Page is proud as Vale pick up the bill

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Jamie Bow­man

PORT Vale boss Robert Page re­vealed his play­ers paid for their own ho­tel rooms fol­low­ing their mid­week cup win over Maiden­head United as they over­came both a pun­ish­ing sched­ule and icy con­di­tions to record a third con­sec­u­tive league win.

Play­ing less than 48 hours af­ter pro­gress­ing in the FA Cup at the ex­pense of the Non-Lea­guers, Vale showed few signs of tired­ness af­ter scor­ing two goals in the open­ing ten min­utes be­fore with­hold­ing re­lent­less late pres­sure from Ch­ester­field.

Page said: “Credit to the lads they’ve been tremen­dous and first class pro­fes­sion­als.

“They’ve dipped into their own pock­ets and or­gan­ised to stay down af­ter the game.We didn’t see it as pro­duc­tive to come back in the early hours and then have less than 24 hours to get a ses­sion in.

“The lads paid for it them­selves, re­cov­ered well and it’s worked. They are the ul­ti­mate pro­fes­sion­als to do that and you’ve got to pre­pare your­self prop­erly to get the win and I firmly be­lieve that’s what helped us get this re­sult.”

Ch­ester­field laid siege to the Vale goal in the open­ing six min­utes but it was the hosts who scored with their first at­tack af­ter the ex­cel­lent Sam Kelly threaded a daisy cut­ter to the right of the div­ing Tommy Lee.

The visi­tors struck back al­most im­me­di­ately when a poor de­fen­sive header from Richard Duffy found its way to Sam Morsey whose cross was volleyed in by an un­marked Lee No­vak.

No sooner had the home fans be­gun be­rat­ing their de­fence, Kelly sprinted up the left wing be­fore plac­ing a lovely cross at the feet of the in­com­ing AJ Leitch-Smith who pow­ered the ball be­yond Lee for his fourth goal in three games.

Vale in­creased their ad­van­tage soon af­ter the break when An­thony Grant laid the ball off to Louis Dodds whose right­footed shot from just out­side the area re­bounded in off the left-hand up­right.

Ch­ester­field con­tin­ued to threaten with Jak Al­nwick deny­ing No­vak in the 68th minute be­fore sub­sti­tute Oliver Banks clipped the bar with a long-range drive.

The pres­sure even­tu­ally told when Rai Simmons un­leashed a stun­ning curl­ing shot into the top cor­ner in stop­page time but it was too lit­tle too late.

Ch­ester­field man­ager Dean Saunders added: “We scored a great goal through No­vak and then dom­i­nated.

“They’ve had four shots and scored three and we dom­i­nated from start to fin­ish and took the game to them. Seven or eight dif­fer­ent play­ers got to the by­line and we’ve missed many chances.”

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