Writer: Deano The Spireite
Date:Tuesday April 2 2013
Paul Cook stuck with the same starting 11 that gave the Spireites victory at fourth placed Burton Albion. This time they were taking on high flying Port Vale who were 2nd in the table.
After only 5 minutes a Myrie-Williams corner was headed past Tommy Lee by an unmarked Darren Purse. When Port Vale have scored first this season they have won 18, drawn 2 and lost 0.
Although it was an early set back, the Spireites didn't look affected by it, and were passing the ball along the ground patiently looking for an opening.Richards looked to have been pulled down from behind in the penalty area, the referee just played on. In the 16th minute Richards hits a curling free-kick which takes a deflection off the wall and goes past the hapless keeper, to put the scores level. With respect to the Port Vale fans he doesn't celebrate his goal, having scored 76 goals for their club.
Two minutes later O'Shea hits a lovely strike, the keeper gets his hand to it, Richards pounces on the rebound, turns and hits an instinctive shot from a tight angle into the net off the far post. Apparently the Spireites had yet to score a goal between the 10th and 20th minute mark this season, today they have scored 2.
What a turn around the Spireites are now in control of the game, totally dominating midfield with Randall orchestrating the attacks. Port Vale have been reduced to producing hopeful long balls.
Chris Birchall replaced Robert Taylor in a tactical move, to try and compete against the Spireites dominant midfield.
Cooper went down injured and had to be helped off, he was struggling to put any weight on his left leg, he was replaced by Sam Hird.
Port Vale looked determined to get back into the game, Myrie-Williams goes down in the box under the challenge of Townsend, nothing was given by the referee.
Armand Gnanduillet came on for O'Shea to try and relieve the pressure and the formation was changed to a 4-4-2.
Birchall went close when he broke through the defence, he hit his shot over lee onto the top of the net. Loft hit a lovely effort from 25 yards which produced a brilliant save from Lee, who tipped it over.
Richards went off injured and was replaced by Jack Lester, the Vale fans cheered, the Spireite fans responded by giving him a standing ovation,
The Valiants had an appeal for a penalty turned down when the ball appeared to hit the hand of Brindley, but the Referee felt because it was from close range the player couldn't do anything about it.
With 5 minutes left a Pope header which looked like lee would save it, slipped through the keepers grasp into the net.
Loft almost found a winner for Vale, when his shot produced a brilliant save from Lee, although the keeper fumbled it, he managed to tip the rebound over.
Randall presented Lester with a chance, but he could only find the keeper with his effort.
Stand Up said:'I'm still scratching me head as to how we've only come away with one point from a game in my opinion we bossed it, granted their early goal woke us up, but after that it was all blue. The referee looked like and refereed like Lee Mason and spoilt what was a great game.'
Although it was disappointing to end up drawing a game what the Spireites looked like winning, they competed and at times outplayed one of the best teams in the League.
Mark Randall was outstanding and was the Man of the Match. Although Richards had a great game, working hard for the team and scoring both goals. Brindley had another good game, surely he has already done enough to earn himself a contract for next season.
Cooper should be available for the next game, because injury is not as bad as first seemed. Richards might miss the next game, but shouldn't be out for too long.
Away to Barnet is the Spireites next game, hopefully revenge for the Spireites after losing at home to them earlier in the season.
Date:Tuesday April 2 2013
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