League One
Walsall0Port Vale1

Walsall 0-1 Port Vale

Tom Pope scored his first goal since returning from injury to end Walsall's five-game unbeaten run and earn Port Vale a first win in five matches.

The Saddlers were denied a first-half penalty, Ryan Inniss appearing to pull down Jordy Hiwula when clean through.

Pope then headed the only goal of the game on 28 minutes when he headed in Carl Dickinson's left-wing cross.

Walsall's Romaine Sawyers hit the post before Vale keeper Chris Neal saved from Jordan Cook to secure victory.

Vale's decent derby record against Walsall
Vale have not lost now in nine league derby clashes with Walsall, a record dating back to August 2004, when Paul Merson was still a Saddlers player

Wembley-bound Walsall had not lost in five games, during which time they had reached the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final.

Vale, who lost veteran midfielder Michael Brown at half-time with a foot injury, went into the game on the back of a run of just one point out of a possible 12.

But their first clean sheet in 13 games (since a 1-0 home win against Rochdale on 15 November) helped them climb back up to 14th in the League One table.

They are now within four points of the play-off places, just behind 13th-placed Walsall, who are a point better off.

Walsall manager Dean Smith told BBC WM 95.6:

"The whole game hinged on the penalty incident in the 23rd minute. It was a clear penalty and a sending off. Why else would our player go down in that situation?

"Their goal was a foul, although we switched off as the cross came in, which was disappointing.

"We were good in the first half and they were hanging on going into the break, but it took us too long to get going at the start of the second half."

Port Vale manager Rob Page told BBC Radio Stoke:

"From number one to eleven, with our work rate and effort, we thoroughly deserved the three points and the clean sheet.

"Ryan Inniss was immense on his debut. He was a head on a stick at times for us.

"In the last 10 minutes, he came out and put his head through balls and clear it which gave us an opportunity to get up the pitch."

Line-ups

Walsall

  • 1O'Donnell
  • 2Purkiss
  • 6DowningBooked at 66mins
  • 4O'Connor
  • 3TaylorBooked at 53mins
  • 11BaxendaleSubstituted forGrimesat 55'minutes
  • 12CainSubstituted forMurphyat 80'minutes
  • 10Sawyers
  • 7Chambers
  • 21Cook
  • 30Hiwula-MayifuilaSubstituted forHenryat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 13MacGillivray
  • 16Preston
  • 17Flanagan
  • 22Kinsella
  • 24Grimes
  • 25Henry
  • 29Murphy

Port Vale

  • 1Neal
  • 21Veseli
  • 33InnissBooked at 71mins
  • 4Robertson
  • 3Dickinson
  • 19Moore
  • 15O'Connor
  • 17BrownSubstituted forLinesat 45'minutes
  • 20MarshallSubstituted forBirchallat 90+2'minutes
  • 9WilliamsonSubstituted forO'Sullivanat 84'minutes
  • 11PopeBooked at 89mins

Substitutes

  • 2Yates
  • 5McGivern
  • 7Birchall
  • 10Lines
  • 12Johnson
  • 16Luer
  • 18O'Sullivan
Referee:
Andy D'Urso
Attendance:
4,504

Match Stats

Home TeamWalsallAway TeamPort Vale
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home15
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away6
Corners
Home3
Away5
Fouls
Home6
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Walsall 0, Port Vale 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Walsall 0, Port Vale 1.

Tommy O'Sullivan (Port Vale) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Rico Henry (Walsall).

Foul by Tommy O'Sullivan (Port Vale).

Andy Taylor (Walsall) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Port Vale. Chris Birchall replaces Mark Marshall.

Attempt missed. Jordan Murphy (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt saved. Jordan Cook (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by Adam Chambers.

Booking

Tom Pope (Port Vale) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Tommy O'Sullivan (Port Vale) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Port Vale. Tommy O'Sullivan replaces Ben Williamson.

Attempt saved. Andy Taylor (Walsall) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Foul by Michael O'Connor (Port Vale).

Romaine Sawyers (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Walsall. Jordan Murphy replaces Michael Cain.

Attempt missed. Adam Chambers (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Attempt missed. Mark Marshall (Port Vale) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Foul by Michael O'Connor (Port Vale).

Romaine Sawyers (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Walsall. Rico Henry replaces Jordy Hiwula-Mayifuila.

Foul by Ben Williamson (Port Vale).

Andy Taylor (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Romaine Sawyers (Walsall) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right.

Booking

Ryan Inniss (Port Vale) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Ryan Inniss (Port Vale).

Adam Chambers (Walsall) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Byron Moore.

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Frederic Veseli.

Booking

Paul Downing (Walsall) is shown the yellow card.

Chris Lines (Port Vale) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Paul Downing (Walsall).

Foul by Ryan Inniss (Port Vale).

Paul Downing (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Tom Pope (Port Vale) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by Richard O'Donnell.

Attempt saved. Byron Moore (Port Vale) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Tom Pope (Port Vale) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the top right corner.

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by Jordan Cook.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bristol City29187454262861
2Swindon30176756322457
3MK Dons30168662313156
4Preston29158644281653
5Sheff Utd2813693932745
6Oldham30111094141043
7Chesterfield30119104441342
8Doncaster2911993633342
9Bradford2811893733441
10Peterborough30125133838041
11Fleetwood31118123032-241
12Gillingham31118124447-341
13Walsall301010103232040
14Port Vale31116143845-739
15Rochdale281151250401038
16Notts County29108113135-438
17Crewe30115143151-2038
18Scunthorpe28107114144-337
19Barnsley30105153948-935
20Coventry30711123041-1132
21Colchester3087153650-1431
22Crawley3179153255-2330
23Leyton Orient2978143846-829
24Yeovil3177172345-2228
View full League One table

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