Ben Williamson and Dany N’Guessan were on target as Rob Page’s side secured an excellent win against ten-man Sheffield United.
Rob Page selected an unchanged team with the returning Chris Lines on the bench. Former Vale loanee Florent Cuvelier started for United.
It was an entertaining start to the game in front of a large crowd as both sides adopted an attacking style. However, it was the Valiants who took the lead from a corner as striker Ben Williamson scored from close range. It was his eighth goal of the season.
The visitors almost equalised after a goalmouth scramble but Vale managed to keep the ball out. Then it was Chris Neal’s turn to maintain the lead with a great save. Vale countered again and N’Guessan had a header cleared off the line.
A memorable first-half then boiled over as United’s Chris Basham was shown a straight red card for a poor tackle on Michael Brown. The incident prompted ugly scenes on the touchline with the Blades coaching staff involved in some rather childish ‘handbags’ following the dismissal.
Early in the second-half, Vale felt they had claims for a penalty after a handball in the box but the appeals were turned down. Moments later, Sheff Utd equalised as Jamie Murphy beat Veseli and Jamal Campbell-Ryce tapped the ball home.
The game was looking to drift to a draw but with twelve minutes to go, Vale were awarded a penalty after Marshall was fouled in the box. Dany N’Guessan stepped up and celebrated his new contract by scoring his fourth goal of his Vale career.
It was harum scarum stuff as the snow came down in the closing moments, but Vale held on for a memorable home win.
Vale: Neal, Yates, Veseli, Duffy, Dickinson, Marshall, Brown, O’Connor, N’Guessan, Dodds (Lines), Williamson
Subs: Johnson, Birchall, Robertson, Nimely, Daniel, Campion,