We secured our first victory of pre-season with a 1-0 win over Scottish Premier League outfit Dundee United, where goal scorer Tommy McDermott was the star of the show in what was a really impressive, high pressing and intense performance from Darrell Clarke’s side under the hot Spanish sun.
The first opportunity of the game came early on when United were caught by the high implemented by the Vale, with Connor Hall intercepting the ball deep in the opposition half, with it then being worked out to Sammy Robinson whose dangerous cross forced a corner from the opposition.
With seven minutes on the clock, Jamie Proctor looked to open the scoring with a curling effort from the edge of the box but was denied by a good save from the United keeper.
We came inches from taking the lead in the 12th minute, as Tommy McDermott checked inside onto his left foot and unleashed a vicious strike that rattled the underside of the upright before Mal Benning’s rebound was blocked on its way into the back of the net.
With the game entering into the 20-minute mark, McDermott picked up the ball in the centre of the pitch and drove forward, weaving through the opposition before spreading the play wide to Benning, who sent in a cross that was headed just high of the target by Ben Garrity.
In the 25th minute United had their first shot of the game, a long-range effort that sailed high of the target.
The teams both left the field following the shot for a short, scheduled water break.
McDermott continued to showcase his skills and confidence with the ball at his feet in the 33rd minute, as Garrity picked him out with a long curling pass, and the 17-year-old drove towards the United back line, weaved his way into space and pulled the trigger, but the keeper was able to get down and make the save.
In the 48th minute we took the lead, as Proctor headed the ball forward towards Garrity who raced in behind the United defence and pulled it across to McDermott who calmly slotted it home from close range.
With 50 minutes played, a second scheduled water break took place, with the Gaffer making five changes in the break. Dan Jones, Brad Walker, David Worrall, James Plant and Derek Agyakwa replacing Sammy Robinson, Connor Hall, Lewis Cass, Harry Charsley and Jamie Proctor.
Dundee United thought they had drawn level on 55 minutes as they headed home from a corner, but the linesman’s flag was up for offside.
In the 62nd minute McDermott was again at the heart of a promising attack, using some outstanding skill and turns to get up the pitch and find Benning on the wing, who delivered a cross to Garrity who was denied by the opposition keeper.
James Plant was next to showcase his ability, working space up the field and dropping it back off to Funso Ojo with a back-heel pass, and Ojo came close to doubling the lead with a low driven strike that beat the keeper but cannoned off the post.
As the game was approaching its final minutes, McDermott was brought off with the Vale seeing out the rest of the game with 10 men.
Port Vale: Stone, Hall (75’ Agyakwa), Cass (75’ Jones), Smith, Ojo, Charsley (75’ Walker), Garrity, McDermott, Proctor (75’ Plant).
Dundee United: Eriksson, Freeman, Duffy, Graham, Edwards, Levitt, Sibbald, Harkes, Fletcher, Clark, Chalmers.