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Match Reports

Match Report: Stevenage vs Port Vale

11 January 2020

A late Tom Pope penalty was enough to bag all three points for the Vale on the road against the Boro in a gruelling match at the Lamex Stadium.

The Vale started the game brightly, spreading the play well and working the ball to David Worrall on the wing where he crossed the ball to Scott Burgess whose downward header was saved by Farman inside the opening two minutes.

The remainder of the first five minutes saw end to end play with both sides looking to create a chance to shoot, with a scrappy game developing.

The best effort of the game came in the 9th minute  when Tom Conon dummied a pass before pull the ball back to Worrall who struck a venomous effort at goal and forced a brilliant save from Farman.

Both sides were sending balls towards the oppositions box but the defences of each side were making sure to prevent any danger, with Leon Legge and Nathan Smith marshalling the Vale backline.

As the game entered its 16th minute, the Vale nearly broke the deadlock with one of the moves of the season, playing eight passes between five players before Worrall slotted the ball into an on running Cristian Montano who drilled a low effort just wide of the keepers near post.

The hosts first big chance came five minutes later when Craig Mackail-Smith pulled away from Smith before hitting a low cross into the danger area of the box where Kurtis Guthrie arrived to fire towards goal but was denied by an outstanding Scott Brown save.

Eight minutes later Scott Brown was again called into action, this time flying to his right to stop Terence Vancooten from giving his side the lead with a first-time effort from 25-yards out.

As the game approached the final 10 minutes, Worrall curled in a corner which was met by the head of Tom Pope whose effort at goal just floated over the bar.

Minutes later the Boro nearly took the lead, they broke down the wing and curled the ball into the feet of Guthrie in the box, but as the forward swivelled to shoot he was met by a fantastic challenge by Smith before Burgess got the ball cleared.  

It was Stevenage’s Mackail-Smith who had the first chance of the second period, as Ben Nugent drilled a low ball across the face of goal where it was hit wide of the post by Mackail-Smith’s outside of the boot effort.

James Gibbons took on Vale’s first strike of the half, when he found some space on the edge of the box and forced a save from Farman.

As the game hit the hour mark, the Boro nearly hit the back of the net, a corner was taken quickly and the resulting cross was met by a Vancooten who arrived for a free header, but Brown was able to catch the ball and make the save.

Five minutes later Tom Conlon nearly put Vale in front, he was teed up by Worrall from a free-kick and curled a stunning effort from 25-yards, forcing Farman to make an excellent save.

From the resulting corner the ball was drilled to Montano on the edge of the box but his effort was blocked and Stevenage launched a four-on-one counter-attack, but Chris Stokes miss-hit his pass out for a goal-kick.

The next big opportunity for the Vale came when David Amoo curled a ball into the box that was flicked on by Pope to the back-post where Worrall arrived and missed from close range but was in an offside position.

It was Stevenage who came inches from going in front next, as a ball was sent into the box and met by Guthrie whose powerful header beat Brown but was cleared off the line by Gibbons who slid in with an overhead-kick.

With just four minutes of normal time remaining Tom Conlon refused to stop chasing a ball into the box along the touchline and was pulled back and wrestled to the ground winning a penalty for the Vale.

Tom Pope was the man to step up to the spot and he made no mistake in dispatching the ball past Farman to give the Vale the lead and grab his 110th Port Vale goal.

The Vale were able to see out the game and walk away with a hard-earnt three points, claiming their first win of 2020.

 

Port Vale: Brown, Gibbons, Joyce, Legge, Worrall, Montano, Amoo, Smith, Burgess (90’ Brisley), Conlon, Pope.

Unused Subs:, Maddison, Cullen, Atkinson, Browne, Evans, Bennett

Stevenage: Farman, Stokes, Digby, Kennedy, Vancooten, Guthrie, Nugent, Lakin (76’ Timlin), List, Mackail-Smith (81’ Parrett), Leesley (87’ Revell).  

Unused Subs: Bastien, Cowley, Taylor, Denton.  


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