Top-class Valiants earn first vic­tory

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Jeff Clowes

HE WAS his own worst critic last week but Port Vale boss Micky Adams claims his gam­ble paid off against Brad­ford this time around.

Adams switched to an un­fa­mil­iar 3-5-2 for­ma­tion against Colch­ester last time out as the Valiants fell to a 1-0 de­feat and he ad­mit­ted it was a mis­take.

His de­ci­sion to restore Lee Hughes against the Ban­tams proved a mas­ter­stroke, though, with the 37-year-old notch­ing his first goal of the cam­paign to give the hosts the lead.

And de­spite Nahki Wells’ lev­eler, cap­tain Doug Loft was on hand to earn Vale the vic­tory.

“I’m absolutely de­lighted, straight from the off I thought our ef­fort, com­mit­ment and work-rate for each other was great, they put their bod­ies on the line, which you have to do against a team like Brad­ford,” said Adams.

“It was nice to see the com­mit­ment af­ter last week and to get a re­sponse like that was tremen­dous. We’ve got some de­cent pro­fes­sion­als in the dress­ing room, I think that’s why we were sur­prised by their poor per­for­mance.

“We needed to re­spond, I picked an 11 that was quite ad­ven­tur­ous to be hon­est, I played two wingers and Hughes back in - and he put in a fan­tas­tic per­for­mance for us.

“The im­por­tance to try and get that first win was there for ev­ery­one to see and we went about our busi­ness re­ally pro­fes- sion­ally and I thought it was a top per­for­mance.”

Vale looked the most threat­en­ing and Brad­ford keeper Jon McLaugh­lin did well to stop Hughes’ sting­ing shot and Kaid Mo­hamed’s re­bound.

But Hughes was not to be de­nied and he put the hosts into the lead on 43 min­utes when he in­ter­cepted a back pass from James Mered­ith and slot­ted home.

Wells equalised on the hour mark af­ter he con­verted Garry Thomp­son’s cross. Hughes then turned provider for Loft who fired home from out­side the box on 69 min­utes to in­flict a first league de­feat of the sea­son on the Ban­tams.

“It was a ful­lon com­pet­i­tive game, they had the bet­ter of it in the first half, but in the sec­ond half we came out and played re­ally well and de­served some­thing out of the game,” said Parkinson.

“I told the lads that they would come out with a reaction af­ter their de­feat and we had to be care­ful af­ter our vic­tory last week that we didn’t get car­ried away.

“In hon­esty they were the bet­ter team in the first half, but we got a reaction af­ter half time and I thought it was a tremen­dous ef­fort to get us back into the game and it was so dis­ap­point­ing to con­cede that last goal.”





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