Captain Doug Loft was sent-off in the dying minutes as Vale’s winless “blip” stretched to three games after visitors Bradford claimed a point at Vale Park.
The Vale put on a much improved display in front of 4,281 fans…
Striker Tom Pope had a number of chances to score for Vale but the striker’s lean run continued with Pope playing his eighth successive game without scoring. Nevertheless, the Vale put on a much improved display in front of 4,281 fans.
Micky Adams made four changes to his side. Ryan Burge was absent through illness, while John McCombe, Ben Williamson and Calvin Andrew dropped to the bench. The returning Anthony Griffith, Liam Chilvers, Ashley Vincent and Louis Dodds were called into the starting eleven.
Griffith duly marked his return with a yellow card within five minutes of his “second” debut. It was a lively and open first-half with Vale and visitors Bradford both having chances.
The Valiants came the closest to opening the scoring with a Pope header but the Bradford keeper McLaughlin pulled off a fine save to stop the striker ending his recent goal drought.
In the second period, Bradford went mightily close themselves as Hanson headed against the bar. Then Vale countered as Dodds and Vincent both went close. And in an open game, Hanson went close for the visitors, who then had a shot cleared off the line.
Bradford were looking increasingly dangerous but Vale still had chances notably another chance for Pope, following a good cross from Vincent.
Both sides pressed for the winner with Pope having two more chances, but to no avail. Then with seconds remaining, Vale skipper Doug Loft was controversially shown a straight red for a challenge on a Bradford player.
Vale’s ten men held on with a much improved performance overall but, nevertheless, the goalless run at home now stands at three games and the Valiants will be looking anxiously over their shoulders at the chasing pack.
Vale: Neal, Duffy, Chilvers, Purse, Jones, Myrie-Williams (Hughes), Loft, Griffith, Vincent (Morsy), Dodds, Pope
Subs: McCombe, Shuker, Williamson, Andrew, Birchall