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Match Reports

Port Vale 1 Town 2

5 December 2017

Second-half comeback gives Town the victory

Town: Craig MacGillivray, Joe Riley, Mat Sadler, Omar Beckles, Shaun Whalley, Abu Ogogo ©, Carlton Morris  (Arthur Gnahoua 80), Louis Dodds, Bryn Morris, Aristote Nsiala, Alex Rodman (Lenell John-Lewis HT)
Subs: Dean Henderson, Arthur Gnahoua, Lenell John-Lewis, Ebou Adams, Ryan Barnett, Christos Shelis, Stefan Payne

Port Vale: Ryan Boot, Tyler Denton, Tom Anderson, Marcus Harness (Ben Whitfield 63), Danny Pugh (Dan Turner 74), Cristian Montano, Tyrone Barnett, Billy Reeves, James Gibbons, Nathan Smith, Gavin Gunning
Subs: Rob Lainton, Lawrie Wilson, Antony Kay, Tom Pope, Dan Turner, Graham Kelly, Ben Whitfield

Referee: Graham Salisbury
Assistants: Michael D’Aguilar and Gareth Mellor
Fourth Official: James Bell

Attendance: 965 (117)

Substitute Lenell John-Lewis was instrumental in both of Town’s goals as they made a second-half comeback to beat Port Vale 2-1 in the Checkatrade Trophy. Town went behind inside a minute when Craig MacGillivray was beaten at his near post by a Christian Montano shot, but John-Lewis, who came on a half-time, set up Dodds for an equaliser and his shot was then bundled home by Shaun Whalley for Town’s second of the evening. The victory means that Town have now reached the last-16 of the competition.

Team News:
Paul Hurst makes four changes to the side which beat Morecambe 2-0 in the FA Cup on Saturday. James Bolton and Ben Godfrey are suspended in this completion so they are replaced by Joe Riley and Abu Ogogo who returns from his own three game suspension. Jon Nolan drops out of the 18 with Vale old boy Louis Dodds taking his place in the starting eleven and Carlton Morris comes in for Stefan Payne. Youngsters Christos Shelis and Ryan Barnett come onto the bench.

First Half:
Town had hardly touched the ball since the kick-off when Port Vale opened the scoring on the 56 second mark. Billy Reeves threaded a pass through to Christian Montano who had got himself into the left hand channel and he had time to take a touch before rifling a shot past Craig MacGillivray, who would have wanted to do better at the near post.

That goal was big early blow to Town but they could have equalised six minutes later as Bryn Morris produced an incisive pass towards Shaun Whalley who was steaming in at the backpost, but Whalley seemed to check his run and in the end he could only get his studs to the pass and Boot gathered comfortably in the Vale goal.

Carlton Morris then found himself in the book early on after he and Gavin Gunning appeared to get into a small scuffle on the ground and Graham Salisbury decided that both players should be shown yellow cards.

Ryan Boot’s first real save of the evening came when Alex Rodman cut inside from the left hand side and unleashed a right footed shot, but it was straight at Boot who managed to hold it at the second attempt.

Town then produced the best move of the game as Whalley, Rodman and Carlton Morris all combined. Rodman produced the final ball onto the head of Morris who rose incredibly high to head towards goal, but the effort thundered off the bar before hitting Ryan Boot on the back and bouncing to safety.

The final 20 minutes of the first-half was quite a stale affair with both sides struggling to create any chances of note, although Shaun Whalley did test Boot with a shot from just outside the box in stoppage time, but the Vale ‘keeper got down well to his left.

Half-Time: 1-0

Second Half:
Town had been far from their best in the first-half and Paul Hurst reacted at half-time with Lenell John-Lewis being brought on for Alex Rodman, whilst Omar Beckles moved to left-back with Mat Sadler moving to the centre of defence. However, Town got off to another slow start and former Town man Tyrone Barnett almost doubled Vale’s advantage when he shot through a sea of bodies, but thankfully it went a yard wide of Craig MacGillivray’s post.
The move to put Beckles on the left hand side almost worked when he rampaged forward from the halfway line and delivered a cross into the box. Shaun Whalley met the cross and tried to turn it goalwards with his left foot but the effort went over the bar.

Town were now the side pushing forward, but they were lacking a clinical edge in the final third and even when Whalley did get in behind the Vale defence he couldn’t pick out a man in an orange shirt.

Shrewsbury got themselves back on level terms in the 68th minute as Vale old boy Louis Dodds flicked the ball past Ryan Boot. Sadler had delivered a free-kick towards Lenell John-Lewis who rose highest and nodded the ball into the path of Dodds, who calmly took a touch before a coolly finishing past the onrushing Boot. That was Dodds’ second goal for Town at Vale Park and once again he didn’t celebrate against his former club.

With just 20 minutes to go Town were now the side looking most likely to score and Carlton Morris went close 12 minutes from time when he looked to finish a decent Town move which saw the likes of Dodds, Ogogo, Bryn Morris and Whalley all get involved, but Carlton could only shoot wide after Whalley’s cross deflected off a Port Vale defender. That was Carlton Morris’ last action of the evening as he was replaced with Arthur Gnahoua.

Port Vale then had a good chance when Dan Turner shot wide after turning away from Toto Nsiala, but it was Town who would find a winner. Lenell John-Lewis found himself one-on-one with the Vale goalkeeper and the big Town striker shot towards the far post. His shot appeared to hit the post before Shaun Whalley helped it over the line and wheeled away in celebration in front of the 117 travelling supporters.

Town then saw out the final 10 minutes or so with relative ease, although Tyrone Barnett did go close in stoppage time, but his shot from the edge of the box went just high of MacGillivray’s bar.

Full Time: 1-2

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