‘Fantastic’ sub Bikey is lauded by Brown
MICHAEL BROWN spoke openly about the risks he took to secure a backs-to-the-wall point to aid Port Vale’s relegation battle.
Several smart saves from goalkeeper Deniz Mehmet and an unlucky afternoon in front of goal prevented polished MK Dons from cashing in on their superiority.
And the Vale caretaker boss admitted: “We’re rushing players back ridiculously quickly – several shouldn’t have played in that game.
“Then to make things worse we lose Remie Streete (hamstring) and Kiko (calf).
“We certainly didn’t expect Andre (Bikey) to be on the pitch so early. He hasn’t had any minutes but experience and adrenalin got him through. He put in a fantastic performance. Several lads ran through a wall for us.
“It was a point gained and the table is now much tighter. I think we can get something from the bigger clubs with our full team.”
Lively winger Harvey Barnes rapped a post after five minutes as the visitors took charge.
Mehmet twice denied Kieran Agard and the formidable Bikey made a brilliant block from Robbie Muirhead in the 59th minute. There were enough half chances and near misses for MK to win comfortably. Yet Vale, now one point from safety, went so close to winning it themselves 12 minutes from time when David Martin did brilliantly to parry JJ Hooper’s shot and substitute Rigino Cicilia slid his effort into the side netting.
Otherwise home fans relied on a sense of injustice to raise their voices, notably when defender George Williams saw yellow instead of red after his back-hander on Chris Eagles.
MK’s chief threat came from the twinkling feet of Barnes while the experienced Eagles offered an occasional threat for Vale, notably when shooting inches wide with Martin rooted in the 52nd minute.
MK boss Robbie Neilson said: “I’m hugely disappointed we didn’t get three points.
“We played well in the first half but our decision making let us down in the second when it got scrappy.
“I took Agard off to give us more energy and Maecky Ngombo showed that in glimpses. Robbie (Muirhead) played well, but I want to see him get into the box and score more goals.
“Vale probably had two real chances and didn’t create a lot.
“This is a difficult period for everyone at the club but there’s still a lot to play for. We want a top-half finish.”