Weekly Digest: Vale must turn the corner

Our weekly magazine article takes a look at a problem area for the team this season…

Source: Various online match reports

  • Blackpool: After winning a free kick on the left. Costa Rica international Jose Miguel Cubero swung the ball in to the area where Robertson rose to power a header over Alnwick and in off the bar…
  • Oldham: Mike Jones flighted a right-wing corner to the far post where Higdon rose highest to power a downward header inside Jak Alnwick’s right-hand post from 10 yards…
  • Bury: A Soares strike was then deflected wide for a corner, which was delivered by Chris Hussey, and Alnwick was unable to keep out centre-half Cameron’s downward header…
  • Millwall: Williams floated over a far post corner from the right and Mark Beevers rose to power an eight-yard header high into the centre of the net…

The Valiants don’t want to be seen as a “soft touch” from set-plays by opponents…

What’s the common factor with all the incidents above? It’s simply that Vale conceded goals from set-pieces.

It’s an odd quirk considering that Vale have a) made few changes to their back five this season and b) the defence has been applauded for much improved performances.

Nevertheless, it’s something that has been noted in the local media and on social media and is clearly something Vale need to address. The Valiants don’t want to be seen as a “soft touch” from set-plays by opponents. What’s more, with the fine line between success and failure, it’s vital that Vale pick up as many points as possible.

Tighten up on defending from set-plays and it could make a massive difference to the team’s finishing position this season. With League One such a tight division this season, little changes can go a big way…


With Northern Ireland making it to a major competition for the first time in 30 years, here are some questions about Port Vale’s Northern Ireland Internationals.

 1. How many Port Vale players have received Northern Ireland caps?

a. 5

b. 6

c. 7 

2. How many caps did Sammy Morgan win while a Vale player?

a. 7

b. 8

c. 9

3. And what about winger Jon McCarthy? How many caps did he get while at Vale Park?

a. 3

b. 4

c. 5


Defender Nathan Smith continues to pick up invaluable experience with Torquay United. He made his sixteenth appearance on Saturday and played the whole 90 minutes against Southport. In the process Torquay ended a run of five straight defeats with a 1-0 win.


Carl Dickinson picked up his second OVF man of the match award for the game against Bury.

So overall, the leaderboard looks like this:

  • Grant 4 (Swindon, Gillingham, West Brom, Wigan)
  • Dodds 1 (Doncaster)
  • Purkiss 1 (Crewe)
  • Andoh 1 (Burnley)
  • Dickinson 2 (Bradford, Bury)
  • Dodds 1 (Carlisle)
  • Alnwick 1 (Millwall)

Quote of the week

Midfielder Michael O’Connor can see the funny side on his return to action:

“Rob Page wanted to give me 60 minutes then if I felt all right on Thursday and Friday I could be heading to Southend. I’ve picked a good game to travel – it’s about a five hour journey!”

Tweet of the week

This was ALL the news Port Vale fans needed this week:



Epic fail

Epic Fail Ratings

Time at club: Five months

Highpoint: Not many

Lowpoint: Controversy after the Accrington game

Fans were upset that playmaker Gary Roberts was dropped yet Geohaghan’s far more limited talents saw him as an automatic starter…

One of the most castigated players in recent years, it’s no surprise that Exodus is a shoe-in for our “Epic Fails” section. Brought in by the equally maligned Jim Gannon, Exodus was soon copping flak from the Vale fans annoyed at Gannon’s odd team selections.

Fans were upset that playmaker Gary Roberts was dropped yet Geohaghan’s far more limited talents saw him as an automatic starter in the side. Just four wins in twelve games didn’t help either.

It all culminated in a nasty encounter after the Accrington defeat. Exodus claimed he had been racially abused and took “advice” from the PFA. Some fans claimed that the player was wrong. There was an FA investigation but the results were never publically announced. Geohaghan stayed away from the club after the incident and never played for Vale again.

One hit wonder

We briefly celebrate the brief careers of players who made a solitary appearance for the club.

One Hit Wonder

Name: Trevor Robson

Sole Appearance: 17th April, 1976

Trevor is one of a number of locally-born players to progress through the junior ranks only to find first-team appearances limited.

Robson made his debut at the end of the 1975-76 season, coming on as a sub for Colin Tartt in a 1-1 draw with Halifax Town.

He signed a professional contract in January 1977 but failed to make any more senior appearances and was released in the summer of 1977.

Quiz of the week answers:

  1. c (Ryan McGivern, Sammy Morgan, Billy Bingham, James Lawrie, Andrew Little, David Healy and Jon McCarthy)
  2. a (seven caps and two goals)
  3. b (four caps)
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