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Match Thread: Port Vale v Scunthorpe United

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I thought that we were the better team for 65 minutes. That said, our midfield looked very leggy. Whether that was the heavy pitch or tiredness I don't know, but they always seemed to have a man free in the middle, which hasn't been the case for most of the season.

Joyce was deserved motm. First half he was very influential.

Amoo looked excellent going forward in the first half, but was frustrating the hell out of me with his defensive efforts and not committing at all to balls that were there to be won.

Cullen led the line well again first half, and scored. Not much more you can ask of a striker.

All of the team were below par in the second half. I thought the intro of their number 29 made a big difference. He was pressing our back line constantly which we didn't like one bit.

I don't think pope would have come on had askey waited for the corner to be taken and we'd scored from it. He was clearly going for the win by going 2 up top. When we scored he almost immediately brought on another midfielder for Cullen.

Those who are trying to credit pope with an assist merely from his presence on the pitch need to have a word with yourselves! They did the same at Crewe. No wonder the guys got a God complex! He was poor after he came on, won nothing, and his only contributions were giving away a stupid foul and screaming vehemently our back line after we conceded.

Gibbons distribution was shocking today.

Poor second half from most.

With manny, agree that he's clearly unfit. Is it not an option to loan him to the division below for a month to get him games?

We're back in the playoffs and it's in our hands. Can we do it? Of course. Will we? Who knows? Whatever happens, I'm pleased as punch with our progress this season and, with sensible quality recruitment in the summer, have high hopes for next season.

UTV

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It isnt about just scoring though. It’s also about being to hold a ball up, being able to give the defenders something else to deal with, giving us more of a platform to build from and get more of a foothold in the game and if you think that the game last week didn’t turn in our favour when he came on then we must have been watching different games. 
 
So disappointed at the end of yesterdays game. Before they scored the first a few of we’re saying that Cullen was struggling to hold it up and more importantly we lost energy in midfield with  Conlon looking like he was struggling and Burgess not getting about as much. Sure enough their lad breaks from the right, across and through the entire midfield and has a free run on a back pedalling defence. I can’t help but think we should have changed something way before we did, was it 75 when we made the first change? It might have made a difference it might not but I think we hung on too long when we’d gone a bit stale in the midfield and up front.  
 
We should have seen it out though, the second goal is terrible from brown and/or Legge, but a hanging ball in the air that’s dropping in to the 6 yard box should IMO have seen either Legge taking charge and heading it or brown coming and punching it. Great keeper for us but I think his weak point is dealing with balls into the area and that second goal highlighted it for me. 
 
Cant fault the effort of some of the team. Amoo looked a threat when he’s got the confidence to go at the full back, Gibbo linked well with him and tried to play when he could, Smith slotted back in easily, Legge bar the end was solid, Monty was hit and miss as normal at full back and at times I thought was too far forward leaving us a too open on that side, Joyce kept it ticking over well, Conlon and Burgess had good first halves but I think faded early in the second, Worrall gave that young right back a lesson in what it’s like at this level against an experienced player, Cullen had a good first half and deserved the goal but second half really struggled to give us time to get up the pitch by holding it up for us. 
 
Next week I’d be tempted to play Pope from the off away from home against a cheltenham side who play 3 big centre halves and maybe feb our Clark in for Monty.... which will probably mean that the only change Askey will make is to swap Gibbo for Clark 
 
It’ll be interesting to see how far off Taylor is. Is he fit enough to start? I was surprised yesterday that he didn’t come on late on for either Conlon or Burgess. 
Surely, if they play 3 big centre halves, the tactical nous would say not to put pope up against all 3 in a battle which he invariably lose, but to play the ball on the floor with a more mobile striker or strikers?
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1 hour ago, Joe B said:

Also, regarding Sproson; I seriously don't pay his opinions any credence anymore. Considering his obvious vested interest with the club I'm not entirely comfortable with him getting a platform to influence fans views, as he has now.

In my view he's used his gig on RS to push the players under his ownership, and criticise those providing competition for said players.

