We host Colchester United this weekend following a point on the road away at Mansfield. We have won our last four home games so go into this one full of confidence but let’s take a look back at previous home games when we played the U’s.
Past Five encounters with Colchester: LDWDW
Our last home game versus Colchester
Sky Bet League Two, Vale Park, Saturday 12th December 2020. Port Vale 1-1 Colchester United
Rodney’s 25-yard effort had given Vale a 57th minute lead before Luke Norris levelled for the visitors just six minutes later.
Alex Hurst had the chance to give Vale the lead eight minutes into his first league start, when Devante Rodney’s pass out wide to David Worrall gave the winger on opportunity to put the ball in the box, and Hurst met his low ball in, but was unable to guide his effort round the defender and into the back of the net.
And it was Vale who were making the best of the early stages of the game, when three minutes later, Alex Hurst’s stunning delivery to the back post was inches wide from being met by Worrall, who surely would have scored had he made contact with the ball.
Dean Gerken had to be on hand to prevent the Valiants from taking a 14th minute lead, when Tom Conlon’s dipping free-kick from the edge of the box looked to be heading towards the back of the net, but the U’s keeper got down well to parry the ball wide.
Vale were well on top in the first twenty minutes and Manny Oyeleke was unlucky to have his rifled effort from the edge of the box cleared off the line by a Colchester defender, after the hosts had caused the U’s problems from a set-piece.
Scott Brown was called into his first real action of the game in the 19th minute, when Callum Harriot cut onto his left foot on the edge of the box, and curled an effort that appeared to be heading for the top corner, until Brown was able to pluck the ball out of the sky before gathering the ball.
Despite a lull in play, it was still the Valiants who looked most likely to break the deadlock, and Worrall was unlucky not to put us ahead in the 36th minute, when he met Rodney’s ball to the back post but his header just flew left of the post.
Without any genuine chances in the remainder of the half, the score remained goalless at the break, with Vale perhaps feeling a little unlucky to not be ahead.
Vale dominated the start of the second period and were rewarded in the 57th minute when the ball fell to Devante Rodney 25-yards from goal, who rifled the ball into the bottom corner, scoring a stunning goal and giving Vale a deserved lead in the process.
But Vale’s lead didn’t last long and six minutes later Luke Norris met Ben Stevenson’s ball in the box and placed the ball past Brown in the box to draw the visitor’s level.
With Vale pushing for a winner, Luke Joyce tried his luck from the edge of the box in the 76thminute, but his effort flew high and wide of Gerken’s goal, before John Askey substituted the midfielder off for striker Tom Pope, with Vale going in search of a goal to give them the three points.
With eight minutes of normal time remaining, Tom Conlon swung a wide free-kick into the box with Leon Legge rising highest, but he couldn’t quite direct his header on target and Colchester survived another Vale attack.
Scott Brown was on hand to make two big saves in stoppage time, denying two efforts from close range before Vale cleared.
And that proved to be the last meaningful action of the game, with Vale only able to earn a point despite a dominant performance over the U’s.
Port Vale: Brown, Mills, Smith, Legge, Fitzpatrick, Joyce (Pope 76’), Oyeleke, Conlon, Worrall (McKirdy 73’), Hurst, Rodney.
Unused subs: Visser, Brisley, Clark, Burgess, Robinson.
Colchester United: Gerken, Welch-Hayes, Bramall, Eastman, Smith, Stevenson, Poku (Folivi 62’), Chilvers (Gambin 63’), Brown (Senior 62’), Harriott (Sowunmi 90’), Norris.
Unused subs: George, Clampin, Sowunmi, Tchamadeu.
Sky Bet League Two, Vale Park, Saturday 15th February 2020. Port Vale 3-0 Colchester United
The Vale started the game brightly, spreading the play well and working the ball to David Worrall and Rhys Browne on the wings, but they couldn’t generate any clear-cut chances as the Colchester back-line held firm.
