Date: 15th February 2012 at 10:16am
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Vale boss Micky Adams defended Stuart Tomlinson after his late error cost the Valiants a crucial win at Bradford City last night. Louis Dodds` stunning first half strike had looked set to secure Vale`s third consecutive win, but Tomlinson failed to deal with Andrew Davies` header deep into injury time to earn the Bantams a draw, while extending City`s unbeaten home run to seven games.

Tom Pope and Rob Taylor had both earlier added to Vale`s injury woes by missing the game, although Adams was able to call upon new signings Paul Marshall and Chris Shuker. Gareth Owen was fit enough for a place on the bench after recovering from his broken hand. An even contest was separated by a quality finish from the enigmatic Dodds, the midfielder expertly volleying Sean Rigg`s cross past McLaughlin.

Alas, despite a committed performance, Vale couldn`t hang on to the win, although Adams refused to single out Tomlinson for criticism, after the keeper had made a fine stop earlier in the game to deny James Hanson. The Vale boss told The Sentinel ‘A mistake has cost us, but I can’t fault the players for their efforts. ‘As I said in the dressing room ‘yeah, everybody saw the mistake’.

‘But Tommo kept us in the game in the first half with one save.

‘That’s the life of a goalkeeper – you can make great saves, but unfortunately it was his mistake which has cost us getting three points.

‘Tommo and everybody else will have to pick themselves up and get going again for an important game against Gillingham on Saturday. I’m sure they will.’

The result leaves Vale four points off the play off positions ahead of Saturday`s home game against Gillingham.