Vital reader Burslem Boy takes a look back at Vale’s thrilling win against Coventry City…
Forgive me, dear readers, but it must be said: yesterday`s was a game of two halves. Vale were abject in the first half. All the talk from the Manager and the Assistant Manager in the build-up to the game was about how good Coventry are. The Vale players seemed to have taken this to heart. They just stood off the opposition and admired their skill. There was no pressure on the ball, no tackling, no movement, no passing, powder puff defending, inability to defend long, straight balls over the top, and no goal threat. As in the Brentford game the opposition right back was given the freedom of Vale Park. Dickinson seemed to be playing everywhere except left back and Chilvers had a nightmare.
When Pope buried a trademark far post header just before half time it was a goal out of nothing. Coventry had only themselves to blame for not putting the game to bed. Both Wilson and Moussa missed glorious chances to add to the goals they did score. At half time the Man in the Urinal was despondent. ‘What can we expect?` he said, ‘when we only have League 2 players.` My response to this cannot be repeated in front of a family audience, except that I did point out we were playing a young, inexperienced Coventry team, not Barcelona, and that we had b***** well better have a go at them in the second half.` We did.
Straight from the kick off, it was apparent that Coventry were actually going to have to break into a sweat. Griffith put more purposeful effort into the first five minutes of the second half than he did into the whole of the first. Williamson`s pace gave Coventry something to think about. Pope began to find space in the holes created by Williamson`s surging runs and Loft began to find passes. Coventry didn`t seem to know what had hit them. Once Loft equalised I felt there was only going to be one winner, despite Vale`s continuing capacity for defensive ineptitude. Frankly, we could have scored six. Pope could have had a hat-trick and so could Williamson, who – characteristically – scored none. If he could finish he would be a really serious player.
I was very impressed with the Coventry defender, Jordan Clarke- bags of pace, reads the game well, good in the air (despite being normal-sized). He`s one to keep an eye on.