Match report: Port Vale 0-1 Walsall

Bruno Ribeiro’s tenure as Port Vale manager was put under even more threat after his side lost 1-0 at home to Walsall on Boxing Day.

Ribeiro made three changes after the thrashing to Wimbledon last week with Anthony Grant, Jerome Thomas and Kjell Knops all returning. Worringly, despite the changes, there were few early signs of Vale responding to last week’s heavy defeat as they began the game poorly.

The visitors had the better of the opening exchanges and took the lead on 27 minutes when Scott Laird found the back of the net. The goal prompted Vale to rally but it finished 1-0 at half-time with the visitors deservedly in front.

In the second period, former loanee Florent Cuvelier forced a save from Jak Alnwick and Vale were grateful for Remie Streete for a good clearance as the visitors looked to double their lead. The Valiants did eventually rally and had a couple of penalty shouts for what appeared to be fouls on Cicilia and sub Sam Kelly as they put the Walsall defence under pressure.

Bruno Ribeiro threw on striker Martin Paterson for the closing stages and although there were late chances for Alex Jones and Ryan Taylor, they were to no avail as┬áVale’s poor run of form continued into the festive period.

Attendance: 5,854 (834 away)