Final Third Development League Cup
Monday 3rd March 2014
Rovers travelled to the Potteries for the last game in the group stage of the Cup knowing they could not qualify for the next stage. Brian Flynn was in charge of a young side with only Marc De Val, Liam Wakefield and Alex Peterson having first team experience facing an experienced Vale side. The game took place on the practice pitch at the side of the main stadium with the weather being sunny but the pitch showing signs of the rain that has covered the UK.
Port Vale were the first to launch an attack but a good move ended when the cross went over the bar, with Maxted not troubled. The play then switched to the other end as Rovers won a free kick deep in the Vale half but from the resulting cross, the Vale player just intercepted the ball before Wakefield could get his head on it for a corner, which came to nothing. With only five minutes on the clock, Peterson had a good chance but shot over the bar. On 16 minutes Vale’s keeper nearly got caught by Peterson, but when he hit it against him, it went to a Vale defender. Just when Rovers thought they had weathered the Vale attacks, a good move by them on the wing sent their player to the by-line from where he crossed into the box for the Vale striker to slam it home from close range. After this, Rovers started to dominate the game with a glancing header by Wakefield going just wide then the Vale keeper slammed a short back pass against Peterson and the resulting ball hit the post and came out. Finnegan and Middleton both came close but the final ball was not enough to test the keeper. The rest of the half saw Rovers attack but the quality final ball seemed to elude the team.
Half Time Port Vale 1 Rovers 0
The second half started where the first ended with Rovers pushing forward with a scramble in the Vale box being cleared followed by a deflected shot from Middleton, which went straight in to the arms of the keeper. Brian Flynn started to make changes with Ferguson on for Meade, then Terrell on for Whincop. Maxted, came to the rescue on 60 minutes as Vale broke free for a one to one but he saved it as he spread himself in front of the striker. Rovers then brought on Mitchell Lund for Evan Finnegan. Ferguson had a good chance on 70 minutes but his shot flew over the bar. Just as Rovers started to dominate again they were caught out by a simple long ball on 76 minutes that split the defence leaving a one on one with Maxted, who could not stop Vale going two up. Rovers continued to push forward but lacked a quality ball that the two up front could work with as chances came and went. Rovers ended the half disappointed that although they had plenty of the ball, they had taken no advantage of it.
Full Time Port Vale 2 Rovers 0
Marc De Val Fernandez,
Subs Jack McLaren,
Mitchell Lund, Spencer Lund,
Callum Terrell, Lewis Ferguson