Port Vale: Tom Pope hails Valiant effort to clinch point at Wimbledon
TOM Pope admits he was frustrated with his own performance as Vale fought back from two down to earn a point at Wimbledon.
The promotion chasers move two points clear at the top of League Two, having played a game more than second-placed Gillingham, after a debut goal from left-back Dan Jones and Pope's 27th of the season earned a 2-2 draw.
Vale pushed for a winner that never came, but Pope is still confident their showing in the closing stages suggests they have the mettle to clinch a place in a higher division next season.
He said: "In the first half we never got going, but we were given a lifeline with Jones's goal from 30 yards.
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"Luckily I got another and we got it back to take a point. It wasn't the prettiest goal from me, but they're going in off everything at the moment.
"It's as bad as I've played for a couple of months, I got a goal but overall I wasn't too happy with the performance.
Jack Midson scored a well-worked opener for second-bottom Wimbledon in the eighth minute then added another from the spot three minutes before the break.
Jones struck two minutes later and Pope equalised in the 58th minute, capitalising on a mistake from ex-Crewe defender Mat Mitchell-King.
Vale manager Micky Adams said: "We got out of jail. In the second half we showed what we were all about.
"Every point is important. Who is to say that won't make a difference come the end of the season, I'm not Mystic Meg."
Martin Allen, manager of Vale's title rivals Gillingham, added: "Tom Pope has scored a goal out of nothing. That sort of predatory finishing is why Port Vale are top of the league."