Port Vale play out of a goalless draw at Meadow Lane as Notts County salvage a point following a dominant Vale display.
John Askey named four changes to the side that were beaten by Cheltenham Town last weekend as Tom Conlon, Mitchell Clark, Luke Joyce and Luke Hannant all returned to the starting 11.
Vale began knocking early on as they looked to target Tom Pope, who in search of his 100th goal in a Vale shirt, put himself about in the early encounters as a number of crosses hit the Magpies box.
However, despite Vale’s positive start, it was the hosts who had the first real sight of goal with 20 minutes played. Michael Doyle lifted his head in the middle of the park to find Virgil Gomis toward the edge of the box, who skilfully wrong-footed Nathan Smith before striking at goal 20 yards out, however his attempt had just too much on it as it sailed over Scott Brown’s crossbar.
Just minutes later, Brown was forced into action, this time to keep the score-line level. A strong foot was all that stopped Rob Milsom from finding the net following some neat build-up play from the Magpies.
With the Vale fans in full voice, the game burst into life as it hit the half-hour mark. Vale passed up a number of opportunities to put themselves in the ascendency as Leon Legge had a bullet header blocked from inside the box before Manny Oyeleke failed to direct his headed attempt from six yards on target.
The onslaught continued as Vale bombarded the County defensive line towards the latter stages of the first-half. Nathan Smith had a header from point-blank range magnificently saved before Pope found the open net, only to have his attempt ruled out for offside. Conlon then had a fantastic free-kick from 25 yards picked out of the top corner by Ryan Schofield.
The Valiants began the second-half in the same fashion as they ended the first as Pope headed agonisingly wide from inside the box. David Worrall stood up a fantastic cross, and as the Vale fans leapt to their feet, Pope steered just wide.
Worrall continued to threaten and almost had himself on the scoresheet as his looping half-volley from the edge of the box was just tipped over before Oyeleke headed wide from close-range.
The wide-man was at the heart of the action once again as the half ticked on, getting on the end of a raking Luke Joyce through ball to cut back to Oyeleke on the edge of the box, though the powerful midfielder dragged wide of the far post. Pope then headed over from close range as it looked as the first-goal proved elusive for the Valiants.
Following a few late scares in the Vale box with just a few minutes to go, Craig Hicks called time on what proved to be an extremely frustrating afternoon for the Valiants.
Vale now look ahead to welcoming Mansfield Town to Vale Park this weekend.
Notts County: Schofield, Barclay, Gomis (Hemmings, 70), Boldewijn, Stubbs, O’Brien, Milsom, Rose, Mackail-Smith (Alessandra, 76), Stead, Doyle
Unused Subs: Fitzsimons, Tootle, Bird, Vaughan, Patching
Port Vale: Brown, Joyce, Legge, Worrall, Oyeleke, Pope, Hannant (Whitfield, 81), Crookes, Smith, Conlon, Clark
Unused Subs: Hornby, Gibbons, Montano, Kay, Miller, Howkins
Attendance: 7457 (1462 Vale)