League One
CoventryCoventry City2Port ValePort Vale3

Coventry City 2-3 Port Vale

By Ged ScottBBC Sport at the Ricoh Arena
Tony Mowbray
Tony Mowbray has replaced Steven Pressley as manager at the Ricoh Arena

Port Vale maintained their push for the play-offs with victory at the Ricoh Arena to spoil new Coventry City boss Tony Mowbray's public unveiling.

Mowbray's side went ahead early on, with Jim O'Brien's low right-foot shot creeping in from 25 yards.

Tom Pope and Coventry old boy Mark Marshall turned it round with two goals in five minutes just before the break.

But despite Sanmi Odelusi coming off the bench to level, Michael O'Connor's superb free-kick gave Vale the points.

Coventry led in the fourth minute when skipper O'Brien's speculative effort somehow found Vale keeper Chris Neal's bottom right corner.

The looked comfortable for the lead, but it all changed after a long break in play when Vale's on-loan Crystal Palace defender Ryan Inniss was stretchered off after coming off worst in a high challenge on Marcus Tudgay that also saw him booked.

Vale take their bow at the Ricoh Arena
Unlike their manager Rob Page, who made 76 appearances in three years with Coventry City after being signed by Micky Adams in February 2005, and another Sky Blues old boy Mark Marshall on the wing, Vale were making their debut at the Ricoh Arena and kept up their good away record against Coventry.
They drew 2-2 at Sixfields a year ago and, in 12 matches prior to that at Coventry's old home at Highfield Road, Vale lost just three of them.

Vale top scorer Pope evaded the linesman's flag as he cashed in a ricochet to steer home an angled left-footed poke from close range.

Five minutes later, Marshall worked a neat one-two with Byron Moore to score against his old club.

Mowbray's double substitution looked to have done the trick inside eight minutes when on-loan Bolton Wanderers winger Odelusi broke fast down the right to latch onto Frank Nouble's nicely-weighted pass and blasted home a fierce angled right-foot shot from 15 yards.

But Coventry were back on level terms for just five minutes before O'Connor curled a stunning right-foot free-kick round the-wall after he had been fouled by John Fleck to earn victory for Vale boss - and Sky Blues old boy - Rob Page.

Vale's third successive away win leaves them just two points off the League One play-offs, while Coventry remain a point clear of trouble.

Coventry City manager Tony Mowbray told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:

"We're a pretty young team, pretty naive at times. When it got back to two all, I thought only one team was going to win it, but unfortunately it didn't work out that way.

"It's a work in progress for me, really, and we have to find a way to win.

"I couldn't fault the players' endeavour and determination, but it's obviously frustrating because we need points.

"We have to stick at it, we have to stand up and be counted. This one has gone now and we have to focus on the goals ahead - Tuesday night is the only important thing."

Port Vale manager Rob Page told BBC Radio Stoke:

"We got off to the worst possible start, conceding an early goal, but the boys dug in well, once we'd got used to the pitch, which took us a while as it's not great.

"But we worked our socks off, just as we did at Walsall and Notts County. We work very hard without the ball and it's a big plus for us to be able to spread the goals around like we did.

"Ryan Inniss is having an X-ray on his ankle. I think he might have landed awkwardly on it. It's not good to see a young player being stretchered off like that."



Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Burge
  • 18Phillips
  • 22Pennington
  • 21Martin
  • 30Stokes
  • 11O'BrienBooked at 75minsSubstituted forJacksonat 77'minutes
  • 16BartonSubstituted forOdelusiat 62'minutes
  • 7Fleck
  • 19Nouble
  • 20TudgaySubstituted forWilliamsat 63'minutes
  • 14Samuel


  • 4Webster
  • 8Williams
  • 12Jackson
  • 17Odelusi
  • 25Turgott
  • 27Finch
  • 33Charles-Cook

Port Vale

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Neal
  • 21Veseli
  • 33InnissBooked at 36minsSubstituted forMcGivernat 36'minutes
  • 4Robertson
  • 3DickinsonBooked at 15mins
  • 19MooreSubstituted forDanielat 81'minutes
  • 17Brown
  • 15O'Connor
  • 20Marshall
  • 9WilliamsonSubstituted forDoddsat 77'minutes
  • 11Pope


  • 2Yates
  • 5McGivern
  • 7Birchall
  • 8Dodds
  • 10Lines
  • 12Johnson
  • 14Daniel
Mick Russell

Match Stats

Home TeamCoventryAway TeamPort Vale
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Coventry City 2, Port Vale 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Coventry City 2, Port Vale 3.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Louis Dodds (Port Vale).

  4. Post update

    Matthew Pennington (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Luke Williams (Coventry City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Michael O'Connor (Port Vale).

  7. Post update

    Dominic Samuel (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Port Vale. Colin Daniel replaces Byron Moore.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Dominic Samuel (Coventry City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Byron Moore (Port Vale).

  11. Post update

    Luke Williams (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Coventry City. Simeon Jackson replaces Jim O'Brien.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Port Vale. Louis Dodds replaces Ben Williamson.

  14. Goal!

    Goal! Coventry City 2, Port Vale 3. Michael O'Connor (Port Vale) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

  15. Booking

    Jim O'Brien (Coventry City) is shown the yellow card.

  16. Post update

    Michael Brown (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Jim O'Brien (Coventry City).

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Michael O'Connor (Port Vale) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

  19. Post update

    Michael Brown (Port Vale) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Dominic Samuel (Coventry City).

As It Stood

1Bristol City35237567323576
4MK Dons35188968373162
5Sheff Utd34158114841753
11Port Vale35146154548-348
19Notts County34118153443-941
21Leyton Orient3498174452-835
View full League One table

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