Match Reports

A win at last!

Image for A win at last!

A mild and bright afternoon at KR. A must-win game surely, against a Port Vale team below the Town in the league, and with so few fans – no more than 50 – one would assume an appalling away record. But in fact the Town’s away record is even worse.

So the Town team then:


Jackson Coyne Perry Goodall


Edwards Spring

Bell Furlong Morgan

On the bench Talbot, McVeigh, Andrew, Hutchinson, Fojut.

Vale emerged in reverse Town formation, ie black shirts and white shorts.

Two minutes in and a determined run from Spring earned a corner on the right. Bell swung it away and a surging Perry met the ball beautifully and headed downwards and goalwards.

On 5 Spring and Goodall played some delightful football on the left edge of the box to bamboozle the Vale defence and let Spring shoot narrowly wide.

The Town were playing some delightful football, with Spring, Edwards, Morgan and Bell driving forwards with pace. Morgan in particular looked menacing and determined.

On 17 another corner on the right, Bell swung it away, and this time Edwards rose unchallenged to meet it. But too high.

Vale were not at all adventurous, and took 22 minutes before they even reached the Town penalty area. Their first shot took 25 minutes, but was not far wide.

On 28 yet another Town corner, this from the left, swung to the near post where Furlong swung a left boot and fired home low and hard.

1-0 and less than the Town deserved for their attractive and enterprising play.

On 34 another corner on the left, Bell again, and the chances coming thick and fast. Bell, Edwards, Morgan and Spring all running with speed and trickery at a panicky Vale defence.

On 37 Spring, Morgan, Furlong , and Edwards forced the ball forward with quick first touches for Spring to race onto the final ball and fire narrowly wide.

Seconds later another Bell corner whizzed across 4 yards out and somehow eluded everyone. It was just a matter of time before the second surely.

On 42 an amazing 20 seconds as Spring bundled over a Vale midfielder. Free kick taken too quickly for the ref who ordered a retake. ‘You wanker’ – or similar – from Vale defender who was immediately shown the red card.

On 44 Morgan crossed low and hard, Furlong with his back to goal flicked first time into the path of Edwards, who blazed over from 10 yards.

And a minute later a break from Morgan, racing past his full-back like Linford Christie and curling a beauty over which Furlong glanced just past the far post.

So ended a first half which was breathtaking for the pace and quality of the Town football, and amazing that we had scored just one out of perhaps 10 clear chances.

Vale were quicker out of the traps than the Town, but within a minute the procession of Town corners resumed.

On 48 a mazy run from midfield by Morgan as he weaved in and out, before firing low at the keeper.

On 50 a rare attack by Vale and a free kick on 27 yards, but straight into Forde’s midriff.

Ten minutes in and Bell, Jackson and Edwards combined to set Bell free in the box. He beat two defenders then squared for Edwards, whose first goal-bound shot of the day was deflected over.

On 60 Furlong forced in a far post cross from Edwards but the fans’ celebration was for nought as the ref awarded a free kick to Vale and booked Furlong, presumably for handball.

Morgan and Edwards were continuing to have storming games. So it was logical on 64 to take Morgan off for the less than pacey Darren Currie.

On 68 Furlong played a lovely flick to Spring on the edge of the box, butinstead of shooting Spring in turn played in Bell on the right, whose point-blank shot was miraculously saved by the Vale keeper.

And two minutes later a second Town change, Edwards for McVeigh. Two puzzling decisions as the game could not be certain at just 1-0 no matter how much we seemed to be in control.

But continue to control the game we did, and for 5 minutes the ball was moved around the Vale box almost at will, a frustrated crowd shouting ‘Shoot!’ with increasing vigour. And finally someone did, Bell spearing a shot from 25 yards at the near post and in for 2-0.

The final Town change, Andrew for Furlong, just in time for Vale to win their first corner on 90 minutes. And of course they scored, a scrambled effort rather typical of our end of game defending. So 2-1 and 3 minutes of added time…

And in the final minute a long Vale throw, everyone in the box…

But somehow the Town held out for that much-needed and well deserved win.


Forde 6 difficult to rate as Vale scored with their only attempt at goal, but calm
Jackson 6 defended well but distribution not great
Goodall 7 solid and threatening coming forward
Coyne 5 doesn`t seem to have the edge in the air or on the ground nowadays
Perry 7 quick and quick thinking
Robinson 7 successful in holding role
Bell 8 tricky and hard-working as usual
Spring 7 very strong first half but quieter second
Edwards 8 sponsors moM and would have been 9 if he had taken a chance or two
Morgan 8 the good side of Dean – fast urgent and piercing
Furlong 8 tremendous target man performance


Currie 7 looked pretty and worked reasonably hard but no Edwards
McVeigh 7 ditto but no Morgan
Andrew 6 not out of place but criticised by Blackwell for not tracking back

Blackwell 7 scores highly for the system/ first half, less well for removing Edwards/Morgan

Share this article

Hill, Stein, Walsh, Donaghy, Harford