Streete paves the way for Valiants

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Les Scott

THIS hard-fought win over an en­ter­pris­ing Gilling­ham side means Port Vale have tri­umphed in their first five home matches of a sea­son for the first time since 1933, with man­ager Bruno Ribeiro re­lieved that an im­proved sec­ond half per­for­mance en­sured they made the mark.

Goals from Remie Streete and Alex Jones, who is on loan from Birm­ing­ham, gave Vale the three points, lift­ing Ribeiro’s side to fifth in the process.

Vale were well off the pace in the first half but Ribeiro de­clared him­self more than happy with their turn­around.

“Gilling­ham dom­i­nated the first half and we strug­gled to get the ball,” he said. “We were sec­ond best and I was re­lieved we were only one goal down at the break.

“At half-time we told the play­ers to be quicker at clos­ing down their mid­field, to play at a higher tempo and have more move­ment on and off the ball. We also told the lads to play wider, to stretch their de­fence.

“I was very pleased with how the play­ers per­formed in the sec­ond half. But we told them, if we are to be se­ri­ous pro­mo­tion con­tenders they have to pro­duce that high­tempo per­for­mance for 90 min­utes, not 45.

“We were far from our best in the first half. But what pleased me was the at­ti­tude of the play­ers. It re­mained very pos­i­tive and that tells me we have great spirit here.”

Gilling­ham were dom­i­nant in the first pe­riod and should have had more to show for their ef­forts than Josh Wright’s side-footed goal on 25 min­utes. Vale were in­debted to Jak Al­nwick who de­nied Scott Wagstaff and then Deji Oshi­laja.

The sec­ond half was a dif­fer­ent story. Vale were on the front foot from the restart and it needed two smart saves from Read­ing loa­nee Jonathan Bond to keep the Gills in the game.

Vale were re­lent­less. Paulo Tavares rat­tled the post and on 75 min­utes Bond could only parry sub­sti­tute Gezim Sha­laj’s low drive and Streete fired home the re­bound.

And six min­utes from time Jones sealed the points af­ter the Gills de­fence failed to clear a cor­ner from the right.

Man­ager Justin Ed­in­burgh said: “It’s very dis­ap­point­ing. We to­tally con­trolled the first half and should have scored two or three but were made to pay.

“They pushed fur­ther up and upped the tempo in the sec­ond half and we didn’t cope with it.

“I have told the play­ers we have to see games out when we play as well as we did in the first half.”

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