Port Vale 0-0 Stevenage match report: it was a toothless performance by Darrell Clarke’s side in his first home game but the side at least claimed a point on Tuesday night.
Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke sprung some surprises with his starting eleven as he gave loanee Will Swan a start and reverted to a back three. However, it resulted in an open and entertaining game in the early stages.
There were no goals in the first-half but plenty of chances for both sides. Vale appealed for a penalty on six minutes when the lively Devante Rodney looked to be fouled in the box. Then the visitors nearly found the net when Nathan Smith’s backpass had to be saved by Scott Brown.
A Stevenage free-kick went just wide and Vale saw efforts from Luke Joyce and Will Swan go wide. A great ball from Montano then nearly set up Rodney but his shot was blocked.
Stevenage were still looking dangerous with Osbourne’s shot going wide and Vale went close again as a pass narrowly missed Tom Conlon’s head but Montano and Rodney were unable to force the ball home. The Valiants then suffered a blow on the brink of half-time when Luke Joyce was forced off injured.
The Valiants faded in the second-half with Stevenage looking dangerous on the break. Port Vale’s front two were looking isolated and manager Clarke decided to make changes with Mark Cullen brought on. Despite pressure from the visitors, the Vale sub found Jake Taylor in the box but his effort was blocked. However, on the main the second-half was generally a dour affair for Vale fans.
With ten minutes to go, Scott Burgess had the best Vale effort so far but his curling effort went wide. And in a late revival for the home side, Devante Rodney also went close and there was another call for a penalty when Montano fell in the box.
However, those chances came too little, too late. It was at least a point for the Valiants but with chances at a premium it was a generally uninspiring performance by Darrell Clarke’s side. The clean sheet will help ease concerns about the Vale backline but the Valiants looked toothless in front of goal with their 3-5-2 formation.
Full-time: Port Vale 0-0 Stevenage
Port Vale: Brown – Legge, Smith, Crookes -Gibbons, Taylor, Joyce (Burgess), Conlon, Montano – Swan (Cullen), Rodney (Guthrie)
Subs: Scott, Mills, Olagunji, Hurst