A Marc Richards’ goal, which appeared at first glance to be an own goal, was enough to earn Port Vale a narrow home win against ten-man Bristol Rovers.
Micky Adams kept faith with an unchanged starting eleven – with youngster Joe Davis keeping his starting place. The fit again Rob Taylor was on the bench.
Vale started brightly with Pope involved in some excellent lay-off work, but it took until the 23rd minute before Vale took the lead. The final touch appeared to be from a Rovers defender but the goal was ultimately given to Richards – his sixteenth of the season.
Rovers’ hopes of getting back into the match were dashed on 38 minutes when Parks was deservedly dismissed for a two-footed lunge on Shuker.
The game was effectively over at this point, but Vale were unable to take any more advantage of their extra man.
Substitute Rob Taylor’s firm drive was well-saved by Bevan and the Rovers keeper also did well to stop a one-on-one chance for Richards.
But it was a man at the other end of the pitch who was awarded the man of the match award. Rookie Joe Davis, who had impressed throughout was named man of the match by onevalefan.co.uk – the match sponsors.
Vale: Martin, Yates, McCombe, Davis, Loft, Rigg (Taylor), Griffith (Morsy), Shuker, Dodds (Williamson), Pope, Richards
Subs: James, Marshall