Port Vale 3 Oxford United 0
Vale turned on the style in front of the Sky Sports cameras, producing a performance full of quality during the 3-0 win over Oxford United. The Valiants showed the attacking quality that has been so evident this season. In particular, the threat posed by wingers Jennison Myrie-Williams and Ashley Vincent proved too much for the visitors.
Despite an early fierce strike from Sean Rigg, who was making his return to the Potteries after opting to leave the club over the summer, Vale always looked the more likely winners. After clipping the top of the bar with a clever left footed effort, it came as no surprise when Vale`s leading scorer Tom Pope notched his thirteenth goal of a memorable campaign. The striker was always on the lookout for the slightest of chances, and he displayed his predatory instincts when following up Louis Dodds` shot from close range. Micky Adams` side threatened to extend the lead before half time, but then didn`t have to wait long into the second period to double the lead. Ashley Vincent sprung the offside trap, before finding the corner of the net from the tightest of angles. The coup de grace was provided by Sam Morsy, who can count himself fortunate still to be on the field following a studs up challenge on Forster-Caskey. Nevertheless, the midfielder produced a real moment of quality to seal the points. Myrie-Williams, who was a constant menace down the right hand side, cut the ball back to the former Wolverhampton Wanderers youth team player, who stroked the ball with expert precision past Clarke in the Yellows` goal.
A downside to the performance was a serious looking injury to Ryan Burge, who limped off early in the second half with what appeared to be a recurrence of the knee problem that kept him out for the whole of last season. With Morsy suspended for Saturday`s game with Wycombe Wanderers and Doug Loft and Darren Murphy missing through injury, it provides the first real test of Adams` threadbare squad. The Vale boss may seek special dispensation from the Football League to bring in an extra body. With the club`s exit from administration edging ever closer following news of Paul Wildes being granted preferred bidder status by administrators Begbies-Traynor, Adams will be hoping this enables him to add some much needed depth to the squad. There can be little doubt on this evidence that the Valiants possess the necessary quality to maintain a promotion push.