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Match Thread : Exeter City v Port Vale


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Evening All, long time reader, first time contributor. Want to say a big thank you firstly to all of you lot for keeping me informed, entertained and something resembling sane regarding all things Val

If we get locked down again next week then we should get promoted with 138 points.

Conlon is currently playing as one of the best midfielders in the league. Exeter had a couple of free kicks in similar positions but they were terrible in comparison. That wouldn't look out of place in the Premier League. The second was all about tenacity, but the weight and execution of the pass was perfect for Dave to run on to and his pace instantly burned away from the defender.

What's very promising is that we haven't had to be at our best to beat these two sides. It's been pretty comfortable without getting out of 2nd gear.

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The Conlon free kick was sublime, Beckham like almost. Think he scored one that’s been forgotten in the horrors of the 6-2 against Lincoln so has it in his locker. He has been a revelation not just this season but was right before lockdown and covered the Taylor loss very well.

Manny was like a new signing and should he stay fit has a big part to play, to see him in a good Vale team rather than standing out in a poor one a couple of seasons back will be interesting.

Rodney was exciting again, frustrating at times when late first half a couple of times failed to square it for a better chance to score and had a go but took his goal well and scares the opponent.

Credit to for Fitzpatrick who did very well against Randall Williams when he came on too.

Bowman was a lucky boy that was a horrible stamp on Legge (maybe retrospective action there).

Manner of the win was pleasing though, felt we controlled it, limited their chances, took ours well and dominated the midfield. Today we looked like a promotion capable outfit in the performance away at a decent side... we also had a lot of players sat on their backsides who could easily come in and do as good of a job, so it bodes well for us.

Im excited and don’t want to get carried away as Vale have had a habit of letting us down... but this does feel different these days probably stemming from the top of the club down!

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Exeter is a game I look at with dread every year, an extremely tough place to go.

I thought we were excellent, Brown super human with the two saves in each half, the full backs had good games, especially Fitz who has been in for some unjust criticism on the radio. That midfield three would rival any in the league, with burgess, Whitehead and DTS in reserve, its frightening the strength in depth we are carrying there now. Rodney made so poor decision but you have to expect that from a young player, however his pace power and unpredictability will be a real asset in this league.

The crazy thing is it feels like we haven't really got out of first gear yet, UTV!!

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Brown. Two stunning saves at crucial times. 9
Mills. Steady. 7
Fitz. Steady. 7
Legge. Imperious in the air. A couple of weird moments on the floor. Dominant. 9
Smith. Good first half. Struggled when Bowman came to his side. Something that is likely to happen regularly. 7
Manny. Quick and positive. 8
Conlon. Supreme goal. Lovely assist. Hard working. Strong. Kept possession. 8
Rodders. Boy, what a prospect. Big, strong, fast. Seems to have a good temperament. Did well again today. Took his goal well. 8
Cullen. Isolated. Tough game. 7
Worrall. Their commentary team kept talking about his excellent delivery on crosses. Did what he always does. 9
Joyce. Steady. Did his job. Not noticeable, which is saying the same thing. 8
Whitehurst. Seamless substitution. 8
Monty, Theo. 
A really good team performance. Two excellent goals, two excellent saves, one glaring miss.
More than matched a good team, who had a total of 7 of their academy players in the squad. 5 starting. A work in progress!
We continue to do well against the top teams. If we can beat the spoilers, we'll be right up there.
 

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1 hour ago, SFBT said:

Brown. Two stunning saves at crucial times. 9
Mills. Steady. 7
Fitz. Steady. 7
Legge. Imperious in the air. A couple of weird moments on the floor. Dominant. 9
Smith. Good first half. Struggled when Bowman came to his side. Something that is likely to happen regularly. 7
Manny. Quick and positive. 8
Conlon. Supreme goal. Lovely assist. Hard working. Strong. Kept possession. 8
Rodders. Boy, what a prospect. Big, strong, fast. Seems to have a good temperament. Did well again today. Took his goal well. 8
Cullen. Isolated. Tough game. 7
Worrall. Their commentary team kept talking about his excellent delivery on crosses. Did what he always does. 9
Joyce. Steady. Did his job. Not noticeable, which is saying the same thing. 8
Whitehurst. Seamless substitution. 8
Monty, Theo. 
A really good team performance. Two excellent goals, two excellent saves, one glaring miss.
More than matched a good team, who had a total of 7 of their academy players in the squad. 5 starting. A work in progress!
We continue to do well against the top teams. If we can beat the spoilers, we'll be right up there.
 

 

Legge did have a good game no one other than Conlon could be MOTM. He was the difference between scoring two goals and none.

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We look a “tougher” team this season and have battled hard in all our games so far.  That toughness and a bit of extra quality is what won us the game yesterday.

Conlon is very competitive and looks stronger this season. We already knew he had the ability but I thought he looks more controlled in his aggression so far.  In Manny we have the extra power in the middle of the park that we probably lacked last season.  Rodney gives us a great option up front.  We still also have the solidity in defence from last season.

