Match Report: Port Vale 2-0 Blackpool

Match Report: Port Vale 2-0 Blackpool

In-form striker AJ Leitch-Smith and sub Chris Birchall both scored as Vale ended their long Tuesday night hoodoo.

Manager Rob Page made one change with midfielder Michael O’Connor coming in for Sam Kelly.

However, it was a poor first-half display by Vale in heavy and wet conditions. The Valiants were actually grateful to goalkeeper Jak Alnwick, who made two fine saves and his defence for preventing the visitors from taking the lead. Nevertheless, it finished goalless at the break.

Unfortunately, Vale’s poor performance continued in the second period with Alnwick again keeping the visitors at bay. Vale responded by replacing the limping Moore with Birchall and then a double substitution as Kelly and Ikpeazu replaced Foley and Dodds.

Vale finally sparked into a bit of life when captain Carl Dickinson hit a drive wide in the final quarter of an hour.  And with ten minutes left, the in-form AJ Leitch-Smith finally broke the deadlock with his fifth goal in four games.

The Valiants’ fourth straight league win was confirmed when sub Chris Birchall scored a nice second goal – his first of the season.  It had been a generally unconvincing performance by the Vale for the majority of the match but they had done enough in the last half an hour to earn all three points and continue their fine recent form.

Vale: Alnwick, Yates, Duffy, McGivern, Dickinson, Grant, O’Connor, Foley (Kelly), Moore (Birchall), Dodds (Ikpeazu), Leitch-Smith

Subs: Neal, Purkiss, Streete, Hooper

Attendance: 3,640