Valiant fightback pays off for Page
A STATEMENT of intent was how Rob Page saw Port Vale’s brilliant second-half comeback to stun struggling Peterborough United and re-invigorate their play-off hopes.
Louis Dodds’ deflected effort won the points for the visitors after JJ Hooper had glanced home fellowsubstitute Ryan McGivern’s left-wing cross in a late double salvo.
Byron Moore had pulled a goal back for the Valiants shortly after the interval, who went behind to Jon Taylor’s volley inside 75 seconds and a first professional goal for Aaron Williams.
Vale, unbeaten in four matches, are three points off the play-offs and Page believes his side can make a late push for the top six.
He said:“I could not be any more proud of my players.We dug in and we never gave up the fight to come out with the win.
“At half-time I was just frustrated for them. I did not think that was a true reflection of what we are about. I knew we could improve by a great margin and I did not think they could.
“We have given ourselves a fantastic opportunity now and we are going into three games that we think are winnable.
“That’s made a statement. For us to come here and get the three points has shown our intent.”
A fifth straight home league loss for Posh seemed unlikely when they broke from a Vale corner, leading to a Harry Toffolo cross which Taylor volleyed in from ten yards out.
Vale then lost centrehalf Ryan Inniss – who was taken to hospital after landing awkwardly and coughing up blood on the pitch – before Williams fired home at Chris Neal’s near post.
The visitors responded well after the break with Moore finding space inside the area to score low into the net. Vale then squandered several excellent chances before Hooper headed in and Dodds converted Sam Kelly’s pass from ten yards out.
It’s now just one point in seven matches for Posh and boss Graham Westley admitted: “If I was a fan of this football club right now I would be hammering me, fuming that we are where we are, asking how do you allow a twogoal lead to slip?
“I would probably be also realising we are going through a massive transition. The one thing I would be saying is this – unity is the biggest strength of all.
“At half-time we talked about dominating the ball. The early goal really put us on the back foot. They went into defence mode.
“There was a little bit of a capitulation when they equalised and we went on to lose the game.”
STAR MAN JJ HOOPE