Back to Back: Port Vale Home

As ever we forced ourselves to do things the hard way, but we can have few complaints as the Gas recorded their first back to back wins of the new campaign and are up to the dizzy heights of ninth in the League One table!img_0275

 

A crowd of just over 9,000 was present in Horfield for the game against Port Vale and it’s fantastic to see our attendances at home continuing to flourish even in spite of not having the greatest start in the world. Speaking of which its frustrating that yet again we had to go behind before we really got going, after a bright opening spell we allowed Vale to control the game.

 

We forced a handful of half-chances early on, but many of our shots were ballooned well over the bar and Easter even managed to clear the South Stand. Harrison had different ideas on 13 minutes and with the UWE Stadium site being prepared for construction, proceeded to begin demolishing the Mem, his strike taking down one of the supporting pillars of the South Stand which raised a giggle. More laughable still was how our oppositions opener came about, Jerome Thomas’ attempted pass came off Ollie Clarke and fell perfectly for Martin Peterson who slotted calmly past Roos. I was disappointed at how easily the Dutchman was beaten at his near post but in my opinion Roos has been coming on leaps and bounds over the last few weeks, he looks a lot more confident with his catching and has been producing some top-drawer saves to keep us in matches.

 

I was worried at this stage, the defence looked unorganized, the midfield were missing and we were without our top goalscorer, but, as has been the way lately, we started playing following the setback. Easter and Gaffney linked up well allowing Harrison a sniff at goal and a taste of what was to come. Moments later some excellent work on the left-wing and a great ball from Lee Brown allowed Ellis to leap like a salmon and produce a leveler on the stroke of half time. It improved my mood at the break and I’m sure it changed Darrell’s’ half time team talk.

After the interval we started to press Vale. A string of good balls flashed across the face could have produced goals although no one seemed willing to take a risk on the back post. Byron Moore, who played extremely well when he came on, was tripped in the box which teed up Jermaine Easter to slot home the resulting penalty and push us into the lead.We could have further extended the advantage, a great ball from Leadbitter only just evaded Harrison and Easter whilst Byron Moores’ cheeky effort was agonizingly close, clipping the post. I felt we were professional in seeing the game out, Roos was only forced to make the one save but once again he did really well with it and it was alone probably good value for the three points.

It’s positive to see our other strikers scoring in the absence of Matty Taylor and all three put in a good shift. Easter looked quality on the ball, Gaffney worked his socks off and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before he gets off the mark for the season. Ellis seems to be really maturing as a footballer and it’s definitely the right time too, as a club we have given him an abundance of chances and no one can argue that he’s not a talented lad, finally he’s showing some real consistency and he’s definitely been one of our better players this term. Lines ran the game at times, he was direct and caused the Port Vale defence problems at various times. In all we were good value for the win.

 

Tuesday nights trip to Sheffield is one in which I’m not particularly looking forward to, we’ve been given a bad time to play The Blades who have won four of their last five games which, after an indifferent start, has catapulted them up the table. They’re competing at the very top with a draw at Scunthorpe on Saturday and we’re going to need to be on our game to take anything away from the steel city. It’s another game in which I’d happily accept a point although I’m confident that on our night we can achieve that and more, we’ve shown we can compete lately, we’ll be buoyed by back to back wins and when you always score goals, you’re always in with a shout.

See you up north in the week, UTG!

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