Date: 1st April 2012 at 7:44pm
Written by:

Burslem Boy takes a look back at Vale’s defeat to Dagenham…

There is a view that Vale`s current total of 46 points is enough for us to stay up and that we can afford to lose every remaining game this season. The team look determined to test this theory. Some teams cultivate the art of winning ugly; Vale have cultivated the art of losing ugly. It is difficult to see where the next goal is coming from, much less the next win. It was Groundhog Day again at Vale Park yesterday.

Dagenham & Redbridge set up exactly like all our recent opponents at home. They closed down, chased and harried, looked dangerous on free kicks, which referee Collins threw out like confetti, but otherwise offered no guile or skill on the ball and no goal threat from open play up front. I never noticed Woodall until he was substituted late on and Nurse seemed to spend most of his time playing full back.

Confronted by Dagenham`s work ethic and plan, Vale had nothing to offer. We never looked like scoring either and when Richards missed the penalty I felt resigned rather than disappointed. We gave the ball away alarmingly, with Morsy once more the main culprit. When Morsy first got into the team I thought he was the real deal. He has skill on the ball, a good first touch, a trick and tries to play the game in the right way, but he has not trained on this season. There was an incident just after half time that seems to sum him up. He brought a difficult ball under instant control, turned a lumbering opponent inside out and then promptly passed the ball two yards to a Dagenham player.

As usual there was no width. Rigg got no change out of Doe and, in any case, often found himself having to beat two defenders before he got near the full back. Tomlinson spent the afternoon landing the ball on Mark Arber`s head. Why can`t he find Vale players with such unerring accuracy? All that was needed to complete a miserable afternoon was for us to concede another headed goal off a set-piece, this time to Spillane, who was unhindered in the six yard box as he met McCory`s free kick. How many times must this happen before someone does something about it?

Just to rub salt into the wound when we got home my son decided to show me Tony Naylor`s greatest goals on YouTube. My son also pointed out that we have not won a promotion for eighteen years, when he was just 12 years old. I am surprised that he still speaks to me after landing him with this misery. Let`s keep our fingers crossed for some good news off the pitch, though I am not holding my breath.