Port Vale 2 v 1 Bradford City (Skybet League One)
Port Vale’s solid tough tackling approach gave them the edge over Bradford City at Vale Park. Both sides created chances, however it was Vale’s physical approach that meant they won the battles and in the end the game.
Bradford City started well and had a couple of chances in the fourth minute, the first fell to Nathan Doyle following a Mark Yeates freekick. Doyle hit a stunning volley that was motoring towards goal, before hitting a Port Vale defender and going behind for a corner.
Gary Thompson, flicked on the resulting corner which was headed just over the Port Vale crossbar by an unmarked Rory McArdle from six yards.
On sixteen minutes, Port Vale had their first chance on goal, when Tom Pope headed wide of Jon McLaughlin’s goal with a free header from six yards following a Jennison Myrie-Williams cross.
A minute later Tom Pope tried his luck from distance on the half-volley, but his connection was poor and his effort was sliced well wide.
Port Vale had another promising opportunity on twenty-four minutes, following a quickly taken free-kick, Vale’s Daniel Jones was free on the right wing to cross for Tom Pope who missed his third chance of the game, heading wide from around six yards.
On twenty-five minutes the game reached boiling point as Rory McArdle and Lee Hughes squared up to each other on the half way line. Phil Parkinson stepped in to split the pair up, which caused verbal exchanges between both benches.
A fine double save from Jon McLaughlin on thirty-seven minutes keep the scores level. The first save was low down at his near post following a fierce volley from Lee Hughes at the edge of the area.
However the rebound fell to Kaid Mohamed, but his effort from close range was well saved by Jon McLaughlin who spread himself well to block the shot.
On forty-two minutes, Port Vale took the lead following a poor back pass from James Meredith, which was intercepted by Lee Hughes who slotted the ball past Jon McLaughlin to give Vale a half-time lead.
The second half started without incident, then on fifty-six minutes Port Vale’s Carl Dickinson was booked for a foul on Nahki Wells. A minute later, from the resulting free kick the Bradford fans were screaming for a penalty as Andrew Davies was held inside the area following a Mark Yeates free kick.
On the hour mark, Nahki Wells scored his fourth goal of the season, following a fine shot from Gary Thompson which was well saved by Chris Neal in the Port Vale goal. Wells was alert to enough to tap in the rebound from four yards to draw Bradford level.
Nahki Wells then had two further chances on sixty-one and sixty-two minutes, the first effort was a volley that went wide following a Gary Jones near post cross and the second was a low angled drive from around fourteen yards, which was gathered up by Chris Neal in the Port Vale goal.
Port Vale restored their lead on sixty-six minutes, Lee Hughes was in the right position to help a Port Vale corner back to the waiting Doug Loft, his strike from the edge of the area found the corner of the net thanks to a massive deflection off Gary Jones which took it past Jon McLaughlin.
Bradford City continued to press the Port Vale defence, but their final chance fell to Kyel Reid, who’s effort in the eighty-sixth minute went across the six yard box and just wide of the far post.
Bradford will now prepare for next Saturday’s Yorkshire derby with Sheffield United, which should see a full house at Valley Parade for a tough game.
Port Vale – Neal, Yates, Jones, Robertson, Dickinson, Loft, Myrie-Williams, Pope, Lines, Mohammed, Hughes (Subs) Tomlin, Shuker, Williamson, Griffith, Duffy, Dodds, Birchall
Bradford City – McLaughlin, Darby, Meredith, McArdle, Davies, Jones, Doyle, Thompson, Yeates, Hanson, Wells (Subs) Ripley, Taylor, Ravenhill, McHugh, Connell, Reid, De Vita
Goals – (Port Vale) Hughes (42) Loft (66) (Bradford City) Wells (60)
Attendance – 6,552