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Port Vale 1-1 Walsall

Port Vale
1 - 1
Walsall

Vale Park

09/08/2014 - 15:00

Attendance: 7,050

Referee:

A reasonably entertaining game against two sides who will probably finish in the bottom half of the league finished with the Saddlers coming from behind to gain a satisfying opening day point.

New signings James O`Connor, Ashley Grimes and Tom Bradshaw were all thrown in to the starting XI, while Billy Clifford took his place on what was, Dean Holden aside, a very youthful Saddlers bench.

Both teams spent the opening 20 minutes trying to work each other out. O`Connor was struggling to settle at right back against tricky Vale winger Mark Marshall, and James Chambers was looking less comfortable as a left sided centre back than the former captain he replaced. So it was no surprise in the 25th minute when a Marshall cross caused a mix up between Chambers and Richard O`Donnell and handed Tom Pope the easiest of opening day goals.

At that point you could have forgiven the Saddlers faithful for fearing the worst as we hadn`t posed a threat at goal at that point and, barring a few snap shots from distance, failed to do so for the duration of the first half. O`Connor did have a headed goal ruled out for offside, but the flag had been up for about 3 passes so the game had clearly already stopped.

After the break however the Saddlers upped the tempo and started having a go at Vale. Bradshaw was looking threatening, if a bit isolated at times, Grimes was getting in to the game more, Taylor and Benning were combining well on the left, while Romaine Sawyers was too often guilty of trying to be too clever for his own good.

On the hour mark we got our reward when first Sawyers, and then Grimes attempted to get the ball to Bradshaw. When the ball eventually arrived he executed a cool finish that felt like it was going in slow motion on its way to rolling into the corner of the net.

From that point on we did look the most likely winners, although I never felt confident that we actually would. However, we were missing key players Mantom and Cook, and there`s surely at least one or two more signings to come. So there`s certainly room for optimism. We`ll play better sides than Vale this season though, and they`ll play stronger sides than us, but on the face of it a point away from home is never a bad result.

Star Player

Tom Bradshaw


Writer:@adamguestwfc
Date:Saturday August 9 2014
Time: 7:19PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Wigan 46 24 15 7 87 37
P Burton 46 25 10 11 85 20
3 Walsall 46 24 12 10 84 22
4 Millwall 46 24 9 13 81 24
5 Bradford 46 23 11 12 80 15
6 Barnsley 46 22 8 16 74 16
7 Scunthorpe 46 21 11 14 74 13
8 Coventry 46 19 12 15 69 18
9 Gillingham 46 19 12 15 69 15
10 Rochdale 46 19 12 15 69 7
11 Sheff Utd 46 18 12 16 66 5
12 Port Vale 46 18 11 17 65 -2
13 Peterborough 46 19 6 21 63 9
14 Bury 46 16 12 18 60 -17
15 Southend 46 16 11 19 59 -6
16 Swindon 46 16 11 19 59 -7
17 Oldham 46 12 18 16 54 -14
18 Chesterfield 46 15 8 23 53 -12
19 Fleetwood 46 12 15 19 51 -4
20 Shrewsbury 46 13 11 22 50 -21
R Doncaster 46 11 13 22 46 -16
R Blackpool 46 12 10 24 46 -23
R Colchester 46 9 13 24 40 -42
R Crewe 46 7 13 26 34 -37
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