Big Bayo bul­ly­ing Valiants once more

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Nick Bull To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

PORT Vale man­ager Micky Adams blasted the way his side dealt with Ade­bayo Ak­in­fenwa af­ter the striker’s man-of-the­match per­for­mance helped Gilling­ham to a hard-earned vic­tory.

Ak­in­fenwa headed goals ei­ther side of half­time from two Bradley Dack de­liv­er­ies to put the Gills in con­trol of the game, be­fore Cody McDon­ald added a third for the hosts from another Dack as­sist.

Vale ral­lied with two late goals to set up an ex­cit­ing fi­nale, but man­ager Adams said his play­ers’ in­abil­ity to cope with six-footone, 16-stone Ak­in­fenwa was key to the re­sult.

“Ev­ery time I’ve come up against him with this foot­ball club, I’ve not had a cen­tre half who could deal with him,” said Adams.

“If you get into a wrestling match with him at any time, there’s only go­ing to be one win­ner.

“We as­signed Tom Pope to mark him be­cause he’s a big strong boy, but Ak­in­fenwa fended him off like he wasn’t there for the first goal.

“Their sec­ond goal was from the sec­ond phase of a cor­ner, and we didn’t deal with him again. I think that we need to get back to ba­sics when de­fend­ing set pieces, be­cause we’re con­ced­ing too many from them.”

At 3-0 up, Gilling­ham ap­peared to be head­ing to a com­fort­able vic­tory, and had it not been for goal­keeper Chris Neal, Vale could have been out of the game be­fore the hour mark. In par­tic­u­lar, Neal made a stun­ning, quick-fire triple save to deny McDon­ald, Dack and Amine Lin­ganzi when the score was still 1-0.

Yet the visi­tors fin­ished strongly, and Chris Robert­son headed a goal back for them on 81 min­utes, al­though the home side be­lieved Joe Martin had cleared the ef­fort off the line.

Sub­sti­tute Jor­dan Hugill fired home a sec­ond from close range six min­utes later, but un­for­tu­nately for the 200-odd vis­it­ing sup­port­ers, they left Priestfield with a only free pon­cho, and not a share of the points.

Gills boss Peter Tay­lor ad­mit­ted his side were both ex­cel­lent and poor, say­ing: “For 70 min­utes we were out­stand­ing. I think we asked a lot of ques­tions of them and we scored three ex­cel­lent goals. How­ever the last 20 min­utes, we went from do­ing well to be­ing in­cred­i­bly ner­vous.

“We were cruis­ing, and al­though the play­ers didn’t think the lines­man should have given Port Vale’s first goal, I told them that we shouldn’t have col­lapsed the way we did af­ter that.

“I'm over the moon the way the play­ers get a re­sult, but we can also learn a lot from the game.”

STAR MAN ADEBA

YO AKINFE

NWA Gillingh

am

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