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Match Reports


14 February 2023

Match Reports


14 February 2023

After a frenetic first half, Barnsley cruised to another road victory away at Vale Park this evening.

Goals from Luca Connell and Liam Kitching edged the Reds ahead in the first half before a deflected Adam Phillips strike sealed all three points on Valentine's Day in Sky Bet League One.

It was a dream start in Burslem on Tuesday night, as straight from the kick off, the Reds won the second ball and got to work.

After some lovely one-touch stuff that saw the ball make its way down the right flank, Jordan Williams hooked a cross over from the byline and after a Port Vale clearing header dropped to the edge of the box, there was Luca Connell.

As he did at Peterborough United a few weeks ago - the Irishman brought the ball under control using his chest, allowing him to set himself before viciously firing in a screamer, straight into the top right corner from 20 yards.

The early setback didn't rattle our hosts, however. Vale dominated the next 10 minutes or so without creating anything of note. A succession of corners and deep crosses wouldn't result in a clear-cut opportunity. 

But after an initial scramble was dealt with, on 14 minutes the game was levelled up. It was Nathan Smith at the front post who got ahead of his man to prod home from close range after another dangerous low ball in wasn't adequately looked after.

A period of scrappy nothingness ensued, as both sides looked to assert dominance, before the Reds retook the lead after 21 minutes. 

Connell was brought down, 40 yards from goal and to the left. He put in a delicious free-kick, nice and deep, the Vale defence looked for offside, pushing up, but Liam Kitching was unmarked from around six yards, nodding a downward header beyond Vale 'keeper Aidan Stone to restore Barnsley's lead. 

There was a Bobby Thomas header that was guided a yard wide and Nicky Cadden could have done better with an angled strike that flew over the near post, as Michael Duff's side ended the half in the ascendance.

HALF-TIME: Port Vale 1-2 Barnsley

Duff replaced Jon Russell at the break, with Adam Phillips entering the fray as Barnsley looked to confirm another victory.

Just after the hour mark, the Reds went two goals clear. 

After some sustained pressure, a cross from the right wasn't cleared properly and Phillips was first to the loose ball to rocket an effort goalwards. It took a wicked deflection off a defender and flew into the left-hand corner. 

Instead of settling, Barnsley pushed for a fourth goal and Phillips saw another drive from range saved by Stone. 

The hosts had Funso Ojo test Isted with a deflected strike of their own, but Harry held on well to preserve the two-goal lead.

Vale weren't really looking like getting back into things, and both Reds subs, Slobodan Tedic and Oli Shaw were worrying their backline.

The big Serb hooked an acrobatic effort a foot wide as Duff's men pushed for another goal, whilst at the death, Vale sub Ellis Harrison scored low under Isted from an offside position.

FULL-TIME: Port Vale 1-3 Barnsley

Isted, Williams, B.Thomas, Andersen, Kitching, Cadden, Russell (Phillips), Kane, Connell, Cole (Shaw), Norwood (Tedic).

Unused: Searle (GK), Cotter, Larkeche, Martin.

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