Pork Vale 0 – 1 Shrimps

  • On February 22, 2019

So many times this season, we have produced a positive attacking performance, littered with good football and missed chances, and come away with nothing. I’m thinking Oldham at home, Stevenage, Tranmere, Bury all at home, Exeter and Swindon again at the Globe. Well just for a change, and perhaps for the first time since Forest Green away, this wasn’t the case at Vale Park last Saturday. Oh no. This was a smash and grab, make no mistake. And I’ll take it all day long, thank you.

Vale Park, Saturday 16 Feb 2019 League 2, 3pm.

Attendance  4147, with 144 from the Shrimps, nice one.

Halstead Mills Old Sutton Conlan Kenyon c Cranston Mendes-Gomes Ellison Mingoia Bennett subs used Collins for Carlos MG on 66, Mandy for Kev on 84.

Vale – Brown Gibbons Joyce Kay Pope Hannant Rawlinson Crookes Smith Harris Clark subs used Conlon for Kay 68, Montano f0r Clark 83, Whitfield for Harris85.

Ref – John Busby, Drama for the pen, ( it was) otherwise a quiet game.

Another game of two halves, yup, you bet. The home faithful moaned and whined through the entire first half, despite Vale’s dominance, then  proceeded to applaud them off at half time?? Joyce had a daisy cutter picked up by Halstead and soon after a Pope header didn’t trouble him either. Vale were making in roads and Harris ran across Old who clipped him and a pen was rightly awarded. Pope, ominously, was on 99 Vale goals and had never missed one for for them. He still hasn’t missed one, as it was on target but Halstead guessed correctly and full length tipped it away for corner.  Within three minutes, Halstead produced an even better save, reacting to a Pope header back across goal to tip round for another corner when the entire ground thought it was destined for the bottom corner. within a minute, a lovely run and shot from Gibbons was tipped low round the post and within seconds he saved well from Harris low to his near post. This was one was one way traffic and now one man was standing in the way of an avalanche. Kay tried his luck from 25 yards and again Halstead confidently tipped it over for another corner. In between, Kev shot wide, Gomes skittered one wide but then forced Brown into a tidy save following a stinging drive after a neat set up from the ever dangerous Bennett.

So half time arrived, still 0-0, somehow! Man of the match was already Mark Halstead, no question.

In the second period, Hannant curled an effort off the outside of the left post with Halstead stranded for a change on 57, but it was a far tighter game. Collins came on for his debut for the Shrimps and immediately drew fouls from Kay and Gibbons. on 75 minutes, Kev turned and released Bennet on the left, he made to shoot but weighted a lovely low cross for Collins to steal in and tap home for the lead. 0-1.

Collins kept teasing down the left and Mingoia put a shift in closing down the attacking Montano down the left. In injury time, a Pope shot deflected goal wards but Mills kneed it back for Halstead to grab. and Hannant volleyed from an angle which Halstead grabbed at the second attempt and it was all over.

No win since Cambridge in December, it felt satisfying to get something, it was a little lucky but we have had so many injuries and conceded so many last minute goals ourselves, sometimes you are owed a little, Saturday was such a day. A word for Mark Halstead, not since Joe Lewis at Peterborough has a keeper had such an amazing game and kept a clean sheet as well.