Tom Pope’s deflected first-half effort was not enough to earn Port Vale three points against Forest Green Rovers following a 1-1 draw at Vale Park, despite a largely dominant performance.
Tom Conlon’s deflected free-kick from 25-yards came withing inches of giving Vale a 10th minute lead, after a slight nick off the wall meant the ball drifted agonisingly wide of Luke McGee’s post.
But the next big chance of the game fell to the visitors just five minutes later when Nicholas Cadden’s ball into the box was met by the head of Aaron Collins, but his effort inside the box flew over Scott Brown’s bar.
An exceptional bit of skill from Alex Hurst almost gave Vale a 28th minute lead in spectacular style, when he managed to tap the ball past the last Forest Green defender on the half-way line, then sprinted towards the box, but he could only manage to fire his effort over the bar.
But Vale eventually took the lead in the 32nd minute when Devante Rodney’s ball into the box was met by Tom Pope, whose effort on goal was deflected into the back of the net, giving the Valiants a lead to defend.
But five minutes later the visitors drew level, when Aaron Collins received the ball inside the box, and curled it into the top corner, out of reach for Scott Brown, meaning that the game would be level at the break.
Vale started the second-half with intent and should have taken the lead six minutes into the restart, when Scott Burgess found an inch of space inside the box, before unleashing an effort against the crossbar before Devante Rodney’s rebound was cleared off the line by a Rovers defender.
Despite dominating most of possession in the second-half, goalkeeper Scott Brown still had to be on his toes and was called into action in the 74th minute, when Cadden’s right-footed effort from inside the box was palmed away by our number one, before being cleared for a corner that was dealt with by the Vale defence.
David Amoo had a glorious chance to give Vale the lead with 13 minutes of normal time remaining, when he cut inside from a tight angle just outside the six-yard box, but his effort was miscued and went the wrong side of McGee’s post.
Going into the lest ten minutes of the game it was Vale who started to pile on the pressure, and Tom Pope’s point-blank range header was well saved from McGee following Tom Conlon’s curling free-kick into the box.
Vale came within a whisker of goal yet again in the 85th minute, when Conlon’s strike from inside the box was pushed away by McGee before Scott Burgess’ follow-up effort from just inside the box went just wide of the left-hand post.
But despite piling on the pressure in the closing stages, the game ended in a draw, with Vale’s next chance at three points being at the Banks’s Stadium when they travel to Walsall on Saturday.
Port Vale: Brown, Mills, Smith, Legge, Fitzpatrick, Joyce, Burgess, Conlon, Rodney, Hurst (Amoo 69’), Pope.
Unused subs: Visser, Brisley, Clark, Whitehead, McKirdy, Robinson.
Forest Green Rovers: McGee, Bernard, Stokes, Godwin-Malife, Richardson, Cadden, Sweeney, Adams, Bailey (Young 71’), Matt (Stevens 51’), Collins.
Unused subs: Thomas, Wilson, Wagstaff, Whitehouse, March.