Jordan stands in for Pope at Easter

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

JORDAN Hugill had big boots to fill when he was sent on to re­place the in­jured Tom Pope – but af­ter grab­bing the win­ner the young Port Vale striker is des­per­ate for fur­ther chances to show what he can do.

The 21-year-old re­placed Pope when the club’s top-scorer was taken off on a stretcher with an an­kle in­jury on the half hour and slot­ted home the win­ner 18 min­utes later.

Hugill has trained with the first team for the past two sea­sons but had not scored since Fe­bru­ary hav­ing been re­called ear­lier in the sea­son from a fine loan spell at Gateshead.

The striker has tried to force his way into the side by stay­ing be­hind for ex­tra train­ing ses­sions and af­ter prov­ing he can lead the line has vowed to con­tinue his fas­tid­i­ous ap­proach.

“I was look­ing for­ward to get­ting back into the team, the gaffer had given me a few hints in train­ing,” said Hugill. “He told me what he wanted and when I went on for Tom Pope I got onto a few crosses and nearly scored with one, I felt I put shift in to help the team and we man­aged to get a re­sult

“Hope­fully I can carry on per­form­ing if I get the chance. I will go back into train­ing and try my best. It’s up to the gaffer whether I get into the team or not but I do all that I can in­clud­ing ex­tra train­ing.

“I’ve trained with the first team for two sea­sons now but only come on this sea­son but it’s dif­fi­cult when you only get a few min­utes.”

The vis­i­tors came ag­o­nis­ingly close to tak­ing the lead on 11 min­utes when Izale McLeod fired onto the cross­bar from just in­side the box.

Ryan Lloyd brought Vale to life on 16 min­utes when he shot just wide and Carl Dickinson saw his 30-yard ef­fort eas­ily saved by David Martin.

The home side grew in con­fi­dence but Pope’s in­jury and the in­tro­duc­tion of Hugill stunted their progress.

And Dons al­most cap­i­talised as Matthew Kennedy’s ef­fort rat­tled Port Vale’s cross­bar.

But the sides went in level at the break and, just two min­utes into the sec­ond half, Vale’s en­forced change proved de­ci­sive.

“I thought we started quite bright, hit the bar twice, but we keep miss­ing chances. I’m dis­ap­pointed with the ef­fort from some of the play­ers,” said MK Dons boss Karl Robin­son.

“I thought sec­ond half we were very lethar­gic they made it look like an end of sea­son game and some of them are on trial.

“I keep harp­ing on but we had some big play­ers out, it’s dif­fi­cult not hav­ing any strik­ers at the club that can re­ally change any­thing.”

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STAR MAN CARL DICKIN

SON Port­Vale

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