Port Vale maintained their unbeaten start in the league at home, after second half strikes from Luke Joyce and two from Tom Pope secured the Vale with all three points.
The Valiants headed into the game with the hope of extending the Vale’s unbeaten run in the league at home to six games. Will Atkinson was handed his second club debut after resigning for the Vale on Friday afternoon, 11 years after playing his last game for the club in his first loan spell.
In front of a Vale crowd of 4485, John Askey’s side dominated possession in the opening 10 minutes as they looked for the opening goal. David Amoo and David Worrall once again were seeing plenty of the ball down the channels and looked dangerous from the get-go.
Despite a dominant start by Vale, Morecambe took the lead against the run of play in spectacular fashion. Midfielder John O’Sullivan picked the ball up 25 yards out and curled it beautifully into the top corner, leaving Scott Brown with absolutely no chance of saving it.
A frustrating setback for the Vale considering the start they had made; Luke Joyce came close to levelling things up straight away. A neat little interchange between Worrall and Atkinson, Joyce timed his run into the box perfectly and picked up Worrall’s pass. The midfielder smashed it at goal from a tight angle forcing the goalkeeper to parry it out for a corner.
Like every season, the Shrimps were proving to be a tough team to break down after taking the lead, but Morecambe manager Jim Bentley would’ve been left furious by his midfielder, Jordan Cranston. The midfielder received his marching orders for kicking out at Worrall off the ball 15 minutes before the half, a huge blow for Morecambe but a big boost for the Valiants.
Vale nearly took full advantage of Morecambe being a man down moments later. Jake Taylor driving with the ball at the Shrimps defence and looked to curl his effort low into the bottom corner from the edge of the box, but Roche was there to tip it wide.
As half time approached, the Vale looked to threaten Roche in goal even more. Atkinson, on his home debut, found Amoo who drilled effort at goal looked goal bound, but Morecambe threw bodies in front of it and managed to block it.
With another 45 minutes to deal with for 10 men Morecambe, Vale came out for the second half smelling blood and equalised just three minutes in. Luke Joyce, who was yet to register a Vale goal, picked up the loose ball on the edge of the box after Morecambe cleared their lines from Worrall’s corner, and absolutely hammered it into the top corner! Game on and a first goal in a Vale shirt to remember for Joycey.
The midfielders thunderbolt set the tone for the Vale as they upped the pressure on the visitors with Roche coming to Morecambe’s rescue once again. Tom Pope’s back heel found Worrall in the six- yard box as he looked to guide the ball into the bottom corner, but the goalkeeper was quick with his feet to deny brilliantly.
A dominant start to the second half for the Vale, John Askey’s side soon took the lead through none other than captain Tom Pope. Worrall drove into the Morecambe box and chipped a delicate ball to the back post for the eagerly awaiting number nine, and he sent his header back across goal and into the back of the net. Hugely deserved for the Valiants.
Shortly after falling behind, Morecambe felt they should’ve been awarded a penalty for a shove inside the box. Jim Bentley was left outraged as the referee waved play on. Straight back down the other end, Tom Pope thought he had his second and Vale’s third of the afternoon. His looping header from Joyce’s free kick hit the back of the net, but the referee deemed Pope to have man handled his defender as he went up for it.
You get the feeling Askey would’ve been slightly frustrated with his side however after taking the lead, as Morecambe began to sniff out a few chances. Sam Lavelle picked up Jake Taylor’s clearing header on the edge of the box gratefully, and had time to take a touch, but blazed his effort first time over the bar.
Pope tied the game for the Vale with just minutes on the clock. Buxton's clearance on the fourth attempt was blocked by Bennett which fell into the path of Tom Pope in the six yard box. The striker remained cool and passed the ball pass Roche to add a third for the Vale.
A terrific second half performance for the Vale as they eye up Macclesfield next week on their travels.
Port Vale XI: Brown, Crookes, Joyce, Legge, Worrall, Pope, Atkinson, Smith, Taylor, Amoo, Burgess (45’ Bennett)
Unused subs: Maddison, Kennedy, Lloyd, Brisley, Archer, Browne
Morecambe XI: Roche, Buxton, Kenyon, Old, O’Sullivan, Alessandra (48’ Ellison), Leitch-Smith (76’ Shaun Miller), Brewitt (85’ Howard), Lavelle, Tanner, Cranston
Unused subs: Halstead, Stockton, Lynch, Brownsword.