Louis can be Vale’s prize as­set says Page

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

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

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