Taylor hasn't appeared despite being fit for weeks; Crooks has obviously not featured and probably won't bar injuries; Askey had Gabriel on trial and turned him down, and he went to Scunny (and was bad yesterday).

The bloke spent the first half of the season incessantly criticising Gibbons, despite him being one of our best players, which was convenient when we suddenly take a right-back on trial, from Forest, who is a client of Phil Sproson.

The view that 'you can't keep saying look where we've came from' within 10 MONTHS OF BEING COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY ANNIHILATED INTO OBLIVION AND NON-EXISTENCE  is either contrarianism for contranisms' sake, daft naivety as to the scale of the task regarding the arrest of this clubs' decline, or him being critical of a manager because he won't play his players.

Great post. Obviously I’m at the game so don’t hear what he says live, but more often than not I flick though some of the match on ifollow during the week. The blatant biased against Gibbons was plain to hear and radio stoke, the BBC, should not be allowing someone to air views that are seemingly promoting their own interests. I think it was the Mansfield game that really sealed it with his description of their late equaliser in that match and it was like he was commentating on something totally different and it really made me think that it was possibly personal? There is no denying Gibbo has been one of our more consistent players throughout the season and in recent weeks when Sproson has been on I’ve noticed a mellowing in the criticism of him, which made me wonder if someone had had a word maybe? Granted I’m not watching the full 90 back but it seems it from the times I’m skipping through the game again that he’s less critical of him. 

 

Also I think Crookes was a weak link when he was playing, we’ve clearly improved with Monty or Clark there, but the Sproson commentary when Crookes was playing was much more positive of Crookes performances, that IMO belied what was going on on the pitch and that’s a conflict of interest there when his own players that he represents are on the pitch. Fans who don’t go to games will form their opinions of players based on what the commentators are saying and I think in Sprosons case he was arguably purposely putting out negativity on certain players. 
 

That right back who we had on trial had a bad game yesterday for Scunthorpe, it was night and day between him and our right backs (Gibbo and Clark), you could tell the lad was inexperienced at this level. People get excited by young players coming from clubs at a higher level and sometimes automatically think they’re going to be better than our own players, only Clark and Taylor have been good enough that I can think of in recent years. Whilst of our homegrown batch only Gibbo and smith have made the grade, which just shows how good you have to be and how hard it is to make it as a young player at league 2 level. 

Edited by PV1973
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13 minutes ago, philmpv said:
18 minutes ago, PV1973 said:
It isnt about just scoring though. It’s also about being to hold a ball up, being able to give the defenders something else to deal with, giving us more of a platform to build from and get more of a foothold in the game and if you think that the game last week didn’t turn in our favour when he came on then we must have been watching different games. 
 
So disappointed at the end of yesterdays game. Before they scored the first a few of we’re saying that Cullen was struggling to hold it up and more importantly we lost energy in midfield with  Conlon looking like he was struggling and Burgess not getting about as much. Sure enough their lad breaks from the right, across and through the entire midfield and has a free run on a back pedalling defence. I can’t help but think we should have changed something way before we did, was it 75 when we made the first change? It might have made a difference it might not but I think we hung on too long when we’d gone a bit stale in the midfield and up front.  
 
We should have seen it out though, the second goal is terrible from brown and/or Legge, but a hanging ball in the air that’s dropping in to the 6 yard box should IMO have seen either Legge taking charge and heading it or brown coming and punching it. Great keeper for us but I think his weak point is dealing with balls into the area and that second goal highlighted it for me. 
 
Cant fault the effort of some of the team. Amoo looked a threat when he’s got the confidence to go at the full back, Gibbo linked well with him and tried to play when he could, Smith slotted back in easily, Legge bar the end was solid, Monty was hit and miss as normal at full back and at times I thought was too far forward leaving us a too open on that side, Joyce kept it ticking over well, Conlon and Burgess had good first halves but I think faded early in the second, Worrall gave that young right back a lesson in what it’s like at this level against an experienced player, Cullen had a good first half and deserved the goal but second half really struggled to give us time to get up the pitch by holding it up for us. 
 
