Page is proud as Vale pick up the bill
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.”