The rain was hammering down on Vale Park with the wind also causing problems for both sides as every player looked to adjust to the conditions and take control of the game.
The first major chance of the game went to the Vale and came thanks to the magical work of Cristian Montano, who picked up the ball outside the box and wove between four Colchester defenders and fired a vicious effort towards the top-left corner but Gerken was able to make an excellent save.
Vale maintained their pressure in the 10th minute as Mark Cullen sent a through ball in to Rhys Browne but the defender was able to reach the ball first and give Vale their second corner of the game.
Vale nearly took the lead from the resulting corner when Tom Conlon picked up the ball and drove towards goal but his strike hit the side netting.
The Vale and Conlon wouldn’t have to wait much longer for the first goal however, as in the 13th minute Browne did brilliantly to lay the ball into Conlon in the area where he cut onto his right foot then back onto his left before drilling the ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle to give the Vale the lead.
The visitors tried to work back into the game after the goal but the Vale defence was able to deal with the pressure with ease.
With 20 minutes played, Browne and Cullen linked up brilliantly with a one-two to set Browne free, but as he looked to lay the ball into Montano the pass was intercepted.
Vale kept looking to double their lead and Montano came inches from doing so as he curled an effort at goal from just inside the box that went inches over the bar.
Colchester nearly grabbed an equaliser as the game approached the half-hour mark, but Leon Legge cleared a ball that was fizzed across the face of goal before making a goal-line clearance from the rebounded effort that went out for a corner.
The resulting corner got caught by the wind and nearly curled into the net but Scott Brown was able to react in time.
A few minutes later another corner nearly found its way into the net due to the wind, but Brown again was able to get there and punch the ball out for another corner.
As the game approached half-time the Vale looked to double their lead, first Legge flicked a header across goal from a corner before Conlon and Browne used exceptional footwork to find space in the box and Browne won a corner.
From the resulting corner Gerken was again called into action as he made a good save to his top right corner, before Scott Burgess had a volley blocked on the edge of the area.
The Vale nearly struck straight away in the second period, when Nathan Smith drilled the ball across the face of goal before Leon Legge flashed a header just wide from a corner moments later.
The wait for Vale’s second wasn’t a long one though, as David Worrall sent an absolute peach of a pass over the top of the Colchester defence where Mark Cullen brought the ball down perfectly before running in on goal and calmly slotting the ball away.
Vale won a free-kick on the edge of the Colchester box as the game hit the hour mark, and Worrall played a cheeky pass around the outside of the wall where Cullen ran onto the end of it and drilled a low effort at goal but it was blocked.
Just minutes later Vale came close to adding a third again, as the ball was again beautifully clipped over the top where it was brought down by Browne who cut inside and flicked an attempt over the outrushing keeper but inches over the bar also.
The Vale were relentless in their attacks and Montano continued to cause problems down the left flank for the U’s and let fly from 30-yards out, with his curling effort just going wide of the far post.
All the pressure from the Vale paid off yet again in the 71st minute when Mark Cullen got the ball just outside the box and drove in from the touchline where he finessed the ball on his left foot tidily into the far bottom corner to grab his second of the game and the Vale’s third.
The Vale were able to see out the game with ease as they secured another clean sheet and their biggest win of the season to help them again climb the table, finding themsleves sat in the Play-Off's.
Port Vale: Brown, Joyce, Legge, Worrall, Montano, Smith, Burgess, Conlon, Cullen (87’ Bennett), Browne, Brisley.
Unused Subs:, Maddison, Oyeleke, Atkinson, Lloyd, Evans, Campbell-Gordon.
Colchester: Gerken, Jackson, Bramall, Prosser, Pell, Robinson, Comley (60’ Norris), Stevenson, Eastman, Senior (53’ Poku), Nouble.
Unused Subs: Ross, Gambin, Clampin, Sowunmi, Harriott.