Port Vale 0-0 Fleetwood TownFleetwood Town had to settle for a hard-fought point on their travels on Saturday afternoon, when they were held to a goalless draw against Port Vale at Vale Park.
The closest the away side came to finding a winner was through the returning Antoni Sarcevic, who crashed a long-range shot off the bar.
Steven Pressley handed a start to new recruit Shola Ameobi in one of five changes, with Eggert Jonsson, Marcus Nilsson, Antoni Sarcevic and Bobby Grant all coming into the starting line-up.
Making way, were Tyler Forbes, Nathan Pond, Victor Nirennold, Alex Kiwomya and Ash Hunter.
Port Vale made just the one change for the visit of Fleetwood, as Ryan McGivern replaced Ryan Inniss.
Fleetwood made a positive start to proceedings in Staffordshire, and the visitors were forcing the issue towards the home backline, firstly, Bobby Grant’s stinging drive was charged down, before Conor McLaughlin’s cross from the left just missed the head of Devante Cole.
Vale’s first opening of the encounter occurred after a well worked move concluded when Anthony Grant skewed a drive off target.
Rob Page’s men continued to see more of the ball, however Town’s defence remained resilient in the wake of added pressure from the Valiants, on a bitterly cold and windy afternoon.
Bobby Grant was the first player to really test either goalkeeper on the half hour mark – the Liverpudlian frontman latched onto a weighted pass and produced a left-footed daisy-cutter straight into the grasp of Jak Alnwick.
Grant tried his luck for FTFC a few minutes later after the ball had deflected into his path, but after composing himself, he dragged an effort wide of Alnwick’s near post.
Up the other end, Vale missed a guilt edged opportunity to take the lead when AJ Leitch-Smith profited from Matty Kennedy’s acute cutback from the byline, fortunately for Fleetwood, Leitch-Smith ballooned his effort way over Chris Maxwell’s crossbar.
Maxwell came to Town’s rescue in the dying embers. Theo Robinson advanced into the penalty having cut inside, though he was denied superbly by the Welsh goalkeeper, who dived low to keep out the goal-bound shot, as Stevie Jordan thwarted the subsequent shot.
Vale finished the stronger of the two sides, with the final chance of the half falling to an unmarked Carl Dickinson, who sliced wide from the left.
As play resumed for the second period, Town started on the stronger foot – the Fylde Coast outfit were agonizingly unfortunate not to take the advantage with three minutes of the half gone – Antoni Sarcevic crashed a long-range shot off the crossbar, following on from a mazy run that went unchallenged.
Fleetwood were enjoying the ascendancy in the first exchanges after the break, Cole winning his side a free-kick, with the resulting ball into the area producing somewhat of a scramble, culminating in Eggert Jonsson scooping over.
Vale’s inaugural chance of the final 45 minutes came when Kennedy floated a cross for Byron Moore, with the striker acrobatically volleying wide.
Alnwick was on hand to match his opposite number after 55 minutes, the former Newcastle United man somehow tipped Grant’s powerful close-range attempt to safety, after Conor McLaughlin’s pin-point cross.
Chances were continuing to go the way of Pressley’s side, however they were to no avail, as Shola Ameobi and Bobby Grant both shot over from distance.
In the final 20 minutes, Vale had two chances in quick succession, Kennedy found himself free in the area, connecting with a cross to glance past the post, while Leitch-Smith’s scuffed shot was turned behind by Maxwell.
The game was now entering its closing stages, in an encounter which was there for the taking. Ameobi laid the ball onto substitute Hunter – though his strike was cleared by Vale’s defence.
Vale substitute Michael O’Connor was a whisker away from breaking Fleetwood hearts in added time, when his curled free-kick from a central beat the sprawling Maxwell, which dropped wide.
Fleetwood move up a place to 20th after securing a point, ahead of Saturday’s home game with Scunthorpe United.
Picture courtesy of Camera Sport