It’ll be interesting to see how significant a result it was yesterday.  Exeter could go either way this season as they look to put heir faith in youth.  I was impressed with several of their young players but it will depend on their confidence and consistency over what will be an intense season.  We look better placed as the Fleetwood game showed our squad is decent throughout and we have a lot of consistency which should stand us in good stead for the coming months.

Still early days but looking good.

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Brown, Gibbo, Legge, Joyce, Conlon, Manny, Wozza, Rodney.
IMO all outstanding at this level.
Smith not far behind.
That's 9 players!
The rest  of the squad are all good enough too.
I think Rodney finds playing at this level easy. Once his decision making gets sorted, he will stand out.
From what I've seen so far, I think Pope will be first choice centre forward, and probably score double figures, maybe even 20.

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Felt sorry for Burgess but football can be harsh and there is no doubting a fit Manny is a shoe-in. 

His time will come again along with all the other players on the bench. 

Fingers crossed now for some sort of sense from the powers that be that those who want to and feel safe enough can go and watch the mighty Vale hopefully against Carlisle and onwards. 

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What is really exciting is the fact that we have not yet hit top gear. Players are fitting in perfectly and we still have plenty of room for improvement, yet we have kept 2 clean sheets and achieved maximum points. Early days I know, but what a tremendous amount of pleasure and belief the new owners/manager/staff and squad have given us in a short space of time.

It is absolutely brilliant being a Valiant now and we are all chomping at the bit to get out there to support our heroes. This is surely our year? A year to commence the super revival of our great Club. VTID.

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Let's hope that this positive togetherness long continues. It's something we lacked until Askey arrived. Adam's promotion squad had it and if you have a dressing room that is supportive of one another it gives you that extra 5% that teams need.

We talk about the bench but the whole squad is a lot stronger. It's so competitive. We've got a large number of players now who arguably can play in the first XI and do well.

I'm not suggesting at this moment breaking up the partnership at the back but Brisley was excellent at the end of last season and our two full backs then were Gibbons and Monty (who I always love to see playing). Burgess was key last year too. Whitehead is shaping up as his fitness improves. Amoo has largely been forgotten because he's been injured but his pace is a big threat at our level. And after all that we could, in addition, play a front three of McKirdy, Pope and Robinson.

We shouldn't get ahead of ourselves but we have got off to a promising start. 

It's frustrating that we can't be there to watch them.

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Exeter looked a bit rusty in front of goal but the quality of our play at times was as good as I have seen for many years.

The key to how we have started is simply down to Askey and the owners managing to retain every player they wanted to stay.  This means we are not trying to gel half a dozen new starters and given that pre season was so short, thats been a vital advantage.

I kept saying last season, and I dont mind saying it again.  In Askey we have got a potential second coming of Rudgie.  He goes about his business, professionally and without fuss.  We are improving players and we are playing some really good football.

We are on the cusp of a really good era for Port Vale.

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1 hour ago, Guitar Ray said:

We look a “tougher” team this season and have battled hard in all our games so far.  That toughness and a bit of extra quality is what won us the game yesterday.

Conlon is very competitive and looks stronger this season. We already knew he had the ability but I thought he looks more controlled in his aggression so far.  In Manny we have the extra power in the middle of the park that we probably lacked last season.  Rodney gives us a great option up front.  We still also have the solidity in defence from last season.

It’ll be interesting to see how significant a result it was yesterday.  Exeter could go either way this season as they look to put heir faith in youth.  I was impressed with several of their young players but it will depend on their confidence and consistency over what will be an intense season.  We look better placed as the Fleetwood game showed our squad is decent throughout and we have a lot of consistency which should stand us in good stead for the coming months.

Still early days but looking good.

It was interesting to hear Askey say in his post match interview That last year we got bullied by Exeter in midfield.

Conlon and Manny certainly turned that around yesterday!

Great result!

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8 minutes ago, Iron Curtain said:

It was interesting to hear Askey say in his post match interview That last year we got bullied by Exeter in midfield.

Conlon and Manny certainly turned that around yesterday!

Great result!

Amongst all the plaudits being given out, quite rightly, the one player who just keeps doing it for me and must be an absolute nightmare to play against is Smudge. He is horrible, in a brilliant way for Vale......not flash and can make mistakes but if I was a forward I wouldn't want him behind me, going through, up or over me. He's tugging shirts, nibbling ankles, little pushes and pulls .....doing all the dirty work that goes unnoticed in keeping 2 clean sheets. He doesn't complain or fall over when he gets it and I wouldn't want to give him a little dig first because it is coming back in spades at some time during the game! It is a formidable partnership with Leggey and to think we have Brisley and Crookes as cover is incredible. He just makes me smile and wince watching him, thinking, thank God he plays for us.

Good days at the moment, hey....let's ride the waves and when the odd speed-bump happens take it in our stride......but I am trying desperately to keep a lid on my excitement currently. As someone said earlier I'm sad we've got to wait a week now to watch that and let Harrogate see what a proper team looks like on a bigger paddock they will be used to.

Goooaaarrrrn Vale...... 

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