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Match Reports

Report: Port Vale 1-1 Stevenage

19 October 2019

Gerard Austin

Stevenage made it three games unbeaten as Kurtis Guthrie’s first half penalty cancelled out Jake Taylor’s early strike at Vale Park...

After getting off to a slow start to proceedings, Boro battled their way back into the game and during the second half, had a whole host of opportunities to take all three points back to Hertfordshire.

Mark Sampson named an unchanged line-up as Stevenage did so for the first time this season.

An early effort from Vale flew wide of the near-post as Jake Taylor took aim from the edge of the box but just a few minutes later, Taylor did make it count, as he ghosted in to the box to latch onto Amoo’s cross, following good work down the right from the winger to get into position.

It took Stevenage a little while to get into the flow of the match and it needed a crucial refereeing decision to help swing the game back into Boro’s favour, as Cuthbert was deemed to be fouled inside the box following a corner, which Guthrie promptly dispatched.

Boro managed the remainder of the half well, keeping the ball mainly in the Vale final third, penning back the home side without creating any further clear-cut chances. Farman was needed at his brilliant best with ten minutes remaining, as he beat away Worrall’s well hit effort from 12 yards out.

The Skipper, Scott Cuthbert picked up a booking just before the half was out, much to the delight of the home fans, who were often furious throughout the first 45 minutes as they felt the referee wasn’t giving them a fare shake of the stick.

A promising Boro counter-attack was thwarted by said referee soon after, as a four on two opportunity opened up and despite briefly allowing play to continue, Peter Wright halted play, much to the annoyance of the Stevenage players and Management Team.

The final action of the half saw Cowley go on a mazy run into the box, only before failing to pick out a teammate when crowded out by Vale defenders.

Right out from the break, Watts had the chance to put Stevenage ahead but blazed over on the volley after industrious work by Cowley to receive the ball on the by-line, before crossing into the box.

An early substitution saw Cowley replaced by Mackail-Smith, who was still on the hunt for his first goal in Stevenage colours. Carter came inches away from providing the breakthrough with 10 minutes played in the first half, almost getting onto the end of Guthrie’s back-post knockdown but Vale stopper Brown was quick to smother the ball.

Vancooten made his return on 60 minutes, as James-Wildin made way, and Farman produced another stunning save shortly after, as he tipped Bennett’s ambitious strike over the bar. Six minutes later, Guthrie had a shot cleared off the line, after clever link-up play between Watts and Mackail-Smith to open up the opportunity from close range.

Guthrie was again denied with less than 20 minutes remaining, as he forced Man of the Match Brown to get down quickly to his pin-point free-kick, that seemed destined for the bottom corner. The goalkeeper could only parry it out to Carter, whose cross back across goal was well blocked.

As time dwindled down, Stevenage looked to be the more likely winners but weren’t able to finish off any of their many promising attacks, as a point on the road had to be taken to make it two wins and a draw from the past three games.

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