Jamie Proctor’s brace hands the Valiants a first win of the season against top of the table Forest Green.
League leaders Forest Green Rovers were the next challenge for Darrell Clarke’s team who had won all four of their games. But we struck first in the tie through Jamie Proctor on six minutes who returned to the side after missing out against Stevenage. James Wilson drove into the area, David Worrall sprinted to get on the end of Wilson’s pass just before it went out of play as he pulled it back to Proctor who smashed it into the net from close range.
Back-to-back games now where we had scored first, last week we failed to hang onto a 1-0 lead but this time we doubled the score with nine minutes played. Proctor found the net once more but it was made by Ben Garrity who intercepted a loose pass from the Forest Green defence and ran at goal. His low cross was spilled by goalkeeper Luke McGee and Proctor tapped the ball home from a few yards out.
The hosts travelled to Brentford midweek where they gave a good account of themselves but were on the end of a 3-1 defeat. They had their first real opportunity on 18 minutes as Taylor Allen volleyed the ball towards goal from 20-yards following a corner but it did not threaten Lucas Covolan as it drifted wide.
Tom Pett was running the midfield, picking up every loose pass. On 32 minutes he received a pass from Jamie Proctor on the left and drove at goal, firing a shot from 30-yards out which just went over the bar. Six minutes later Mal Benning picked up an under-hit pass on the left wing and ran to around the 25-yard mark before taking a shot on which went straight into the hands of McGee.
The second half started like the first began with the Valiants on top and Garrity was so close to increasing the lead on 53 minutes. He went on a darting run down the left-hand side and broke free into the area despite having his shirt pulled. He went round the keeper and fired an effort towards goal but somehow McGee got back to his feet and tipped the ball round the post.
Proctor was looking for his hattrick 11 minutes later. He picked the ball up in the centre circle and ran at the two centre halves who kept backing off and allowed him to shoot from 25-yards but McGee once again denied the Valiants from getting a third goal. Rovers substitute Jake Young made a great run in behind our defence and received the ball six-yards out but his effort was tame and straight into the hands of Covolan.
On 72 minutes Devante Rodney had his first opportunity after coming on, he picked the ball up just outside the area but slipped as he made contact which resulted in his shot going wide. Young had another chance for the hosts but his shot sailed over the bar six minutes from time. A comfortable end to the game as the Valiants cruised to victory and we picked up our first three points.
Forest Green Rovers: McGee, Wilson, Bernard, Sweeney, Cargill, Stevenson (69’ Young), Stevens, Aitchison, Allen (63’ March), Matt, Hendry
Subs not used: Thomas, Moore-Taylor, Evans, Carter, Bell
Port Vale: Covolan, Jones, Walker (75’ Conlon), Smith, Worrall, Garrity, Wilson (68’ Rodney), Benning, Proctor (90’ Amoo), Martin, Pett
Subs not used: Stone, Gibbons Politic, Cass