Next week I’d be tempted to play Pope from the off away from home against a cheltenham side who play 3 big centre halves and maybe feb our Clark in for Monty.... which will probably mean that the only change Askey will make is to swap Gibbo for Clark emoji1787.png
 
It’ll be interesting to see how far off Taylor is. Is he fit enough to start? I was surprised yesterday that he didn’t come on late on for either Conlon or Burgess. 

Surely, if they play 3 big centre halves, the tactical nous would say not to put pope up against all 3 in a battle which he invariably lose, but to play the ball on the floor with a more mobile striker or strikers?

Pope had a very good game down there in the FA cup. Browne and Amoo played high to try and peg their wing backs in and I think they both set up all 3 for Pope that day. So for me play Pope to hold it up and have the 2 wingers
worrall and Amoo pushing high up as well. 

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Great post. Obviously I’m at the game so don’t hear what he says live, but more often than not I flick though some of the match on ifollow during the week. The blatant biased against Gibbons was plain to hear and radio stoke, the BBC, should not be allowing someone to air views that are seemingly promoting their own interests. I think it was the Mansfield game that really sealed it with his description of their late equaliser in that match and it was like he was commentating on something totally different and it really made me think that it was possibly personal? There is no denying Gibbo has been one of our more consistent players throughout the season and in recent weeks when Sproson has been on I’ve noticed a mellowing in the criticism of him, which made me wonder if someone had had a word maybe? Granted I’m not watching the full 90 back but it seems it from the times I’m skipping through the game again that he’s less critical of him. 
 
Also I think Crookes was a weak link when he was playing, we’ve clearly improved with Monty or Clark there, but the Sproson commentary when Crookes was playing was much more positive of Crookes performances, that IMO belied what was going on on the pitch and that’s a conflict of interest there when his own players that he represents are on the pitch. Fans who don’t go to games will form their opinions of players based on what the commentators are saying and I think in Sprosons case he was arguably purposely putting out negativity on certain players. 
 
That right back who we had on trial had a bad game yesterday for Scunthorpe, it was night and day between him and our right backs (Gibbo and Clark), you could tell the lad was inexperienced at this level. People get excited by young players coming from clubs at a higher level and sometimes automatically think they’re going to be better than our own players, only Clark and Taylor have been good enough that I can think of in recent years. Whilst of our homegrown batch only Gibbo and smith have made the grade, which just shows how good you have to be and how hard it is to make it as a young player at league 2 level. 
What about streete and Jones?

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2 hours ago, Joe B said:

Being mid-table doesn't mean you're average every week.

It might mean you are very inconsistent; excellent one week, poor the next.

For example, reading Walsall fans' comments, I know they are plagued by inconsistency and thats why they're mid table; not because they're really average every week and therefore if you draw/lose you must too be really average. Last week was, and I quote, "the best 90 we've played all season".

Nonsensical argument.

Not at all, Macc are clearly no good yet because they got a point on New Years day people were compiling a list of 6 players to sign.

Likewise Walsall have an appalling home record, i get what you say that they don't flatline for 46 games as that is the nature of football.

What i am saying is that they are not good sides. 

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1 hour ago, darren1810 said:

Not at all, Macc are clearly no good yet because they got a point on New Years day people were compiling a list of 6 players to sign.

Likewise Walsall have an appalling home record, i get what you say that they don't flatline for 46 games as that is the nature of football.

What i am saying is that they are not good sides. 

I tend to disagree as regards Walsall. Early season they were rubbish but from the evidence of the Quest highlights shows they've turned things round and they're as good a side as anyone outside the top ten.

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3 hours ago, PV1973 said:

Great post. Obviously I’m at the game so don’t hear what he says live, but more often than not I flick though some of the match on ifollow during the week. The blatant biased against Gibbons was plain to hear and radio stoke, the BBC, should not be allowing someone to air views that are seemingly promoting their own interests. I think it was the Mansfield game that really sealed it with his description of their late equaliser in that match and it was like he was commentating on something totally different and it really made me think that it was possibly personal? There is no denying Gibbo has been one of our more consistent players throughout the season and in recent weeks when Sproson has been on I’ve noticed a mellowing in the criticism of him, which made me wonder if someone had had a word maybe? Granted I’m not watching the full 90 back but it seems it from the times I’m skipping through the game again that he’s less critical of him. 

