Plymouth Argyle 1 Port Vale 3: match report
Plymouth Argyle 1, Port Vale 3
PORT Vale produced a rousing second-half display to maintain their early momentum with victory on the south coast.
Robbie Williams put Plymouth ahead after a subdued first-half display from the Valiants, but the visitors found their form after the break. They pulled level through a Jennison Myrie-Williams penalty, then surged ahead through goals from Ashley Vincent and substitute Ben Williams.
Manager Micky Adams opted to keep the same team for the seventh game in succession. And Vale, sporting the shocking pink away kit once more, comfortably held their own in a low-key opening.
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Vincent jinked down the left and delivered a cross which was just too high for Tom Pope to control a header, but Argyle enjoyed plenty of early possession without looking particularly threatening.
There was little goalmouth action to speak of during the early stages as both teams struggled to find any momentum.
But the deadlock was broken in spectacular style after 18 minutes. A corner on the Plymouth left was dealt with by Vale keeper Chris Neal, who punched clear. But Conor Hourihane squared the loose ball to left-back Robbie Williams, who drilled a brilliant left-footed drive into the far corner of the net from fully 30 yards.
Richard Duffy's tasty low cross into the area was only just squeezed out of the danger area by the Plymouth defence as Louis Dodds closed in, but the action was back down at the other end soon after when Onismor Bhasera's effort from long range was well held by Neal.
Vale pressed forward in search of a reply and Myrie-Williams had their best effort to date on the half hour, with a curling left-footer from 15 yards which was well kept out by Argyle keeper Jake Cole.
The home side's lively Alex MacDonald curled in a cross which Neal palmed away for a corner at full stretch and veteran Paul Wotton's free-kick from the left caused Vale hearts to miss a beat before the ball was eventually cleared away from the danger area.
At the other end, Vincent's cross was headed over by Pope under pressure from both centre-halves and Dodds picked up a loose ball in midfield only to drill a 25-yard shot well effort.
Vale had a great chance to level matters at the start of the second half. The visitors worked their way into the penalty area and Pope's close range shot was brilliantly saved by Jake Cole. The bouncing ball fell to Vincent, but he could only spoon his effort into the air and the danger was cleared.
Wotton's free-kick from the left, following a foul by John McCombe, beat everyone and was eventually well gathered by the alert Neal.
Vale were on the front foot, but couldn't take advantage of a series of corners prompted by a mazy run from Myrie-Williams.
But the visitors were beginning to take control and were deservedly level after 66 minutes. Vincent created an overlap down the right and when he was played in by Myrie-Williams, the winger was sent crashing by Luke Young. It was an obvious penalty and Myrie-Williams did the honours, sending Cole the
wrong way from the spot.
MacDonald forced a save from Neal with a shot on the run after an increasingly rare Argyle raid, but Vale surged infront after 75 minutes with a lovely goal. Pope freed Myrie-Williams down the right with a deft chip and the winger's cross from the bye line was rammed home by an on-rushing Vincent.
And the news got even better for the 203 travelling Vale fans moments later when Doug Loft's low cross from the left was bundled in by substitute Ben Williamson.
It could have been four when Myrie-Williams wriggled free yet again to cross low for substitute Rob Taylor, but his effort flew just over the crossbar.
Plymouth: Cole, Berry, Blanchard, Purse, Williams, MacDonald, Wotton (Lecointe, 56), Young (Madjo, 75), Hourihane, Bhasera, Feeney. Subs not used: Chenoweth, Nelson, Lennox, Gurrieri, Gorman.
Port Vale: Neal, Duffy, McCombe, McDonald, Loft, Myrie-Williams, Shuker (Burge, 62), Morsy, Vincent (Taylor, 80), Dodds (Williamson, 62), Pope. Subs not used: Yates, Owen, Johnson, Lloyd.
Referee: Darren Sheldrake.