Vale remain at the foot of the table after failing to beat Forest Green Rovers
Vale finally managed to add to their points total with their first point since the opening day of the season, but they remain rooted to the foot of the table following a 1-1 draw with Forest Green Rovers.
After a shaky start for the Valiants, Dan Turner gave everybody a lift when he fired Vale ahead in the 20th minute, but Vale continued to be unconvincing.
The visitors levelled midway through the second half, taking full advantage of slack marking from the home side and substitute Christian Doidge headed home from close range.
There was no place for goalkeeper Sam Hornby in the squad after conceding what can best be described as a ‘soft’ goal at his near post at Luton in midweek.
Michael Brown secured the services of goalkeeper Kelle Roos from Derby County and he went straight into the starting eleven against Forest Green, with Ryan Boot being the other ‘keeper in the Vale squad.
Roos was one of five changes in the Vale side. He was joined by Tyler Denton, Lawrie Wilson, Michael Tonge and Dan Turner in what had been described as a ‘must-win’ game before kick off.
Vale huffed and puffed again in the opening minutes, though there can be no dispute they were the better of the two sides. Their play was far from fluent, however, as nerves understandably played a part in proceedings.
In the 20th minute came the moment all Vale fans Hd been waiting for since the opening day of the season – a Port Vale goal – and you could see the difference it made.
Tyler Denton, out on the Vale left, played the ball short to Tom Pope, who in turn played in Dan Turner and the Vale youngster confidently stroked the ball past Rovers’ ‘keeper Bradley Collins to put Vale in front,
There was a collective sigh of relief around Vale Park and Vale all of a sudden Vale looked like a weight had been lifted and they began to look like the confidence had started to return.
Vale were not having things all their own way. But they continued to look the better of the two teams on show, without looking too threatening in front of goal.
Vale had a great opportunity to double their lead deep into first half stoppage time when an exchange between Denton and Anthony de Freitas saw the Frenchman skip into the 18 yard box, but unfortunately he dragged his shot wide of the target.
Vale looked quite content to sit on their lead after the interval, almost inviting Forest Green to come at them, and the visitors were more than happy to take up their offer.
Vale were more or less parked up deep inside their own half for the opening ten minutes of the second half, before they began to test the visiting defence a little.
Unfortunately, Vale were back to their old tricks. Giving the visitors a simple opportunity to equalise when men were not picked up.
Vale had plenty of time to get organise when the visitors lined up a free kick, but Christian Doidge found himself in acres of space towards the back post.
He measured his header, sending it back across goal from the left and in came substitute Omar Bugiel to plant a simple header into the Vale net to level the scores.