 

Also I think Crookes was a weak link when he was playing, we’ve clearly improved with Monty or Clark there, but the Sproson commentary when Crookes was playing was much more positive of Crookes performances, that IMO belied what was going on on the pitch and that’s a conflict of interest there when his own players that he represents are on the pitch. Fans who don’t go to games will form their opinions of players based on what the commentators are saying and I think in Sprosons case he was arguably purposely putting out negativity on certain players. 
 

That right back who we had on trial had a bad game yesterday for Scunthorpe, it was night and day between him and our right backs (Gibbo and Clark), you could tell the lad was inexperienced at this level. People get excited by young players coming from clubs at a higher level and sometimes automatically think they’re going to be better than our own players, only Clark and Taylor have been good enough that I can think of in recent years. Whilst of our homegrown batch only Gibbo and smith have made the grade, which just shows how good you have to be and how hard it is to make it as a young player at league 2 level. 

He's mellowed in his criticism with Gibbons because we didn't sign Gabriel, so he's got no motive to try and convince fans Gibbons needs replacing with one of his clients.

My its all a bit tinfoil hat conspiracy theory but its undeniable, and somewhat understandable, that he's biased towards his own pocket.

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another two points lost (how manys that now this season, 30 odd?) problem came from the same side as most of them. gibbo legge and brown.

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My marks 

 Brown 6 nothing do yet picked the ball out of his net twice 

Gibbons 6 As good as he was first half ,his second half performance in general alarming,passing poor ,positional sense poor etc 

Legge 7 thought in general he was magnificent but the 90 minute goal and the first he must shoulder some of the blame for both goals 

Smith 7 solid and ok lucky goal by along with Legge and Brown culpable for equaliser as you should be talking to each other to get the job done 

Montano 5 poor passing and generally not to the standard he needed be 

Worrall 7 

Joyce 7.5 

Burgess 6 

Conlon 6 

Cullen 7 

Amoo 7.4 

Crowd a 7 first half for encouragement,second half didn’t create the atmosphere required to help the players over the line 

Askey 5 make your changes sooner and the uncomfortable second half goal giveaways may cease .

UTV 

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I tend to disagree as regards Walsall. Early season they were rubbish but from the evidence of the Quest highlights shows they've turned things round and they're as good a side as anyone outside the top ten.
They had a list of form teams in the run up to the Walsall game and they are one of the teams in form atm. It was always going to be a tough game.
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28 minutes ago, Gallifreyan Valiant said:
3 hours ago, Heatwave said:
I tend to disagree as regards Walsall. Early season they were rubbish but from the evidence of the Quest highlights shows they've turned things round and they're as good a side as anyone outside the top ten.

They had a list of form teams in the run up to the Walsall game and they are one of the teams in form atm. It was always going to be a tough game.

Most teams will have a better and worse spell than their average some time in the season. Matter of luck when you play them. some teams improve some decline. All we can do is take games as they come and judge teams and ourselves on the day. No stand-out team this year, 9 or 10 in the running.

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22 hours ago, Biddulph_PV said:

If there’s one consistent frustration from some of our fan base it’s the “you’d have taken this at the start of the year / after the last three years” argument. It smacks of lack of ambition and it seriously does my head in!

I listened to Sproson shut down Blakeman on Radio Joke when he used the ‘you’d have taken this...’ line and I agree wholeheartedly with him. 

The Smurf years have gone, consigned to history. We are where we are, to coin a phrase, so live with the here and nows. We’ve been beating top teams home and away, so we should be expected to beat bottom half Scunny at home, and anything less than that will and should be met with disappointment in my opinion.

So the bloke who spend the first 3 - 4 months of the season comparing us to last season to prove we were not very good now says we can’t compare ourselves to last season because it makes us look good?!?!?!

