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Clarke delighted to match best run since 1996

11 April 2021

Nathan Smith’s 34th minute header made it six wins in a row for the Valiants which was last achieved in March 1996. Vale saw out the rest of the game and limited Morecambe to very few chances at goal to clinch victory once more.

28 minutes into the game after each team had a couple of chances, the match was brought to a halt due to heavy snowfall on the playing surface which was deemed unplayable by match referee Antony Coggins. A stoppage of 45 minutes was agreed to clear the pitch and let the snowfall die down before play was resumed.

It took Vale less than ten minutes after the delay to open the scoring which was brilliantly worked from a set piece. Kurtis Guthrie won a free kick in Morecambe’s half which was taken by Tom Conlon, into the area which Smith jumped highest for to nod home the only goal of the game.

Darrell Clarke felt the game was an odd one due to the conditions but was glad his team was able to be flexible in how they faced each fresh challenge in the game. He was not overly pleased with the quality of the performance, knowing his team can play better than what was showed but claimed they deserved credit for the current win streak.

“It was a strange old game so we just had to adapt, I thought we were poor today though. The players deserve all the plaudits for the six wins on the spin but I thought we were a lot better than that, we gave the ball away too often.

“They had us pinned in and that is not really how I want my sides to look but that is the big negative, the massive positive is since 1996 we have not won six games in the league on the spin."

Clarke thought his side struggled to play the way he wanted them to, he was keen to express that winning the game is the most important thing.

“It is about winning the game it is a strange mood from myself and my coaching staff because we have had to use every formation in the repertoire. Literally every formation to get the result which is not a good sign but the lads have taken that on board.

“They have defended the goal pretty well at times as a team so we just want to have more control and more quality in the game today."

The boss did not have much of an argument with the stoppage in play, he felt the ref needed to make a decision himself but he was fine with the outcome.

“It is a bit of snow so the ref wanted to give it half an hour and we crack on, let them make the decisions. It does my head in when they put it into the managers hands sometimes, at the end of the day it was not disastrous. It was getting a little bit sloppy but I did not think it was going to snow all day in the middle of April.

“I was always hopeful with the ground staff, I must say thank you to them because they did a fantastic job. Speedy (Steve Speed) is a great lad he epitomises what the club is about, everyone’s mucking in and the ground staff played their part as well. The restart we started well and scored a good set piece but defensively it is a ten out of ten performance."


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