Doncaster Rovers suffered a 3-0 defeat at Vale Park for the second season in succession thanks to goals from Sam Foley, Byron Moore and former Rovers loan man Uche Ikpeazu.
Port Vale 3 (Foley 34, Ikpeazu 47, Moore 89)
Doncaster Rovers 0
Saturday 22nd August 2015
Vale Park, Burslem
Sky Bet League 1
Doncaster had goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann to thank, whom without Rovers could have found themselves on the back of a far heavier score-line, but for a string of impressive saves from the German.
Richard Chaplow returned to Paul Dickov's starting line-up in place of Harry Forrester who picked up a knock in the midweek draw against Southend United, with Forrester not included in the match day squad.
The home side made the brightest start and had early chances through Louis Dodds and Ikpeazu, without getting a shot on target.
Stuckmann was called into action in the 11th minute when the home side were awarded a penalty. Enoch Andoh was tripped in the area by Chaplow and the referee had no hesitation in pointing for the spot. Foley stepped up to take the spot kick, however Stuckmann made a fine save to his right to keep the scores level.
Dodds looked set to give the home side the lead soon after though, his shot was heading for the back of the net, but Stuckmann saved brilliantly to deny the Port Vale forward.
In the 24th minute Stuckmann pulled off another wonder save to again deny Dodds. The Vale strikers looping header was going straight into the top right hand corner, but Stuckmann at full stretch somehow managed to tip the ball around the post for a corner.
The troublesome Ikpeazu won Port Vale a free-kick 20 yards from goal, which Vale captain Carl Dickinson took and was struck superbly, but once again the Rovers goalkeeper would not be beaten, making another super save to keep the scores at 0-0.
Stuckmann was finally beaten in the 34th minute, Dickinson's cross to the far post was met by Foley, who made up for his penalty miss by heading into the back of the net.
Doncaster's best chance came just before half time, Andy Williams put in a dinked cross looking for Chaplow who was just inches from getting his head on it.
Half time: Port Vale 1-0 Doncaster Rovers
Curtis Main replaced Harry Middleton for Rovers at the break, however things went from bad to worse when just a minute into the second half, Ikpeazu scored a fine solo goal, weaving in-between the Rovers defence, before curling past Stuckmann into the corner.
Dodds had a great chance to put the game to bed when he went through one-on-one with Stuckmann after beating Gary MacKenzie to the ball, however he fired wide when through.
Ikpeazu almost got his second of the afternoon with a fine effort from the edge of the box, he had Stuckmann beaten, but also the cross bar.
In the 72nd minute Ikpeazu who was a constant pain for the Rovers back four, weaved past two defenders before firing at goal, but he was again unable to find the target.
Rovers had a great chance to pull a goal back through Williams, substitute Main fired from the edge of the box, his effort was parried into the path of the summer signing from Swindon Town, but he could only fire over from 12 yards.
Colin Daniel had a good chance for the hosts, before Vale sealed the victory in the 89th minute. Ben Purkiss put a fine low ball into the box, which was finished fantastically on the spin by Byron Moore, to ensure more Rovers misery at Vale Park.
Full Time: Port Vale 3-0 Doncaster Rovers
Rovers: Stuckmann, Taylor-Sinclair, Butler, MacKenzie, McCullough, Evina (Whitehouse 58), Wellens, Middleton (Main 46), Coppinger, Chaplow, Williams.
Subs not used: Marosi, Lund, Jones, Mandeville, P McKay.
Booked: Butler, Stuckmann, McCullough
Port Vale: Alnwick, Purkiss, Dickinson, Duffy, Ikpeazu (Leich Smith 76) , Dodds, Foley, Moore, Inniss, Andoh (Daniel 70), Grant.
Subs not used: Johnson, Birchall, Streete, Brown, Kelly.
Booked: Leitch Smith
Attendance: 4775 (357 Rovers)