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Match Reports

Match Report | Port Vale 1-0 Northampton Town

16 September 2023

Match Reports

Match Report | Port Vale 1-0 Northampton Town

16 September 2023

The Valiants marked their return to League One action after the international break with all three points against Northampton thanks to Ben Garrity’s late strike.

In his first league start, Kofi Balmer pioneered Vale’s opening attack of the game after only two minutes when he slipped Ethan Chislett in on the right side of the Northampton penalty area, but his cross into James Wilson was intercepted and the visitors managed to clear.

The Cobblers' goalkeeper, Lee Burge, was called into action from the resulting throw-in after Wilson connected from Balmer's long throw; however, Burge collected the striker's headed effort in his arms, keeping the scores level.

Vale relentlessly pursued the opening goal and dominated the game's early stages. In the seventh minute, Chislett and Wilson combined again when the midfielder’s delivery from the left was met by the head of Wilson whose attempt sailed over the crossbar.

On the 10th minute mark Chislett carved out the best chance of the half when he curled a terrific effort towards the right-hand post but a strong hand from Burge denied the hosts from making a breakthrough.

The Valiants made it difficult for the visitors to create opportunities as they defended with intensity. After 17 minutes of play, Alfie Devine brilliantly denied Mitch Pinnock from breaking through one-on-one after winning the ball with a last-ditch sliding tackle.

Northampton survived the early onslaught of Vale attacks and, growing into the game, tested Connor Ripley for the first time in the 21st minute when Kieron Bowie drilled a low shot from outside the box, but the Valiants' number one kept the ball out.

The remainder of the half became a scrappy contest with good defensive play by both sides preventing any clear-cut chances.

After just one minute of additional time, the sides went into the break all level.

When play resumed after the break it was one-way action as the Valiants continued to attempt to open the scoring.

In the 54th minute a glorious chance fell to Tom Sang after the ball dropped to him in the area which he smashed goalwards on the half-volley, but it was blocked on the line by a Northampton defender.

Just three minutes later the Valiants came close to taking the lead again when Wilson played James Plant through one on one, but a Cobblers' defender challenged well to turn the ball behind for a corner.

Despite the Vale’s control of the game, it was the visitors who had the greatest chance to go in front with 15 minutes to play. Patrick Bough found Sam Hoskins in space with a cross into the area, yet the Cobblers’ midfielder steered his strike narrowly wide of Ripley’s goal.

With six minutes to go the Valiants deservedly took the lead when substitute Ben Garrity brought down the ball just outside the box and fizzed a low effort into the bottom corner sending the crowd behind the goal in the Hamil Road stand into a frenzy.

All three points were secured after the referee blew for full time following a resilient six minutes of defending from Vale in additional time.

Port Vale| Connor Ripley, Tom Sang, Kofi Balmer (Lewis Cass 74’), Nathan Smith, Ethan Chislett (Ben Garrity 74’), Alfie Devine (Gavin Massey 74’), Funso Ojo, Alex Iacovitti, Oliver Arblaster, James Plant (Conor Grant 63‘), James Wilson (Ryan Loft 63‘)

Unused Subs: Jayson Leutweiler, Jason Lowe


Northampton Town| Lee Burge, Jack Sowerby (Shaun McWilliams 81’), Jon Guthrie, Sam Sherring (Harvey Lintott 86’) , Sam Hoskins, Louis Appere (Aaron McGowan 46’), Mitch Pinnock, Kieron Bowie (Manny Monthe 46’), Marc Leonard, Akin Odimayo (Tyreece Simpson 46’), Patrick Brough

Unused Subs: Max Thompson, Ben Fox, Harvey Lintott

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