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Match Reports

Match Report: Port Vale vs Mansfield Town

21 September 2019

Vale left it late but continue their unbeaten home run in the league thanks to a Nathan Smith goal in added time.

The first chance of the game came in the 8th minute as Mark Cullen muscled his way onto the ball on the edge of the box after a Tom Pope flick on, and thundered a volley towards goal that stung the hands of Conrad Logan.

Mansfield responded instantly with a chance of their own, Krystian Pearce getting on the end of a ball into the box which was brilliantly saved by Scott Brown.

13 minutes in, Mansfield were able to break the deadlock, Christopher Hamilton got on the end of a great through ball, cut inside and had a low effort saved well by Brown but Kellan Gordon was able to put the rebound into the back of the net

Straight after the goal Askey was forced into making a change, taking off Cristian Montano with Ryan Lloyd coming on in his place as the winger was struggling with his groin.

A few minutes later Danny Rose got on the end of a cross at the back post but his header flew over Brown’s bar.

The Vale struggled to get going as the Stags were on the foot for the opening 20 minutes, and the referee didn’t allow for the game to flow.  

Mansfield’s high press tactics were able to prevent the Valiants from forging any clear opportunities on goal, with Askey’s side trying to find an equaliser as there was 15 minutes until half-time.

With 10 minutes of the half remaining David Worrall delivered a free-kick into the box that was met by Nathan Smith whose glancing header drifted by the far post.

With just seconds left of the first-half Tom Pope got the ball in the area and with some beautiful footwork found his way to the edge of the pitch, where he dinked a ball to the back post and Mark Cullen was there to volley the ball into the back of the net.

The half drew to a close all level after Cullen’s volley bounced into the roof of the net and the Vale’s hard work payed off.

Mansfield had the first chance of the second period, five minutes in, with the ball being pulled back to Mal Benning on the edge of the box but he blazed his effort high over the bar.

The visitors continued their pressure from the first-half, starting on the front foot and searching to regain their lead.

In the 60th minute Leon Legge nearly put the Vale in front, with what would have been the goal of his career, launching into the air to unleash a vicious bicycle-kick that flew just inches over the bar.

Hamilton used his pace to break into the box and readied himself for a shot but Legge arrived the block the effort and won a free-kick in the process, with the forward handling the ball as he went down.

The half continued with end to end action as both sides searched for a goal to put their team in front.

In the 73rd minute the visitors were awarded a penalty, Legge and Rose running into one another just inside the box and the referee giving the Stags a soft penalty.

The spot kick was taken by Rose and he made no mistake, smashing the ball down the middle and putting Vale back behind.

The Vale players and fans began to show their frustration at the referee for a number of soft decisions being made in Mansfield’s favour.

With 10 minutes left to play, Askey sent on Richie Bennett in place of Ryan Lloyd in order to try and grab an equaliser.

Just like in the first-half Vale had late glory, Nathan Smith popping up with his third goal of the season to rescue a massive point at Vale Park.

A corner was sent into the box and as every player on the field scrambled for the ball it was Smith who got on the end of it, poking the ball into the back of the net to keep the unbeaten home run going.

 

Port Vale: Brown, Crookes, Joyce, Legge, Gibbons, Worrall, Montano (14’ Lloyd (82’ Bennett)), Smith, Taylor, Cullen, Pope.

Unused Subs: Maddison, Pugh, Burgess, Brisley, Kennedy.

Mansfield Town: Logan, White, Benning, Pearce, Bishop, Khan (85’ Macdonald), Shaughnessy, Sweeney, Gordon, Hamilton, Rose.

Unused Subs: Mellis, Afolayan, Cook, Sterling-James, Smith, Stone.     


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