Vale face a wait as Kennedy gets late equaliser
ROCHDALE......2 PORT VALE ......2 IN OUR HANDS – MICKY
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.