Port Vale 3 Shrewsbury 0
Callum McKenzie named an unchanged team against Port Vale following their late 1-0 victory over Morecambe last week. Their opponents, Port Vale came into this game looking for a win after a 1-0 defeat to Wrexham two weeks ago. The last time these two sides faced each other was in August which saw Town take all three points, beating The Valiants by four goals to two courtesy of Lewis Redding, Lifumpa Mwandwe and a double for Luke Ward.
Both teams were unable to make the most of their chances in the first half, and it appeared that Storm Hannah took its toll on the players. Town had their first real chance of the game in the 8th minute when Lifumpa Mwandwe won a free kick after being brought down. Captain James Rowland stood over the ball and aimed for Luke Ward, but it reaches a Vale head first. A short time afterwards and Ward was involved in a chance of his own, but his shot went inches wide of the post.
Vale’s substitute goalkeeper soon made his mark on the game and kept the game level after saving a great opportunity by Lifumpa Mwandwe. Sam Agius was forced to make a save of his own when the home team managed to create a neat passage of play down the pitch, but their final shot went into hands of Town’s keeper. James Rowland had a chance to open the scoring in the 32nd minute, but he was unable to connect properly with the ball as Vale closed in on him. Four minutes later and Jack Leask won a free kick, which was in the range for Luke Ward. His shot went over the heads of everyone in the box but couldn’t quite find the intended target and went wide.
The Valiants came to terms with the weather conditions in the second half and soon found the opening goal just seconds after the restart, but it unfortunately come from one of Shrewsbury’s own after Ward found the back of his own net. Town went in a desperate search for the equaliser and had a great chance to find it, but Archie Elmore’s cross into the box couldn’t find anyone in blue and amber. Just 10 minutes after scoring their first, Vale doubled their lead in the 56th minute, much to the dismay of Shrewsbury’s players. Things went from bad to worse for Shrewsbury as in the space of seven minutes, they were forced into two substitutions when Lifumpa Mwandwe and Jack Leask limped off to make way for William Thomas and William Lloyd. The victory was all but wrapped up for Vale in the 68th minute after scoring their third of the afternoon.
Due to the conditions of Storm Hannah, referee Joshua Mitchell concluded the game a couple of minutes early with Town finishing the match with ten men, after Luke Ward was forced off through injury in the 73rd minute with no substitute to take his place.
Town are back in action for the last game of the season next week at the Shrewsbury Sports Village against Tranmere Rovers and they will be looking to finish the season on a high and win all three points.
Team: Sam Agius, Ethan O’Toole (Jacob Bell 46), Zac Hartley, James Rowland (c), Tom Davies, Luke Ward, Jamaine Turner, Jack Leask (William Lloyd 63), Archie Elmore, Ryan Grosvenor, Lifumpa Mwandwe (William Thomas 56).
Unused sub: Jaden Bevan.