The Vale’s poor defeat to Bristol Rovers was completely overshadowed by an apparently serious injury to sub Ashley Vincent who was stretchered off the pitch.
Vale made three changes including switching to to a back-three of Chilvers, McCombe and Duffy. Out went Purse, Hughes and Shuker while in came McCombe, Yates, Birchall and Williamson. Midfielder Ryan Burge was surprisingly not even in the Vale squad after recovering from illness.
Once again Vale got off to an awful start as Bristol Rovers took the lead after just six minutes. Poor marking from a corner allowed Ryan Brunt to score from a header. Moments later, Brunt had another chance to double the home side’s advantage.
It could be that the Vale team were struggling to adapt after so many changes in such a short space of time. After all, it was the second time in just four days that Micky Adams had made three or more changes to his starting eleven.
But to be fair, Vale looked better from that point onwards with Morsy prominent in midfield, but the Valiants’ hopes were dashed just before half-time when Brunt doubled his tally.
Vale made a double change early in the second-half with Lee Hughes somewhat controversially replacing leading scorer Tom Pope and Calvin Andrew replacing Ben Williamson.
Soon afterwards, Brunt nearly completed his hat-trick with a strike that Neal managed to block.
Vale countered when a Hughes’ header fell to Vincent. Vincent mis-kicked and was then stretchered off in some pain. The Valiants were forced to carry on with only ten men.
On the pitch it was another poor performance by Vale who now lie just one point above the play-offs, but off the pitch our thoughts are very much with Ashley Vincent and we hope for a full recovery.
Vale: Neal, Yates, Duffy (Vincent), Chilvers, McCombe, Taylor, Griffith, Birchall, Morsy, Williamson (Andrew), Pope (Hughes)
Subs: Shuker, Myrie-Williams, Dodds, Boot