The Valiant’s broke into the play off spots after an emphatic display against high flying Harrogate Town. Goals from David Worrall and James Wilson were more than enough to extend their run of one single loss in the last seven EFL games and leave the Sulphurites facing defeat for the first time this season.
Despite the match being delayed for several minutes early on after a clash of heads that left Alex Pattison in need of paper stitches and a head bandage, Vale were out of the starting blocks well and as early as the eight minute mustered their first dangerous attack. A long pass over the top from the defense found Jamie Proctor, the striker did well to hold the ball up before James Gibbons caught up with him and burst down the left, standing a ball up to the back post. David Worrall beat the left back in the air to head it back across goal but the Harrogate defense scrambled the ball to safety.
Vale could and should have gone one up on ten minutes, a long throw from the attacking right from Dan Jones was aimed towards the penalty spot, the ball dropping to an unmarked Jamie Proctor who swiveled and shot in one movement but it was high over the bar into the Bycars Stand when he might have done better. On nineteen minutes Vale won a corner, Tom Conlon taking left footed from the left, long to the back post. Worrall did well to get it back in to the mix but could only win a throw which he took quickly to a free James Wilson, the Striker driving to the byline before crossing, the ball ricocheting around the box with two efforts been blocked by the desperate Town defense.
Vale finally took a much warranted lead on twenty-seven minutes and what a moment of magic it was. A long ball up to Proctor on the edge of the box was nodded down towards Worrall 25 yards out, the winger not thinking twice and struck the ball crisply with his right foot, arrowing past Mark Oxley and into the top left hand corner to give Vale a well-deserved lead.
Vale continued their pressure on forty-three minutes, the ball is crossed towards Jamie Proctor from the Vale right, the striker winning his header on goal but it was comfortable for Oxley to claim beneath his cross bar.
As the game ticked into added time at the first half, Town offered their first real moment of danger, a free kick from the right finding Rory Mcardle on the edge of the box, his header was on target, but Covolan Cauagnari had everything behind it diving to his right. As the half drew to a close, things went from bad to worse for Harrogate as Jack Diamond was cautioned for an innocuous challenge on Covolan , but it was the second of the game and the striker departed for an early shower.
The Valiant’s started the second half just where they left off the first and doubled their lead on forty-seven minutes. Wilson took a short ball from Worrall with his back to goal on the edge box, spinning to his right, leaving the defender for dead before advancing on goal and firing a left footed effort into the bottom left hand corner beyond the dive of Oxley.
With the game starting to meander as a contest, Harrogate had rare efforts on the Vale goal, but on sixty-five minutes they really should have pulled one back. Having won a corner, it was fed deep beyond the back post, headed back across goal by Rory McArdle to an unmarked Connor Hall in the centre of the goal but the defender could only head over the bar much to the relief of the Bycars Stand.
Vale could had several chances to wrap up the game, good work down the left hand side on eighty-eight minutes freed Mal Bening in to the Harrogate third, he lifted his head to cross, but his effort was deflected by a defender, Oxley making a point blank save to keep the score 2-0 to the Valiant’s.
On ninety-three, Proctor was also unlucky not to put the icing on the cake, expansive work in the midfield left Benning unmarked down the left, his cross was perfect, picking out Proctor who chested the ball down and half volleyed goalward only to be denied by a fine stop from Oxley.
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