A James Wilson screamer handed the Valiants a win at the end of our pre-season campaign.
The Valiants’ final pre-season game before our campaign gets under way next Saturday. An early chance for Vale on four minutes with Mal Benning winning a freekick in an attacking area, he stood over it and whipped the ball onto the head of Ryan Johnson who had his effort saved well by Scott Loach.
National League side Chesterfield were the last test after a mixed set of results in the earlier friendlies against EFL and non-league teams. Two minutes after Johnson’s effort, former Vale player Jak McCourt produced a good strike at the opposite end following a corner but his half volley ended up at the back of the away end.
Lucas Covolan had a quiet half an hour but was on his toes when needed as Danny Rowe tried his luck from outside the area at 33 minutes and the Brazilian got two strong hands to the ball to parry it out for a corner. A minute later Tom Conlon was gifted an opportunity in front of goal after a loose pass from Chesterfield but his shot from outside the area on his weaker right foot went wide of the target.
He had been looking sharp in the first half and Wilson got the goal he deserved on 36 minutes. A strike from around 25 yards looped over the keeper smashing the back of the net to give Vale the lead with just under ten minutes to go until halftime. Five minutes later he was at it again from inside the area but he could not keep the ball down as it crept over the bar.
On 42 minutes Chesterfield had their best chance of the first half with Stefan Payne getting his foot to a cross from close range but Covolan got down well to save and keep hold of the ball. Covolan got the ball up the pitch and Wilson’s strike partner Jamie Proctor almost had his name on the scoresheet but a Spireite head got in the way of his curling effort from inside the area.
The last action of the first half came a minute from time with McCourt trying a shot from way out and just like his last effort it went way over the crossbar.
Chesterfield had the first chance of the second half with Jeff King running across the edge of the box before getting a shot away which was blocked well by Johnson and out for a corner. They got much closer with their second effort from Rowe which bent wickedly following a shot from way out on 66 minutes, smashing the crossbar before being cleared away.
Four minutes later Rowe had another chance to equalise, a header from close range after a cross from the left but he was unable to keep the effort down with the ball going over the top. Vale almost made the hosts regret that missed chance with a header of their own. Benning’s ball in found David Worrall’s head and his effort was well saved by Loach who pushed it onto the bar and eventually claimed the ball at the second attempt.
A clash on 77 minutes involving Covolan and Nathan Tyson resulted in Vale’s number one being sent off. The Vale were forced to play the remainder of the game with ten men, James Wilson was taken off to be replaced by substitute goalkeeper Aidan Stone. Chesterfield were on top for the rest of game but could not find the equaliser as the score remained 1-0 to Vale.
Chesterfield: Loach, King (83’ Rowley), Miller, Gunning (45’ Carline), Kerr (45’ Khan), Grimes, Weston (86’ Trialist), McCourt (45’ Oyeleke), Mandeville (64’ Clarke), Rowe (76’ Trialist), Payne (76’ Tyson)
Subs not used: Trialist
Port Vale: Covolan, Legge, Worrall, Garrity, Wilson (78’ Stone), Conlon (82’ Hurst), Benning, Proctor, Johnson, Pett, Cass
Subs not used: Jones, Walker, Smith, Martin, Bailey, Trialist