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5 hours ago, Vale fan in Alsager said:

My marks 

 Brown 6 nothing do yet picked the ball out of his net twice 

Gibbons 6 As good as he was first half ,his second half performance in general alarming,passing poor ,positional sense poor etc 

Legge 7 thought in general he was magnificent but the 90 minute goal and the first he must shoulder some of the blame for both goals 

Smith 7 solid and ok lucky goal by along with Legge and Brown culpable for equaliser as you should be talking to each other to get the job done 

Montano 5 poor passing and generally not to the standard he needed be 

Worrall 7 

Joyce 7.5 

Burgess 6 

Conlon 6 

Cullen 7 

Amoo 7.4 

Crowd a 7 first half for encouragement,second half didn’t create the atmosphere required to help the players over the line 

Askey 5 make your changes sooner and the uncomfortable second half goal giveaways may cease .

UTV 

Reasonable ratings in most cases.

5 for Askey is stupendously harsh. Had he thrown players forward and we lost, would you rate him higher or lower?

The way you get promotion is to build momentum. Winning is preferable but throwing abandon is not likely to win more than  we lose.  A point yesterday is still progress despite it feeling like a loss by the end of it.

I trust the manager knows more than I, or you for that matter. You're not dealing with someone who is green. He has been around professional football for about 50 years. Nearly every situation has provided success. Do you understand how rare it is to be successful with just ONE team? Most pro players/managers will experience virtually no league & cup success in their professional lives. I think he deserves a little more credit than you think.

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8 hours ago, Ron C said:

Reasonable ratings in most cases.

5 for Askey is stupendously harsh. Had he thrown players forward and we lost, would you rate him higher or lower?

The way you get promotion is to build momentum. Winning is preferable but throwing abandon is not likely to win more than  we lose.  A point yesterday is still progress despite it feeling like a loss by the end of it.

I trust the manager knows more than I, or you for that matter. You're not dealing with someone who is green. He has been around professional football for about 50 years. Nearly every situation has provided success. Do you understand how rare it is to be successful with just ONE team? Most pro players/managers will experience virtually no league & cup success in their professional lives. I think he deserves a little more credit than you think.

He certainly does however all the late giveaways is a cause for concern especially when he as the likes of Crookes on the bench to aid the defensive side with minutes to go if winning 

Over the years I have watched Vale there is a recurring thing the players say and that the pitch is very heavy and the amount of work the midfield especially Joyce Conlon and Burgess put in well you could see they by 55-60 mins were spent and if you add in Amoo and Cullen who had also put a great shift in for a hr then you have 5 players who  need replacing after a hr maximum ,so for the first change be whatever it was later was too late .

Lets face it the working conditions at Vale are probably the best they have ever been and you can tell 4900 odd Vale fans  there Saturday on a horrible cold afternoon.

He as ten games to give himself legendary status so I and many other fellow fans will not want A win turning into a draw at any other point during the run in 

The bench is so strong make them changes change the formation and see them narrow victories out .

Salford Away ,Leyton Orient,Scunthorpe,etc games there’s six points thrown away and why do we recently play so well first half then second half lose momentum ,I think it’s because they are giving so much the players that is that they are shattered come a hr so let’s respect there wholehearted displays by using a bench what has got just as much give if not more because they are fresher.

UTV 

Edited by Vale fan in Alsager
wording
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Considering the amount of rain recently the pitch has stood up to it better than in previous years, thanks to the recent work. Floods and postponements else where, it also takes it toll on the players. The double header Crawley/Bradford City will need work on the pitch and more importantly coming up with a rotation plan for the players. 

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54 minutes ago, Fosse69 said:

Considering the amount of rain recently the pitch has stood up to it better than in previous years, thanks to the recent work. Floods and postponements else where, it also takes it toll on the players. The double header Crawley/Bradford City will need work on the pitch and more importantly coming up with a rotation plan for the players. 

Valley Parade is a quagmire

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11 minutes ago, SFBT said:

Valley Parade is a quagmire

I was just about to say that. Watching the highlights from their game Saturday I'm surprised the match went on at all. Shows what a good job Steve Speed and his troops are doing.

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