off the move with a goal.

The goal was Smith’s fourth of the season and Amoo’s second assist in as many games, displaying the continued form of the winger and how Vale are capable of getting goals from all over the pitch.

He said: “It’s a sickener, we played really well, thought first-half was pretty even, although David [Amoo] had a great chance to score, but when you’re two up with 10 minutes to go you’ve got to see games out.  

“We’re playing well, if we had seen games out we’d be nearly top of the table, maybe other teams are saying that as well, but the main thing is we are scoring goals, we are getting in front, we’ve got to find a way now of making sure we finish games off.

“Yeah [we’re getting goals from defence, midfield and attack] and we’re starting to score from free-kicks as well, and off set-plays, which is important because at the end of the season they make a big difference.

“What we’re trying to do is have plenty of movement in the team and then because of that you end up with Nathan getting on the end of things and another midfield player scoring so although we’ve only got one centre forward, it doesn’t mean we aren’t attacking, we are an attacking team.”

The second goal of the game came from a set-piece, with Leon Legge getting the final touch in goal-mouth scramble following David Worrall’s corner.

However, the gaffer was annoyed to not have two goals from set-plays yesterday, as the ball was headed in to make it 3-0 to the Vale with just over 10 minutes to play, only for it to be ruled out much to Askey’s confusion.

One thing that was clear to the boss though was how well Will Atkinson and Scott Burgess played in the midfield, with Askey praising the pair’s performance.  

The next chance for the Vale to get three points is this Sunday when top of the league Swindon Town travel to Vale Park, but the gaffer is confident his side will step up to the challenge having picked up 15 points from a possible 24 against the teams above them in the table so far.

He said: “It’s not an excuse, it [disallowed goal] should be a goal, simple as that, and then as we all know, goals change games, even though we were two up, that third seals it with 10 minutes to go. 

“I thought Will [Atkinson] did really well, because he’s not played for a few weeks and that’s the first time he’s played in his proper position, I thought he did really well and Scott [Burgess] was where he needed to be, competed really well and caused them problems.

“All of the other teams [above us] that we’ve played, it’s brought out the best in us, so hopefully that’ll be the case on Sunday, it’ll be a tough game… it’ll be a good test for us and hopefully we can get a result as we’ve done against the other top teams.”


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