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Millers Hit By Papal Canon

Port Vale
6 - 2
Rotherham United

Vale Park

08/09/2012

Attendance: 5,544

Referee:

Tom Pope returned to haunt his old side as his four goals rounded off a scintillating display from the Valiants that condemned Steve Evans` Rotherham to a 6-2 hammering at Vale Park. Micky Adams named the same side for the sixth successive game, the first time Vale had managed this in 18 years. He was repaid in style as his side produced a wonderful display full of verve and attacking intent during the first half in particular.

The game was seen as a test of Vale`s promotion credentials following an impressive start to the season. Going on today`s performance, with the side in this mood, Vale will be more than a match for anyone in the division. With doom and gloom surrounding the club during the close season following the collapse of Keith Ryder`s proposed takeover and the loss of influential players in Marc Richards and Anthony Griffith, hopes for the new season were hardly high. On the evidence of the season thus far, if anything, the Valiants look a better all-round side, being less reliant on what was somewhat of a one dimensional approach in recent times.

Louis Dodds` expertly taken first less than five minutes into the game followed a precise and delicate through ball from Chris Shuker. Some more impressive team play saw Vale double their lead ten minutes later when Myrie-Williams and Shuker combined to play in Duffy on the right hand side and his cross was converted by Pope, who celebrated a goal against his former employers in enthusiastic style.

A joy of Vale`s early season play has been the form of wide men Myrie-Williams and Ashley Vincent, who tormented Rotherham`s full backs to such an extent that Wilson was saved further embarrassment on the half hour mark, while the former Bolton defender Nicky Hunt didn`t fare any better, enduring a miserable debut as he was booked and given a torrid time before being replaced at half time. A close range finish from Pope was followed by a terrific fourth from Vincent. The Millers were hit on the counter attack as the Birmingham born winger raced on to a through ball before outpacing the Rotherham defence and firing an unstoppable shot past Shearer. Worse looked set to follow for the visitors. However. Michael O`Connor`s goal restored some pride, and credit to Rotherham, and in particular the impressive Ben Pringle, who continued to press forward at the beginning of the second half in search of an unlikely comeback. A disputed free kick led to an equally disputed penalty which Daniel Nardiello coolly dispatched to send panic briefly through the Vale faithful.

Any hope of a collapse mirroring Vale`s infamous 4-4 draw with QPR was ended by Pope`s hat trick. Chris Shuker`s free kick was deflected onto the post and Pope, often so unselfish for the team, scored an uncharacteristic typical 'striker`s` goal, poking in from close range. More haphazard defending gifted Vale a sixth and Pope a fourth, when the Sneyd Green born frontman took advantage of an error by Mullins to put the gloss on what was a wonderful afternoon for Vale supporters.

It`s too early to suggest that the good times are back, but after a truly miserable 18 months, today was pure joy for a side and set of supporters who have had to suffer administration, mismanagement and broken promises over recent times. It`s a start at least.


Writer:Tom
Date:Saturday September 8 2012
Time: 8:08PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Sheff Utd 39 23 10 6 79 30
2 Bolton 39 22 9 8 75 28
3 Fleetwood 39 19 12 8 69 19
4 Scunthorpe 40 19 10 11 67 21
5 Bradford 40 16 18 6 66 15
6 Southend 39 17 12 10 63 13
7 Millwall 38 16 12 10 60 8
8 Rochdale 38 16 9 13 57 6
9 Bristol Rovers 40 15 12 13 57 -1
10 Oxford 39 16 8 15 56 5
11 Peterborough 40 15 10 15 55 1
12 Walsall 39 13 14 12 53 -2
13 Wimbledon 39 12 15 12 51 1
14 Northampton 40 14 8 18 50 -6
15 MK Dons 39 12 12 15 48 -1
16 Charlton 39 10 17 12 47 3
17 Bury 40 12 10 18 46 -7
18 Oldham 40 10 15 15 45 -12
19 Gillingham 40 11 12 17 45 -17
20 Shrewsbury 39 11 10 18 43 -14
21 Port Vale 38 10 12 16 42 -17
22 Swindon 40 10 9 21 39 -18
23 Chesterfield 40 8 9 23 33 -28
24 Coventry 40 7 11 22 32 -27
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