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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
1 Sheff Utd 27 17 5 5 56 21
2 Scunthorpe 27 16 7 4 55 27
3 Bolton 26 15 5 6 50 16
4 Bradford 27 11 12 4 45 11
5 Rochdale 26 14 3 9 45 9
6 Fleetwood 26 12 7 7 43 10
7 Southend 27 11 9 7 42 5
8 Millwall 26 11 6 9 39 2
9 Bristol Rovers 27 11 6 10 39 -1
10 Peterborough 25 10 8 7 38 8
11 Charlton 26 8 12 6 36 7
12 Wimbledon 26 9 9 8 36 5
13 Oxford 26 9 7 10 34 0
14 Walsall 26 8 10 8 34 -4
15 Port Vale 25 8 7 10 31 -10
16 Northampton 27 8 6 13 30 -7
17 Gillingham 26 8 6 12 30 -9
18 Swindon 27 7 8 12 29 -13
19 MK Dons 25 7 7 11 28 -5
20 Bury 27 7 4 16 25 -12
21 Shrewsbury 27 6 7 14 25 -14
22 Chesterfield 27 7 4 16 25 -17
23 Oldham 25 4 10 11 22 -14
24 Coventry 26 4 9 13 21 -15
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