Interim manager Danny Pugh felt that the point his side earned at Forest Green Rovers was well deserved.
A well hit Devante Rodney strike 14 minutes from time earned a point at the Innocent New Lawn Stadium after Nicky Cadden handed the hosts the lead on the 20th minute mark.
After the game Pugh revealed that on reflection going back to Vale Park with a point was a fair return.
“It was always going to be a tough game. We conceded the goal first half, but we were delighted with the equaliser in the second half and I thought that we deserved it.”
Going into the encounter the Valiants were coming off an impressive 3-0 league win over Grimsby Town and after earning a valuable point against a side that had only lost twice in the last 12 games, Pugh made it clear that it was vital they used the victory over Grimsby as a building platform.
“It was massive. We did not want that to be just a one off. We want to continue those kind of performances. We have lost four players during the week which I think is a big loss to any team. So, for the lads to come and put in a performance like that is brilliant.
New additions Kurtis Guthrie and Jake Taylor made their first league appearances for the club this season and Pugh was pleased with the contributions that both players had on the game.
“I thought Guthrie has come on and has had a big impact on the game. He has given them something to worry about with Devante and David (Amoo) on either side of them, they are three massive threats.
“I thought Jake has done well in his first game back. He has gone about the pitch well; he has got that little bit of quality which is good for us so it is pleasing.”
With the absence of Tom Pope after he suffered an injury against Sunderland, Pugh opted to have Rodney playing as the lone striker. However, after the introduction of Guthrie with just under half an hour remaining, the interim manager admitted that Rodney provided a real threat when moved out to the wing.
“That is the beauty of him, he can play all across the front three. He can play down the middle but can play on either flank as well. He is a threat, he gave them something to worry about when Guthrie came on down the middle, so it is pleasing all round.”
When speaking after the game Vale’s hero on the day Rodney admitted that he was pleased with his goal which was his seventh in the league so far this season.
“I think it was a good goal. I felt like it took ages to hit the net, I could not really see it so the minute it hit the net I was pleased. I thought I was unfortunate to not get another goal, but it was a good second half performance.
Similar to Pugh the 22-year-old was pleased with the result his side came away with at the innocent New Lawn Stadium as he went on to say: “I think it is a really good point. Losing Pope and Wozza (David Worrall) in midweek has been really disappointing. For us to come here and get a point against a top side, it is a point which is good.
Finally, despite the forward acknowledging that the recent absences have provided challenges for the club, he did admit that the squad that he is currently in is strong and that has helped battle through a tough period.
“It is difficult. I think that we have been really unlucky with the injuries that we have had and players who got covid at the wrong times, but our squad is really good so we can still fight for the three points.”