AJ Leitch-Smith scored an early goal but were only able to draw at home against a Bradford side reduced to ten men in the second-half.
Manager Rob Page rang the changes with five players coming into the starting line-up. They included JJ Hooper and Sam Kelly while the injured Michael O’Connor was one to miss out through injury. In a nice touch, Vale ran out to Motorhead’s Ace of Spade in tribute to Burslem-born Lemmy, who passed away recently.
— Mike Baggaley (@MBaggers37) January 23, 2016
Vale got off to a great start as AJ Leitch-Smith confidently converted with just two minutes on the clock. Vale were dominant in the opening stages and the new “AJ/JJ” partnership caused problems with both strikers having further chances.
However, Vale’s promising start was disrupted after an injury to Richard Duffy and Bradford started to enjoy the majority of the first-half possession and forcing Jak Alnwick into a couple of decent saves. Despite the away side’s possession, Anthony Grant missed an opportunity to double Vale’s advantage on the stroke of half-time but Vale would be satisfied to take a lead into the break.
The visitors introduced former Valiant Mark Marshall in the second period but were almost immediately reduced to ten men with Lee Evans shown a straight red for a poor challenge on Anthony Grant.
The dismissal prompted a prolonged period of Vale pressure but the home side could not convert the chances. The Valiants then fell for a sucker punch as Bradford broke through Marshall and Jamie Proctor headed home on his debut to level the scores.
The visitors then forced Alnwick into a good save from a long-range effort from Reece Burke. Rob Page responded by bringing on Byron Moore and Colin Daniel for Louis Dodds and JJ Hooper. But Vale were unable to put any sustained pressure on their resolute visitors as the game petered out into a disappointing draw.
Vale: Alnwick, Yates, Dickinson, Duffy, McGivern, Dodds (Moore), Grant, Foley (Brown), Kelly, Leitch-Smith, Hooper (Daniel)
Subs: Neal, Campion, Inniss, Purkiss