Port Vale 1-1 Forest Green Rovers: on loan striker Ryan Edmondson scored his first goal for the club, but a late equaliser by the visitors saw it end all-square on Tuesday evening.
Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke gave a second senior start to Edmondson upfront while Tom Pett returned in midfield. The Valiants made a lively start with an Edmondson run and shot while strike partner James Wilson put in a dangerous cross but there was no-one on hand to meet it.
On eleven minutes, Vale did take the lead when Chris Hussey’s corner was turned in at close range by Edmondson. It was nearly two nine minutes later but James Wilson’s piledriver was well saved. There was a third opportunity for the Valiants when the shaky Rovers keeper dropped the ball but Aaron Martin fired over.
It had been an excellent first-half display by the Valiants, epitomised by the effort of Garrity and Edmondson and the craft and guile of Wilson. Rovers looked somewhat shellshocked and failed to muster a clear effort on target while goalkeeper McGhee’s performance was error strewn as a string of balls went awry.
Half-time: Port Vale 1-0 Forest Green Rovers
However, the visitors came more into the game in the second period. Vale’s defence stood up well to an early period of Rovers pressure before the excellent Edmondson was replaced by Kian Harratt on 71 minutes. Harratt soon had a chance to double the lead when he was sent clear but his low shot was saved. Then moments later, Harrattt was sent clear to score only for the striker to be flagged offside.
On 79 minutes, Rovers got the reward for their second-half performance when they scored from a corner. Vale’s defence failed to clear a low ball and Stevens were at the far post to force it home.
Vale brought on David Amoo for the excellent James Wilson but were unable to grab an equaliser as the match ended in a draw. It had been a good performance from the Vale team to hold the runaway leaders. Ben Garrity caught the eye once again with a tireless display while goalscorer Edmondson also ran his socks off. Wilson showed his class once again, but credit to the whole Port Vale team who worked tirelessly to give the division’s stand-out team a real test on Tuesday night.
Full-time: Port Vale 1-1 Forest Green Rovers
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Port Vale: Holy; Smith, Martin, Hall; Worrall, Garrity, Walker, Pett (Charlsey), Hussey; Edmondson (Harratt), Wilson (Amoo)
Subs: Stone, Hurst, Cooper, Jones
Port Vale bookings: None
Attendance: 6,296 (154 away)