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Match Reports

HT report from Vale Park

18 January 2014

Latics on top, but no goals

Lee Johnson made one change to the starting line-up for today's game at Vale Park, Gary Harkins making his second start for Latics with Michael Petrasso dropping to the bench. There were two changes which saw David Worrall and Carl Winchester replace Connor Brown and Anton Rodgers on the bench.
Latics carried on where they left off at Walsall, playing a swift brand of attacking football, outplaying their hosts for long periods of the half, but again failing to hit the back of the net. 

Latics earned the first corner of the game in the second minute as James Dayton's cross was charged down. Korey Smith's kick easily cleared by the Vale defence. Vale's first corner coming four minutes later, Mark Oxley punching the ball clear under pressure.

A superb counter attack on 10 minutes saw Dayton's teasing cross tipped by Chris Neal over for a corner, Dayton's second ball in was well saved by Neal, with no visiting player able to take advantage of the loose ball. 

Ben Williamson's shot which was high and wide being the home sides first attempt on goal on 13 minutes, followed by a similarly poor effort from Latics skipper Smith.

Williamson's next effort, two minutes later needed a smart save from Oxley, who got down well to his right to smother the goal bound shot.
Harkins shot wide seconds later after another swift counter from Latics, the big attacking midfielder should probably have done better after Charlie MacDonald's clever dummy had set him up.

A minute later, and  Dayton again shot well over when well placed, Vale responding with an effort from Williamson that was just wide of Oxley's post.
Harkins, enjoying playing in his preferred role, showed a good burst of pace to play his way past four home defenders, Jack Grimmer with a last ditch tackle on the edge of the box to halt his run.

Latics were showing to be dangerous on the break, Dayton just showing too heavy a touch as Danny Philliskirk played him in goal, Neal quickly off his line to clear the danger on 28 minutes.

The home side's next effort saw Doug Loft shooting just wide from a tight angle after a deep cross in from the left hand side just after the half hour mark.

Vale were forced into a substitution as Chris Shuker replaced Florent Culevier after a lengthy hold up, Culevier looked to have landed awkwardly after an aerial challenge on the halfway line.

Home striker Jennison Myrie-Williams  earned the first yellow card of the game, guilty of diving in the Latics box on 37 minutes. He was followed a couple of minutes later by team mate Joe Davis, for a crude challenge on Harkins.

Latics should have taken the lead as the half time whistle beckoned, Dayton's deftly chipped effort coming back off the bar, Harkins and Genserix Kusunga both missing the opportunity to turn home the loose ball.

Dayton had the last chance to give his side a lead at the break, his free kick from the edge of the box, after he had been brought down, wastefully high and wide with referee Sutton immediately blowing the half time whistle.

HT: Port Vale 0 Latics 0

Latics: Oxley, Grounds, Wesolowski, Kusunga, Tarkowski, Smith, MacDonald, Mellor, Dayton, Philliskirk, Harkins.

Subs: Rachubka, Rooney, Clarke-Harris, Winchester, Lockwood, Petrasso, Worrall.


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