Vale no match for the resurgent Red Devils

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GH Car Sticker v5NM

Port Vale 2 Crawley Town 3

This was another great result for the Red Devils, coming from behind at half time to beat the home side Port Vale 3 – 2 and continue their push for League 1 survival.

Manager Dean Saunders named the same starting line up for the 3rd match, sowing faith in the team, however, the visitors couldn’t have got off to a worse start, as after 5 minutes they were caught on the back foot defending a corner that Louis Dodds have all the time he needed to pass the ball into the net, with the defence just standing there.

The Red Devils were now up against with the home side taking the game to Crawley, with Lewis Price being the busier of the two keepers, time and time again it was just sloppy defending that was causing the problems and creating the chances that thankfully Port Vale failed to capitalise on.

The visitor’s did have chances, an Anthony Wordsworth free kick sailed just over the bar and Izale McLeod’s header went straight into the home keeper’s arms. With minutes to go to the break, Crawley managed to force a corner, the ball fell to the feet of Wordsworth and his shot deflected of a defender and past the home keeper to put the match all square. Unfortunately this only lasted a few minutes as in added time, again the Red Devils failed to stop Vale winger getting round the back to the by line, he pass back to Dodds and again he made sure that Vale restored the lead firing into the far corner.

The 39 travelling supporters were brilliant in the 4000 capacity away stand, keeping their spirits up despite going behind twice, but they were to be rewarded in the second half with a display that everyone could be proud off.  Dean Saunders must have said something to inspire the team, as from the second half kick off they were on the front foot, pressing the home side and forcing them backwards. The Red Devils were kicking towards the home end with locals getting very frustrated with some being relocated from their normal seats and that of their teams efforts.  The equaliser came from another set piece, Izale McLeod’s header looping over the home keeper into the net to restore parity, allowing the visiting fans to out shout the 3800 home supporters. The Red Devils still pushed forward and were creating chances, Tomlin, McLeod again, Pogba and sub Morgan had efforts. The midfield of Dickson, Wordsworth, Fowler, Tomlin were causing problems to the home side, they were playing the best football by a Crawley midfield quartet for some time – at least this season, Gavin Tomlin has had his critics but he his starting to show what he can do and now on a regular basis, Wordsworth is now match fit and is showing some class, Lee Fowler is getting better and better as he grows with confidence and is paying back the manager for his chance to get back into League football. Ryan Dickson moved up into the midfield is showing some great performances and creating chances for himself.

The Red Devils winner came on 69 minutes, again from a Wordsworth corner, his inch perfect cross found the head of Richard Wood who was running in to meet it, he planted the strike past the keeper into the net to give the Red Devils the lead for the first time in the game and again the visiting supporters were in raptures.

With 5 minutes of the game remaining, the home supporters were leaving in numbers, despite their side trying to get the equaliser but time and time again, either a visiting defender or keeper managed to clear the attempt – again like at Colchester the previous Saturday, the Red Devils had to work hard in added time with corner after corner being sent over, Crawley tried to break the game up bringing on Smith to waste time, where earlier in the game Lewis Price had gone into the officials book for the same reason.

The away fans were baying for the final whistle to be blown, shortly after the substitution was made and another corner to defend the referee blew up for full time, giving the Red Devils another unexpected victory and the visiting supporters a reason to be cheerful.

CHT man of the match – Lee Fowler

Vale: Neal 6, Yates 5, Robertson 5, Veseli 6, McGivern 5, Marshall 5, O’Connor 5, Brown 5 (O’Sullivan 77, 6 ), Daniel 5 (Williamson, 66, 6 ), Dodds 7, Pope 6 (Campion, 77) 6.

Subs: Johnson, Duffy, Birchall, Lloyd.

Red Devils: Price, Young, Ward, Wood, Bradley, Tomlin (Elliott, 87), Fowler, Wordsworth, Dickson, Pogba (Morgan, 64), McLeod (Smith, 94).

Subs: Jensen, Anderson, Bawling, Edwards.

Next Home match – LEYTON ORIENT

This Saturday, East London side Leyton Orient visit the Chechatrade.com stadium, they are in the same position as us battling against relegation, having last season being one of the side that could have got promoted – they will bring a good following so we need all the home support we can get – the team is back playing dogged football, good and ugly at times but its results and positive one that are needed to survive – so if you have lapsed you support or a new supporter get yourself down to the game this weekend and get behind the team and help them with their quest to stay in League 1 – they had 10 cup finals left, so far played 2 won 2, 8 now remaining. Expect the same team line up for the 4th match running.

The game played at Orient on Boxing Day was the last in charge for John Gregory, it was a disastrous 4 – 0 defeat with many Red Devils fans seriously considering the unavoidable real risk of demotion to League 2 – how times have changed, it will be interesting to see how far we have changed and with our current momentum we will see a much better competitive match. Orient will be without Striker Kevin Lisbee as he has now joined Stevenage on loan this week – we must be watchful of Dean Cox, as he has caused us problems in previous matches. Orient drew with Barnsley 0 – 0 in their last match.

The loan window closed next Thursday, so it will be interesting if we see any more signings being made to ensure we have the best chance of maintaining our League 1 status. We are aware that Richard Wood will shortly be returning to Rotherham United as Steve Evans wants to see him back at the club, possibly after this next home match.

AWAY TRAVEL – WITH GH COACHES

Next away match Friday 3rd April 2015 – That’s Good Friday – we are away to Crewe Alexandra – with a 3.00pm kick off.

We are running our normal coach to this game – departing the New Moon at 8.00am and stopping at the White Lion, Barthomley for a buffet lunch – we should arrive at the pub for about 12.30pm and it’s then only a 20 minute drive to Cresty Road for the game. Cost for this match is £20.00 for Adults and £15.00 for under 16’s – which includes the buffet – please start booking for this game as we want to let the pub know numbers for the buffet.

Please contact Alain on 07771-792346 or E mail Alain.harper@isgplc.com to book

“CHT Sports Reporter”

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