Report: Oldham Athletic v Port Vale
Oldham Athletic 0 Port Vale 0
Vale win the penalty shoot-out
Despite there being few shots at goal at either end during the match at Boundary Park, Vale came away with two points from their game against Oldham Athletic.
The match finished all square with neither side managing to trouble their opponents’ goalkeeper in ninety minutes, so there was a bonus point on offer, dependant on the winners of the penalty shoot-out and it went to the visitors.
The bizarre rule of the competition means after Crewe’s defeat at home to a young Newcastle United side, the Geordies sit top of the table with 3 points, Vale are second with 2 points, Oldham third with 1 point and Crewe sit at the foot of the table.
Vale midfielder Michael Tonge was able to play from the start, despite being sent off against Crewe at the weekend, with his three-match suspension not counting in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Michael Brown did, however, make seven changes from the eleven who started on Saturday, using the opportunity to rest several of his players with Saturday’s League Two fixture against Notts County in mind.
Vale managed to put in a decent performance against their League One opponents, but with the two sides lacking confidence, it wasn’t too surprising that neither ‘keeper had much to do until the game went to penalties.
Shots on target were rarer than, to put it politely, rocking horse manure. Vale played well enough and they did manage to carve out a few chances, but their finishing was, like that of the home side, lacking in quality.
After ninety minutes void of any quality goalmouth action, penalties were taken using the newly introduced ABBA system, with Vale taking the first spot kick which was netted by Tonge.
Anthony Gerrard put his spot kick away for the home side, then it was the turn of team mate Ollie Banks, but Ryan Boot in the Vale goal made the save.
Gavin Gunning and Tom Pope each made sure there was no mistake with their penalties, to put Vale 3-1 up, the Boot was at it again, saving Fane’s kick, meaning Gardner had to score for the home side.
Gardner did indeed manage to beat Vale ‘keeper Boot, but Vale’s on loan Tyler Denton, on as a substitute, made sure with Vale’s fourth, meaning the home side couldn’t catch Vale and it was Michael Brown’s men who earned a bonus point.
Quite how useful that bonus point will turn out to be is anybody’s guess, but Vale can put thoughts of that behind them now and get back to the bread & butter business of league football at the weekend.
Dave Johnson – 6TR