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Port Vale 2-1 Crewe Alex
Port Vale 2-1 Crewe Alex
Sunday, 31st Oct 2010 12:09 by portvale4ever

Vale returned to winning ways with this sparkling victory over our close neighbours and good friends Crewe Alex, and after the inexplicable run of less than impressive form we have displayed recently it was fantastic to see all the players up for this derby game. We were amazing throughout. I have to say, I was slightly apprehensive before the game - Crewe have hit some free-scoring form, but my concerns disappeared almost as soon as the game kicked off. We were definitely 'up for it'.

Vale line-up:- Stuart Tomlinson, Adam Yates, Gareth Owen, John McCombe, Lee Collins, Doug Loft, Anthony Griffith, Gary Roberts, Louis Dodds, Marc Richards, Justin Richards

8,607 turned up for the spectacle, including somewhere in the region of 1,300 Trainspotters - not bad for them. We could potentially take twice that number to Gresty Road later in the season.

Tactically Micky Adams got it spot on with his 3-5-2 formation, and we quickly had control of the game in midfield, Griff providing the muscle and Roberts supplying the craft. Out on the left Doug Loft was superb, his best performance for Vale by some distance. After the injury problems he has suffered it was great to see him fully fit and doing the business. Up front Marc Richards and the under-fire Justin Richards both put in really good shifts, and new boy Jake Speight was not called upon.

 What can you say about own defenders that hasn't already been said a million times so far this season. They were superb again, and Messrs Yates, McCombe, Owen and Collins have been immortalised in the Club shop as 'The Iron Curtain II 2010-2011! It's perhaps a tad early in the season to be making such claims, but they deserve it.

Keeper Stuart Tomlinson was the official Man-Of-The-Match, and earnt it through two top class saves.

Louis Dodds gave us a deserved lead after just thirteen minutes, arriving in the box to power a header home, but it wasn't until the 74th minute that we found a second goal. Gary Roberts steamed through the Crewe defence before been 'brought down' by the keeper. It certainly looked a harsh decision from where I was sitting in The Bycars, and after seeing it again on The Football League Show I would say it definitely wasn't a penalty. Still, nevermind. Crewe were given a dodgy penalty in the corresponding fixture last season, so it's all swings and roundabouts. Marc Richards blasted the ball low to the keepers left to make it 2-0.

That should have been that, but there was still one more twist to come. Anthony Griffith, already on a yellow card, for some reason elected to punch the ball out of the box from a hopeful throw-in. There was no arguments as the Ref pointed to the spot and gave Griff his second Yellow. Donaldson, with his daft haircut, duly slammed the ball home to give Crewe a lifeline.

The last ten minutes were excruciating as Crewe attempted to muster a head of steam. We, of course, remained solid at the back, and held on for the three points. Next up is Burton away on Tuesday evening. We are back in the saddle.


Photo: Action Images

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