Missed chances cost Town
It was a case of what might have been for Fleetwood Town as missed chances came back to haunt them as they lost 2-1 to Port Vale.
Chris Long gave Town the lead in the first half after good work from Kyle Dempsey and Devante Cole, but a second half goal by Rigino Cicilia evened up the score line 15 minutes from the end. Alex Jones put the home side in front before Long and Anthony Grant were sent off.
Town changed their entire side from their midweek game against Carlisle United. Meanwhile, Vale made six changes to the side that faced Doncaster as Jak Alnwick, Ryan Taylor, Paulo Tavares, Jerome Thomas, Martin Paterson & Jones all came into their side.
The first chance of the game came after five minutes as Ashley Hunter found some space around 25-yards out but his shot flew high and wide of Alnwick’s goal.
A lack of action plagued the rest of the half until a rough tackle from Thomas injured Jimmy Ryan, forcing him to go off. He was replaced by George Glendon, for his league debut for the club.
In the 28thminute, Town had a massive chance to go ahead in the game as Long crossed the ball towards Dempsey but his chance from four yards out was brilliantly saved by Alnwick.
Ten minutes later, Sam Kelly found some space between Town’s midfield and defence but his shot was dragged well wide of the target, leaving the game goalless.
Town had another chance to open the scoring late on in the first half as Bobby Grant whipped in a low cross towards Hunter but his six-yard shot was blocked leading to a corner.
Grant created another chance just seconds later as he skipped past two of Vale’s defender and took his shot from just outside the area but it was over hit.
The last chance of the first half went Vale’s way as Paulo Tavares tried his luck from range but his curled shot was easily saved by Neal.
Five minutes into the second half, the deadlock was broken as Dempsey lobbed a ball towards the back post, Cole headed the ball back into the box and Long nodded it in.
Fleetwood carried on attacking and they could have doubled their lead in the 57thminute. They were three against one but Taylor defended well for Vale and only conceded a corner. From the corner, Cole brought it down but struck wide from outside the box.
Vale were on the back foot at the hour mark as Cole had another clear chance for Town to double their lead. Hunter produced a brilliant cross into the box but Cole’s volley from close range went just wide.
Long created a chance just minutes later as he recovered from an air-shot, he went out wide, nut-megged Streete and forced a save out of Alnwick.
Vale started putting the pressure on around the 65thminute as they produced multiple crosses into the Fleetwood box but they were kept out thanks to Nathan Pond, making three clearances from the centre of the area.
The score line was evened up in the 74thminute as Thomas crossed the ball into Taylor, who touched the ball down for substitute Cicilia who tapped the ball in from close range.
David Ball, just seconds after coming on, could have made an instant impact as he was played through by Dempsey and although Ball lobbed the rushing Alnwick, Streete was there to head it away.
Vale gained the lead, ten minutes from the end, as Thomas crossed the ball into Jones. He kicked the ball into Neal and rebounded the ball in after that.
Tempers flared at the end of the game as both Long and Vale’s Grant were both sent off for an off the ball incident.
The last chance of the game was a 20-yard free kick for Town but Grant’s attempt went just over the bar, not worrying Alnwick.
PVFC:Jak Alnwick, Remie Streete, Sam Kelly (Quentin Pereira, 79’), Paulo Tavares, Martin Paterson (Rigino Cicilia, 58’), Jerome Thomas, Nathan Smith, Alex Jones, Ryan Taylor, Anthony Grant, Sam Hart (Kiko, 65’).
UNUSED SUBS:Calvin MacIntosch, Chris Mbamba, Miguel Santos, Anthony de Freitas.
FTFC:Chris Neal, Amari’I Bell, Nathan Pond, Jimmy Ryan (George Glendon, 27’), Bobby Grant, Cian Bolger, Chris Long, Ashley Hunter, Kyle Dempsey, Elohor Godswill Ekpolo (Victor Nirennold, 45’), Devante Cole (David Ball, 77’).
UNUSED SUBS:Ashley Eastham, Aaron Amadi-Holloway, Alex Cairns, Jack Sowerby.
Ass. REFEREES:Michael Denton, Sian Massey-Ellis, Andrew Hendley.
ATTENDANCE:3,890 w/ 112 travelling Cod Army supporters