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Match Report: Forest Green Rovers

11 February 2020

The 9-men of Port Vale emerged 3-2 winners at The New Lawn as Askey’s side recorded back-to-back away wins.

The Vale started the brighter of the two sides, moving the ball about nicely with Worrall finding space on the right wing, launching a teasing early cross that was dealt with by the Rovers’ defence.

Forest Green sprung to life in the 6th minute, after Conlon was caught in possession on the halfway line. Josh March’s resulting long-range effort required action from the in-form Scott Brown, who comfortably palmed the ball to safety in his first test of the evening.

Two minutes later came another close call for the Vale, with a section of the home support celebrating what they thought was a goal. Matty Stevens’ near-post header only managed to find the side netting from close range.

Our first real opening of the game came in the 12th minute when Clark laid off Pope who was in space inside the 18-yard box, with his low driven effort cleared off the line.

 But just a minute later Worrall’s corner delivery was flicked on by Legge, finding Shaun Brisley unmarked at the back post who fired Vale into a 13th minute lead with his first League Two goal of the season.

Proceedings were halted on the 20th minute, with Forest Green’s Odin bailey forced off through injury and replaced by John Aitchison.

 Rhys Brown’s energetic run into the box just before the half-hour mark could have doubled Vale’s lead, however his driven effort soared across the face of goal, eluding the net and Port Vale’s frontmen.

However we didn’t have to wait long for our second goal of the night, with Worrall intercepting on the halfway line and expertly slipping through Tom Pope in the 38th minute. The striker marking his return to the starting XI with a calmly taken strike past Conrad Logan.

A vital point blank save on the stroke of half time from the ever-dependable Scott Brown denied Matty Stevens, ensuring the Valiants entered the dressing room two goals to the good.

Upon resumption of the second half Vale continued to press their opponents high up the pitch, forcing Rovers to misplace several simple passes to the home crowd’s dismay.

Askey’s side were largely untroubled in the opening 15 minutes after the break, with both sides once again trying to find their rhythm.

On the 64 minute mark Rovers had what was arguably their best chance of the match, Winchester‘s effort forcing Brown into a reaction save down to his bottom left corner.

Mitchell Clark’s bursting run down the right wing caused the Rovers defence all sorts of problems and Ebou Adams fouled him inside the 18-yard box. Penalty Vale.

Tom Pope stepped up and made no mistake, firing his penalty into the top left past the outstretched arms of Logan. Vale in full control.

Conlon made way in the 70th minute, replaced by Will Atkinson. The hosts responded with their own change, replacing Stevens with Aaron Collins.

Emmanuel Oyeleke returned to action in the 76th minute replacing Scott Burgess. However just moments later Luke Joyce clipped Adams in the box, with Rovers captain Carl Winchester firing one back from the penalty spot.

The hosts seemed to gain in confidence and could have reduced the deficit to just one in the 81st, Rovers’ centre-back Farrend Rowson could only blaze his volley over the crossbar.

The Vale were reduced to 10 men in the 87th minute, after Mitchell Clark was given a straight red for a late foul on Kitching.

The home side continued to press the Valiants defence in the closing stages and forced another goal back through Winchster.

Tom Pope received a second yellow in the closing stages as Vale were reduced to 9 men, successfully defending the resulting set piece and prevailing as 3-2 winners at The New Lawn.

A big thanks to the 215 Port Vale fans that made the journey down tonight. We hope you enjoyed another memorable Super Vale Away performance!

Line-ups:

Forest Green Rovers: Logan, Bernard, Rawson, Winchester (C), Stevens, Adams, Frear, Kitching, March, Stokes, Bailey

Port Vale: Brown, Joyce, Legge (C), Worrall, Pope, Conlon, Montano, Browne, Burgess, Clark, Brisley


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