Veteran striker Tom Pope scored his first goals of the season as Port Vale comfortably beat Southend United on Saturday.
Manager John Askey made two changes to his starting eleven with Tom Pope starting upfront and Adam Crookes replacing the injured Cristian Montano at left-back. However, David Fitzpatrick, Danny Whitehead and Devante Rodney all missed out on the squad as they self-isolated.
The Valiants made a bright start with an early effort from David Worrall and dominated the remaining first-half chances without being able to open the scoring. Tom Conlon hit the post, Nathan Smith’s effort was ruled offside and Tom Pope’s late header forced a good save from the Southend keeper. In contrast, the home side had a few half chances but failed to really test Vale keeper Scott Brown.
However, it took the Valiants just two minutes of the second-half to take the lead when Pope headed home David Worrall’s cross from close range. On 63 minutes, Pope doubled his and Vale’s score when he headed home from Amoo’s cross. The striker then missed out on a hat-trick when he struck the crossbar after an excellent Vale move.
Arguably Vale could have put this game out of sight with David Worrall mis-controlling when clean through and Scott Burgess mis-kicking in the box but they will be pleased with another clean sheet as they made it three wins on the trot.
It was a pleasing performance against a toothless home side with wide men Worrall and Amoo both impressing as they created numerous problems for the Southend defence. However, it was Tom Pope who will be grabbing the headlines yet again after he made a convincing case to be the club’s first choice centre-forward.
Port Vale: Brown, Clark, Legge, Smith, Crookes – Joyce, Burgess, Conlon – Worrall, Pope, Amoo (Mills)
Subs: Visser, Brisley, Cullen, Robinson, McKirdy, Hurst