Vital reader Burslem Boy takes a look back at Vale’s win over Oldham…
Saturday`s game marked my return to the Bycars after a four-month layoff, the longest absence in my fifty-odd years watching the Vale. Needless to say, this was owing to circumstances beyond my control. What had changed? Well, nothing much. Like the man said, it was ‘déjà vu all over again`.
The familiar pattern of being dire in the first half, recovering and establishing supremacy in the first half of the second half and then falling ever deeper and inviting disaster was repeated, though it was difficult to see Oldham scoring unless Vale made a real cock up, which we all know they are well capable of.
What chance Oldham had they blew in the first half when Vale kept giving the ball away in attacking positions leaving Oldham to counter-attack by running at a stretched and worried-looking defence, in which Robertson appeared distinctly uncomfortable. It took some harum scarum defending to keep Oldham out on a couple of occasions, though they never created anything clear cut.
The impressive Grimmer eventually came to terms with the nippy Dayton and began to offer in attack as well, overlapping with Myrie-Williams. JMW does not look like a happy bunny to me, but he is a constant threat, really our only threat on Saturday and it was a pity that he did not put away the penalty. Williamson had a poor game. He likes to run with the ball, but he does not really show for the defence splitting pass and he did not hold the ball up well.
Dickinson was terrific. His booking was completely unprofessional, but the referee would have tried the patience of a saint. Injuries, suspensions, fixture congestion and a lack of quality in certain positions make it unlikely that we can mount a serious assault on the play-offs, where there is probably only one place up for grabs, but things look considerably more rosy on the pitch than they do off it.