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Match Reports

Match Report | Bristol Rovers 1 – 0 Port Vale

10 December 2022

Match Reports

Match Report | Bristol Rovers 1 – 0 Port Vale

10 December 2022

The Vale’s three-match winning run ended by late Aaron Collins goal at the Memorial Stadium.

  • Match Report | Bristol Rovers 1 – 0 Port Vale
  • 87th minute strike from Aaron Collins ends Port Vale’s three-match winning run
  • Darrell Clarke’s side had collected ten points from the last 15 available in League One but defeat sees the Vale drop to 12th

Collins 87


Attendance: 8,264 (Away TBC)

An 87th-minute strike from Bristol Rovers forward Aaron Collins proved to be the difference as the Vale’s three-match winning streak was ended at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Following a hard-fought contest that could have gone either way, the Vale headed back up the M5 with no points, with the majority of the Vale’s chances coming in the first-half of the clash in Gloucestershire.

Manager Darrell Clarke made two changes from last Friday’s 2-0 win at Plymouth Argyle as Ellis Harrison returned to feature for the first time since defeat at Oxford in November, while Dennis Politic started his first league game since our 2-2 draw with Forest Green Rovers at Vale Park in October. Gavin Massey and Dan Butterworth moved to the bench.

The Vale started brightly and created a brilliant opportunity to open the scoring with just 90 seconds on the clock as Harrison judged the bounce of the ball well and played in Politic, who was denied by an excellent block from Rovers defender Bobby Thomas.

On just seven minutes, Clarke’s side created another chance as James Wilson won possession high up the pitch on the right and threaded a pass into the path of Harrison, who saw his low and curled effort excellently saved by James Belshaw in the Rovers goal.

Josh Coburn then fired a powerful effort wide of Jack Stevens’ left-hand post as the opening 15 minutes saw both sides go close in search of an early opener.

Nathan Smith then had to be alert to deny Lewis Gordon with a last-ditch challenge as the Rovers winger looked to break into the penalty area.

Just after the half hour mark, Scott Sinclair played in Coburn on the right of the penalty area before Stevens made a low sliding save at his near post. From the resulting corner, Jordan Rossiter saw a volley from the edge of the area diverted behind by Tom Conlon, who blocked bravely.

On the stroke of half-time, Harrison was presented with another chance as he met Conlon’s deep free kick at the back post but didn’t make a clean connection to test Belshaw in the Rovers goal.

The second half remained as close as the first and it took until the hour mark for either side to create a clear opportunity, with Vale thankful to keeper Stevens, who denied Coburn at his near post after a well-worked move from the hosts.

A minute later, the Vale made a break of their own as Harrison played in Politic, though the Romanian saw his effort blocked on the edge of the area.

Just over ten minutes from time and the hosts created a further opening as Coburn broke on the left and crossed to the back post, where Stevens parried the ball away but into the path of Sinclair, who slid the ball wide.

As the game entered its final five minutes, Conlon went very close to scoring a winner for the Vale as he curled an effort towards the top corner from the edge of the area, only to be denied by a brilliant save from Belshaw.

The winner came three minutes from time as Rovers cleared long and Collins battled to win possession before firing beyond Stevens from 22 yards.

Substitute Butterworth fired a late effort over for the Vale, who threw bodies forward in search of an equaliser but couldn’t find the leveller.

Rovers: Belshaw, Connolly, Gordon, Sinclair (Gibbons 90), Collins (Whelan 90), Rossiter, Coutts, Gibson, Evans (Marquis 64), Thomas, Coburn.
Subs: Jaakkola, Kilgour, Saunders, McCormick.

Port Vale: Stevens; Smith, Hall, Jones (Forrester 79); Worrall, Garrity, Conlon, Benning; Politic (Butterworth 63), Wilson (Massey 63), Harrison (Odubeko 70).
Subs: Cass, Holden, Pett.

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