Louis can be Vale’s prize asset says Page
LOUIS Dodds earned his side a point against fast-starting Gillingham and Port Vale manager Rob Page is confident there is much more to come from his goalscorer.
Gills, who thrashed Sheffield United 4-0 on the opening weekend, went ahead through Bradley Dack, only for Dodds to level things up – and it stayed that way.
Dodds is a familiar part of the furniture at Vale Park, having arrived from Leicester City back in 2008, and the manager is hoping the best is yet to come.
“I thought Louis took the goal well and played some good football,” said Page.
“We spoke earlier in the week and I asked him to contribute more, because I believe that he is one of the most gifted players at this level and I am really pleased he has got the goal.
“I am really pleased with our play so far this season and I think Gillingham will pick up points away from home this term and they are quality at home.
“From an attacking point of view we could have kept the ball better second half. For the lads out wide it was difficult on a pitch that was hard for them to get the ball down. We created our own problems really, but we showed character to get back into the game.”
The Valiants were on the attack in the first minute with a header from Ryan Inniss off an Enoch Andoh free-kick, but keeper Stuart Nelson scrambled the ball to safety.
They were behind on 16 minutes when Dack blasted home a Jordan Houghton free-kick from close range – awarded inside the area after keeper Jak Alnwick picked up a back pass.
It took a fine strike from Dodds to level things up after 35 minutes, after Byron Moore chested an Anthony Grant cross into his path, and Vale came close to taking the lead on 51 minutes when Inniss rattled the bar. Gills substitute Jake Hessenthaler forced Alnwick into a save on 79 minutes and that was the last clear-cut chance for either side.
“I thought Bradley Dack dispatched the goal well because it was a very difficult execution being that close to the goal and coming off an indirect freekick,” said Gills boss Justin Edinburgh.
“It was a very good finish and I am delighted for him.The goal came at the right time because we started slow but I thought we worked our way back into the game.
“To be fair we were up against a good Port Vale side today, they were strong and played some good football. I thought all over the pitch it was a good contest.
“The character we showed was good and some questions have been answered and it has shown that we can do both sides of the game.”
STAR MAN ANTHO
NY GRANT PortVale