Port Vale: Adams sees red as Thompson is sent off
Nantwich Town 3
Port Vale 1
by Steve Shaw
PORT Vale manager Micky Adams revealed Steve Thompson will be disciplined by the club after the striker was sent off during their 3-1 defeat at Nantwich Town last night.
During a spirited encounter the Dabbers came out on top thanks to a brace from former Vale youth player Ashley Carter, while Geoff Horsfield also scored an own goal.
But game erupted in the 34th minute when Thompson and Dabbers centre-half Chris Flynn saw red.
The referee called Thompson for a debatable foul in the centre circle. The striker reacted unwisely to being nudged from behind by shoulder-barging his opponent, an act which earned him a red card for violent conduct.
With more players getting involved Flynn was also dismissed for violent conduct after appearing to clash with Vale striker Danny Glover, who also received a booking for his part in the ensuing melee.
Adams did not reveal how Thompson will be punished, but he admitted: "I'm disappointed with Steve Thompson.
"There are no excuses for it and he will be punished within the framework of the club.
"It's a competitive friendly and they will have wanted to impress their new manager (Peter Hall) and vice-versa."
To add salt to the wound Thompson is likely to face a suspension when Vale begin their league campaign on Saturday with a home clash against Rochdale.
By the time the referee whistled for half-time, Vale midfielder Dave Howland and Dabbers trio Carter, Dave MacPherson and Glyn Blackhurst also earned cautions for various misdemeanours.
Vale offered a trial to 24-year-old striker Paul Harrison who has been training with Glenn Hoddle's Spanish-based Academy.
The 24-year-old partnered Glover up front as part of a 4-4-2 formation.
Hoddle's academy offers players a second chance to try to earn a professional contract.
Former Wolves midfielder Alec Melbourne, who is a free agent, was also given a chance to shine at right midfield.
Vale travelled with a squad of only 12 players and set out a make-shift starting line-up.
Striker Horsfield collected more valuable minutes playing in an unfamiliar centre-half role.
Striker James Lawrie, aged 18, was Vale's only substitute.
Fielding such an alien first-XI Vale struggled to find any cohesion in the opening half-hour with Nantwich providing the greater cutting edge.
After two minutes, Dabbers striker Dave Whittaker set his sights from long range, whistling a 25-yard snap-shot beyond the post. On 11 minutes, Carter showed a clean pair of heels to race clear, but 17-year-old keeper Daniel Lloyd-Weston did well to block his advances on the edge of the box.
However, Carter made amends three minutes later by driving down the right to break the deadlock.
This time the striker guided his angled low shot beyond Lloyd-Weston, sending the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.
Vale had barely shown any attacking intent, but following the double sending off they produced more creativity. Melbourne connected with a left-wing delivery, but could only guide his far-post header over the bar.
On the stroke of half-time, Melbourne's ferocious 25-yard half-volley was brilliantly tipped around by Dabbers keeper Lee Jones.
However, Carter grabbed his second goal from the penalty spot on 55 minutes after Vale right-back Danny Edwards hauled down winger Robin Gibson.
Carter made no mistake from 12 yards, drilling his low effort into the right-hand corner. Former Crewe striker Rodney Jack earlier had a goal-bound shot blocked, and in the 63rd minute, he crashed an 18-yard effort wide of the left-hand post.
Lawrie enjoyed a 10-minute run-out when he replaced Howland, who suffered a blow to the head.
Vale's captain for the night Adam Yates scored an 87th-minute consolation, but there was still time for Horsfield to turn a right-flank cross into his own net.
Thankfully, the game noticeably calmed down during the second period as the Valiants completed their pre-season programme with only their second defeat in nine summer friendlies.
NANTWICH TOWN: Jones, Sedgemore, Sutton, Flynn, Shaw, Jack, Blackhurst, MacPherson, Gibson, Whittaker, Ashley Carter. Subs not used: Hawthorne, Southern, Brownfield, Chapman, Haughton, Roberts. Aiden Carter
PORT VALE: Lloyd-Weston, Edwards, Prosser, Horsfield, Yates, Melbourne, Howland (Lawrie, 80), Dodds, Thompson, Harrison, Glover.