Despite six changes to the Valiants starting line up compared to last Saturday, it was a tale of two chances, one taken, one not, as the Valiants crashed to their second League Two defeat of the season, Jon Mellish’s fourth strike of the season the difference between the two teams.
In fact it was the Valiants that started the game brightly, Worrall twice finding himself high up the field, but a combination of good defending and missed opportunities allowed the visitors to survive the first few minutes with a clean sheet intact. On five minutes, Vale really should have taken the lead with the Carlisle defence all over the place, half chances falling to Danny Whitehead amongst others but a series of blocks keep the score’s level.
The visitors finally established themselves in the game and on eight minutes Gime Touré tried his luck with a long-range effort for the Cumbrian’s, but Brown watched it all the way palming the ball away to safety. A minute late, Joe Riley brought the ball down and shot from an acute angle as the ball fell to him after a free kick, but Scott Brown did well on the front post, only conceding the corner.
On eleven minutes, Alessandra’s dummy from a throw gave him acres of space in the Vale Box, running across the defence ten yards from the Vale goal, aiming for the bottom left corner but Brown did well diving to his right to keep the Carlisle striker out.
On the quarter hour, Vale continued to probe the Carlisle defence, first through Cristian Montano and then a Dave Worrall cross, but unfortunately the ball dropped just behind the back post with Paul Farman scrambling in the Carlisle goal. On sixteen, Vale won their first corner, Worrall taking from the Vale left, the ball was cleared, but lifted back in to an unmarked Devante Rodney who could only place his header wide of the left upright and Vale’s best chance of the half was gone.
On the half hour, Scott Burgess did well in the middle of the Carlisle half, breaking play up, picking up the loose ball and running towards the Carlisle box. As defenders finally closed him down, the midfielder took his shot the ball dipping just over the bar with Farman stranded.
On forty minutes, Vale and Whitehead rode their luck a little as the midfielder lunged into the breaking Touré, fortunate to pick up a caution with an early shower beckoning. Much to the amusement of Vale fans watching at home, Allesandra followed the Vale midfielder into the book for his part of the melee afterwards.
The Second Half started with a flourish, a fine cushion header from Pope allowing Rodney to run down the left Wing, the forward outpacing the right back but his cross is to close to the keeper, and Farman gathered with ease.
Vale’s best chance of the game arrived on fifty-one minutes; Worrall being bundled down by Alessandra with the winger clean through on goal. Talisman Tom Pope calmly strode up to take it, but Farman saved brilliantly, diving to his right, with Whitehead also being denied on the follow up.
That spurned chance only lifted the visitors, Carlisle winning a corner, aggressive work from Reilly feeding the ball to Jon Mellish in the Vale six-yard box, who made no mistake, driving past Brown into the Vale net. Vale reacted immediately, Harry McKirdy on for Pope, Tom Conlon replacing Burgess in the Vale midfield.
On sixty-eight, a cross field ball to an attacking Leon Legge was rewarded with a series of corners, the ball finally dropping to Conlon, but the midfielder was pressured away from goal, and the chance was gone. Minutes later sloppy defending from Rod Mcdonald conceded a further corner, Worrall sending the ball deep, but Legge was martialled well at the back post and it went out for goal kick.
Vale huffed and puffed for the final few minutes, on ninety minutes Vale flew forward down the right, firstly through Conlon and then Worrall, the ball finding its way to Whitehead who blazed over the bar from the edge of the box and the final chance was lost.
On the back of two league losses, Vale have dropped to tenth in the League, but there is no room for feeling sorry for themselves as they welcome high flying Salford City to Vale Park on Saturday and Manager John Askey will be eager to turn this league form around.