Mar­shall puts Vale back on right Page

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

GIVEN a six-week ul­ti­ma­tum to prove his worth as Micky Adams’ suc­ces­sor, Port Vale care­taker man­ager Rob Page was in­debted to Mark Mar­shall for a win­ning start as the mid­fielder’s stun­ning late goal downed Barns­ley

he home side ended a run of six suc­ces­sive de­feats that cul­mi­nated in Adams’ res­ig­na­tion on Thurs­day, with chair­man Nor­man Smurth­waite grant­ing his as­sis­tant Page the reins un­til the end of Oc­to­ber.

Vale took a first-half lead through Michael O’Con­nor’s ex­quis­ite curl­ing free-kick beyond for­mer Chelsea keeper Ross Turn­bull be­fore the mid­fielder felled Conor Houri­hane after the break, with the Barns­ley mid­fielder con­vert­ing his spot-kick.

After Jor­dan Slew struck a penalty over the bar for the hosts, the im­pres­sive Mar­shall once again tor­mented the vis­it­ing de­fence be­fore plac­ing a right-foot shot past Turn­bull to score an 89th-minute win­ner.

And a de­lighted Page in­sisted his role does not re­quire him to re-ed­u­cate his play­ers, but re­store the belief that has been ab­sent around Vale Park this sea­son.

“I’m over the moon. It’s al­ways nice to get off to a win­ning start and I’m proud of the per­for­mance,” he said.

“Since the events of Thurs­day, I’ve had two or three ses­sions with the play­ers and told them noth­ing, apart from what they al­ready know. If I’ve got to tell them how to play foot­ball, then there’s some­thing wrong.

“Last sea­son, we would have gone on to lose. They’re a fan­tas­tic group but some­times they lack con­fi­dence and belief.

“You know what Mark is ca­pa­ble of and to­tal re­spect to him that they had to take their right­back off at half-time. He scored a great goal and could have had more.”

After Joe Dud­geon tripped Louis Dodds just out­side the area on 24 min­utes, O’Con­nor claimed his first goal for the club be­fore Jean-Yves M’voto’s clear­ance pre­vented Dodds from dou­bling Vale’s lead.

O’Con­nor then need­lessly pushed Houri­hane in the box, lead­ing to Barns­ley’s equaliser be­fore Slew’s woe­ful ef­fort from the spot on 70 min­utes after he was pulled down by M’voto.

Yet Mar­shall popped up to have the last word and Barns­ley man­ager Danny Wilson said:“It’s typ­i­cal of a team to play like that after the man­ager’s gone.

“It re­ally sur­prises me, but they were de­ter­mined and I’m sure they’re de­lighted with the re­sult from the day.We were bet­ter in the sec­ond half, but we were a shadow of our­selves.”

STAR MAN MARK MARSH

ALL PortVale

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