‘Fan­tas­tic’ sub Bikey is lauded by Brown

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By John Brind­ley

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.”

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