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Match Reports

Match Report | Port Vale 2-0 Bristol Rovers

29 March 2024

Match Reports

Match Report | Port Vale 2-0 Bristol Rovers

29 March 2024

Ben Garrity and Baylee Dipepa were on the scoresheet as the Valiants cruised to back-to-back victories on Good Friday at Vale Park.

The Valiants produced the contest’s first attempt on goal after 10 minutes following a well-worked long throw-in. Jesse Debrah launched the ball into the box and Nathan Smith flicked it onto the head of James Wilson, but Jed Ward comfortably saved in the Rovers net.

Just three minutes later we came forward again with Ben Garrity, who forced the Gas keeper into another stop with a strike from distance.

Most of the early proceedings were played in the Rovers half after a bright start from the Valiants, and we cranked up the pressure with a flurry of chances in the 19th minute. First, it was Alex Iacovitti who rose highest to a Tom Sang corner, only for his header to be tipped over the cross bar brilliantly by Ward.From the following set piece, a dangerous Sang delivery caused a scramble in the area, and with touches from Smith, Garrity and Wilson the ball was steered goalwards, but agonisingly bounced off the post.

On 37 minutes, we came close to finding the breakthrough once more. Funso Ojo won the ball high up the pitch with a perfectly timed slide tackle and set Ryan Loft free to drive at the visitors’ backline. The striker burst to the edge of the box before firing inches wide of Ward’s goal.

With three minutes remaining before the break, the Valiants were finally rewarded for their dominance. Sang found Garrity just outside the box, who won a contested header, and then chased his own ball into the area to find himself one-on-one with Ward. The midfielder showed great composure to slot home cooly under the Rovers’ stopper.

Just like in the opening stages of the first half, we came flying out of the blocks after the interval. In the 49th minute, the visitors struggled to clear a Vale corner and the ball fell to Loft, who headed wide of Ward’s far post.

On 52 minutes, the Valiants capitalised on their total control of the game, doubling their lead through substitute Baylee Dipepa. The seventeen-year-old took the ball down terrifically with his chest, then produced a mesmerising run, taking the ball around multiple Rovers defenders with ease, before smashing low into the net.

On the hour-mark, a switch of play from Sang released Dipepa down the left, and as he did for his goal, the striker weaved around challenges and found Loft in behind, but he couldn’t connect fully to beat Ward.

Port Vale | Connor Ripley, Tom Sang, Nathan Smith, Ben Garrity (Dan Jones 86’), Ryan Loft (Uche Ikpeazu 76’), Ethan Chislett (Rhys Walters 76’), Funso Ojo, Alex Iacovitti, James Plant, Jesse Debrah, James Wilson (Baylee Dipepa 30’ (Gavin Massey 86’))

Unused Subs | Jayson Leutwiler, Jensen Weir

Bristol Rovers | Jed Ward, Lewis Gordon (Brandon Aguilera 56’), James Wilson, Sam Finley (Grant Ward 62’), Scott Sinclair, Connor Taylor, Chris Martin, Harvey Vale, Antony Evans (Luke McCormick 62’), Kamil Conteh (John Marquis 79’), Luca Hoole

Unused Subs | Matthew Cox, James Connolly, Jevani Brown

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