Port Vale 1-1 Walsall

Port Vale 1-1 Walsall

Vale started the new season with a goal from Tom Pope as they started the season with a draw against local rivals Walsall.

Micky Adams opted to start with keeper Sam Johnson while there were full debuts for Freddie Veseli, Michael O’Connor, Ryan McGivern and Mark Marshall.

A view of the action

Before the match kicked off, there was a minute’s silence for supporter Chris Bayley who sadly passed away recently.

After a slow start, Walsall had the first chance when Johnson saved from Ashley Grimes.

But it was Vale who took the lead when, following good work from Marshall, TOM POPE scored on the half-hour mark with his 58th goal of his Vale career.

The home side nearly doubled their lead, after more great work from Marshall, but Dodds narrowly failed to convert.

Vale continued to attempt to increase their lead in the second period as O’Connor went close with a free-kick. But on the hour mark, it was Walsall who netted as TOM BRADSHAW scored.

Vale brought on summer signing Steve Jennings for his debut as he replaced Louis Dodds. However, despite the change Vale were struggling to impose themselves in the final third of the game and Johnson had to be alert again as Walsall threatened. Then Benning shot over the bar as the visitors pushed for a second.

With five minutes left, Vale brought on Chris Robertson and debutant veteran Michael Brown to try and wrest some possession back.

The change worked as Vale raised their game in the closing stages although it was not enough to snatch a win as the game ended in a draw.

Vale: Johnson, Veseli (Robertson), McGivern, Duffy, Dickinson, Marshall, O’Connor, Lines (Brown), Dodds (Jennings), Williamson, Pope

Subs: Neal, Birchall, Yates, Lloyd

Attendance: 7,050 (1,145 away)

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