|The Valiants Are Back|
Sat 19th Feb 2011 07:53 by portvale4ever
Vale sparkled under the floodlights and registered a well deserved 2-1 victory over Bradford City in last nights televised clash. Are we beginning to turn the corner under Jim Gannon? The evidence suggests that this is very much the case, we are once again solid at the back and are now creating chances. The Valiants are back on track...
And what a night it was for boyhood Vale fan Tom Pope - twice rejected by the club as a youth - scoring the two decisive goals. The stuff dreams are made of. He must have thought it was never going to happen for him after the penalty miss at Wycombe, all the hard work and endeavour against Northampton coming to nothing last Saturday. He must have been ecstatic when the final whistle blew.
Gannon got it right with his formation last night. I can't believe I just wrote that sentence, but finally we have seen some semblance of balance in Gannons 4-2-3-1 line up, Chris Martin in goal, a back line of Adam Yates, John McCombe, Exodus Geohaghon and Lee Collins, Anthony Griffith and Gary Roberts playing in front of the defence, Lewis Haldane and Justin Richards providing width, and Doug Loft playing behind Tom Pope.
Haldane was superb! Amazing really after the season he has endured so far, but it was good to see him back on song, terrorising full-backs. As ever with our 2-1 wins the last five minutes were a heart-in-the-mouth nightmare after Bradford pulled a goal back.
So, now we are in a run of four games unbeaten, two wins and two draws. Had Pope converted that late penalty at Wycombe, and had we took one of the many opportunities created against ten-man Northampton we'd be back in the automatic promotion places. It's all 'if's' and 'but's', and there's still a long way to go, but things are definitely looking up on the pitch.
Off the pitch Vale are still in a state. Phil 'The Power' Taylor has thrown his weight behind the Mo Chaudry campaign, The 'Black-And-Gold campaign continues to gather pace, surely the writings on the wall for the current Board...