Vale face a wait as Kennedy gets late equaliser

ROCHDALE......2 PORT VALE ......2 IN OUR HANDS – MICKY

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Alex Bysouth

BOSS Micky Adams in­sists au­to­matic pro­mo­tion is Port Vale’s to lose, de­spite wit­ness­ing a late Ja­son Kennedy ef­fort snatch a point for Rochdale at Spot­land.

A late Liam Chil­vers header and a Tom Pope strike in the first half, fol­low­ing the de­fender’s own-goal, were can­celled out by Kennedy.

But Vale boss Adams is con­fi­dent his side are firmly in the driv­ing seat for pro­mo­tion and is not wor­ried about whether it comes in the next game – as long as it hap­pens.

“At 2-1 up I thought we were pro­moted,” said Adams. “I’m dis­ap­pointed and it was an emo­tional roller coaster at times, but we are get­ting there and it is in our hands still.

“Teams have got an aw­ful lot to do to catch us, we are in a great po­si­tion and we move onto the next game as the sea­son is about 46 games.

“If you get your just re­wards af­ter 42, 43 or 46, I’m not both­ered, but we haven’t got enough points at the moment.

“That could change with the teams who have games coming up and the onus is on them to win them.

“It’s my job to lift the play­ers again next week, and if it doesn’t hap­pen then we’ll go onto the next one.”

Dale opened the scor­ing af­ter 31 min­utes as former Ar­se­nal trainee Chil­vers headed be­yond keeper Chris Neal and into his own net.

It took the vis­i­tors just three min­utes to level, as Valiants top scorer Pope met Adam Yates’ driven de­liv­ery to head home his 33rd goal of what has been a prolific sea­son.

With just four min­utes re­main­ing Chil­vers’ header looked to have won it as the cen­tre-back atoned for his ear­lier own goal, but Kennedy nod­ded home mo­ments later to equalise.

Vale’s trav­el­ling sup­port had Rochdale boss Keith Hill call­ing for a spe­cial at­mos­phere to re­turn to Spot­land, one that had been more reg­u­lar at the club dur­ing his first spell in charge when they won pro­mo­tion to League One in 2009/10.

And he felt his side did enough to make it four wins in a row in front of an im­pres­sive crowd.

“It’s a shame that we used to en­joy games of a 5,000 crowd,” he said. “We used to be used to at­mos­pheres like that and games that had some­thing rid­ing on them, well it did for the op­po­si­tion, and it did for our boys as they wanted to show our cre­den­tials.

“They’re a good side, with very good play­ers, but I’m pleased we didn’t lose that game as I felt we didn’t de­serve to lose it against an ex­cel­lent side.

“It was toe-to-toe for the first 30 min- utes and it didn’t really open up un­til the sec­ond half and if I’m hon­est, we looked more favourable to win the game.”

Vale are now five points in­side the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion spots with two games re­main­ing.

They wel­come fel­low pro­mo­tion chasers Northamp­ton to Vale Park next time out be­fore a trip to face Wy­combe on the fi­nal day of the sea­son.

PETER CA­VAN

AGH

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