Port Vale vs Oxford United

On Saturday, Oxford United travelled up to Port Vale which is between Newcastle Under Lyme and Manchester. 

From Oxford there were 606 fans who went to Vale Park. 

Michael Appleton’s team to take on Port Vale were: Eastwood, Edwards, Nelson, Dunkley, Skarz, Johnson, Lundstram, Sercombe, Rothwell, Crowley and Maguire. In the first 12 minutes United were playing the best attacking football of the season. Chey Dunkley opened the scoring with a great header that nestled in the back of the net. After the U’s went 1 nil up they kept attacking which yielded another goal by Dan Crowley on 19 minutes. Crowley’s 2nd goal in 2 games. On Saturday in the early kick off I would like Michael Appleton to stick with the same side. United fans were vocal all afternoon. I’ve been very impressed with Joe Rothwell who opens the defence every time he has the ball. I have to say that he really deserves a goal. Marvin Johnson looked better in possession and had his best game for United thus far. Is he getting his confidence back? 

It was good to see Joe Skarz and Liam Sercombe play the full 90 minutes after injuries ruling them out of the Bradford home game and Coventry away. I think that Sercombe is underrated. He’s an important cog who likes to break play up and hold the ball up to bring our attacking players play there game. 

The U’s tried to get more goals before the break but at half time it was Port Vale 0 Oxford United 2. 

In the 2nd half Vale had more fuel in there tank which made the U’s defend like Lions. Simon Eastwood kept the Valiants out until the 54th minute when the referee awarded the home side a free kick which fell kindly to Cicilia who sided footed it through Eastwood’s legs. The come back was on. Chris Maguire had a free kick punched to safety by Jak Alnwick. On the hour mark Dunkley went up for a header with a Valiant’s player which the referee deemed to be a foul. Up stepped Ryan Taylor, the comeback was complete. Vale had come back from 0 – 2 to 2 all.  From where I was standing Chey Dunkley tried to head the ball, in my opinion the Vale player went down to easily and bought the referee’s decision. 

We’ve had 3 dodgy penalty decisions go against us which have cost us a win. Crowley, Tyler Roberts and Sercombe all came close to winning the game, however in a crazy 5 minutes we could have lost the game when Simon Eastwood ran out of his area to try and clear the ball thank goodness for Chey Dunkley who headed the ball away not far from our goal. 

It finished 2 all. Once the referee had blown his whistle Jak Alnick and Chris Maguire went head to head, something must have been said as a Vale player had to cool the situation down. Maguire then gestured to Alnick about the penalty which he scored at home to Peterbrough earlier on in the season. 


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