Port Vale produced a fantastic response to our recent run of form with a sensational 6-3 victory away at Bolton Wanderers.
Six different players were in the goals for the Valiants as Manny Oyeleke, Leon Legge, Tom Conlon, Cristian Montano, David Worrall and Nathan Smith all found the back of the net for the Vale.
Vale stared the game in perfect fashion when after six minutes, Cristian Montano’s low driven cross across the face of goal was met by the boot of Manny Oyeleke inside the six-yard box, who prodded the ball home past Matt Gilks to give Vale an early lead.
Vale’s dominance continued following the restart when David Worrall’s half-volleyed effort inside the box was palmed away by Gilks, with Montano’s header being tipped over the bar seconds later.
And just three minutes after taking the lead, Vale added another, when a well worked corner move was played back out wide to Worrall, whose cross into the box was met by the head of captain Leon Legge, who headed home the second goal of the game.
However, Vale’s two-goal lead didn’t last long when in the 11th minute, Bolton’s Gethin Jones cut inside, had his initial shot blocked by Oyeleke, before picking up the loose ball and curling an effort into the bottom right corner, to bring the hosts back into the game.
Despite the added Bolton pressure, Vale still looked dangerous on the counter-attack, and almost regained their two-goal cushion in the 22nd minute, when Luke Joyce’s through ball from the centre of the pitch found Montano, but his effort from inside the box was tipped over the bar by Gilks.
The Valiants continued to press for a third goal when Devante Rodney was played through by Montano inside the box, but his effort was jabbed wide following pressure from the Bolton centre backs.
Just after the half hour mark it was Bolton’s turn to have a shot on goal, when Eoin Doyle’s effort from outside of the box was tipped over the bar by Scott Brown before Doyle’s flicked effort from the resulting corner was deflected into the side-netting.
Soon after, Nathan Delfouneso's header from inside the box sailed wide of Brown’s post, as the hosts began to apply some significant pressure at the end of the first-half.
But with four minutes of the half remaining, some superb work from Devante Rodney earnt Vale a penalty as he won the ball back from Ricardo Santos before being brought down by the Bolton defender inside the box to give the Valiants a golden chance to regain their two-goal lead.
And Tom Conlon duly stepped up and converted the penalty, when he smashed it into the top-right corner to give the Valiants the two-goal lead they deserved going into the beak.
There were no signs of rust from the Valiants after the break as they added a fourth goal to their tally with Montano’s exquisite chip over the onrushing Matt Gilks, after he latched onto David Worrall’s defence splitting pass.
The Valiants were running rampant and added a fifth goal to their tally in the 50th minute, when David Worrall burst through the midfield before driving into the box and lashing the ball into the bottom corner, in a quite remarkable performance from the resilient Valiants.
Just 11 minutes later, a well-worked routine ended in yet another goal for the Valiants when another corner ended up out wide at the feet of Worrall, before his teasing ball into the box was met by the head of Nathan Smith, in what was turning into a scarcely believable result.
But our hosts didn’t lie down, and Eoin Doyle’s 66th minute right-footed strike from inside the box pulled a goal back for the Trotters as they looked to reduce the deficit.
Vale almost had a seventh goal in the 71st minute, when a mix up in the Bolton defence led to a rushed clearance from Gilks landing at the feet of Oyeleke, but his swivelled volley went just inches wide of the post.
Five minutes later, it was Conlon who had the chance to add his second goal and Vale’s seventh, when Rodney did well to hold the ball off a Bolton defender, before his half-volleyed path was met by Conlon inside the box whose effort was pushed away by Gilks.
But it was Bolton who scored the next goal of the game to make it 6-3 with 12 minutes of the match remaining, when Lloyd Isgrove’s volley from inside the box was lashed into the back of the net.
Bolton substitute Tom White had an outside of the box effort rattle off the top of the crossbar with seven minutes left, as our hosts tried to bring themselves back into the game in the late stages.
But Vale saw out the game comfortably and earned themselves a much needed and deserved three points ahead of Wolves U21’s visit to Vale Park in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday evening.
Bolton Wanderers: Gilks, Delaney (Comley 54’), Santos, Baptiste (Darcy 54’), Kioso, Jones, Sarcevic (White 79’), Thomason (Greenidge 54’), Crawford (Isgrove 54’), Doyle, Delfouneso.
Unused subs: Crellin, Mascoll, White.
Port Vale: Brown, Mills, Smith, Legge, Fitzpatrick, Joyce, Oyeleke (Burgess 88’), Conlon, Worrall, Montano (Hurst 68’), Rodney.
Unused Subs: Visser, Brisley, Cullen, Clark, Pope.