View From The Bycars
Wow! A splendid occasion got the splendid performance it deserved. The truest truism in football is that goals change games. Lee Hughes`s terrific header on 12 minutes brought to an end a scrappy and inconsequential opening in which Maghoma briefly looked like he might be a threat. Hughes`s goal, from a great Jones cross, was very similar to Tom Pope`s first goal against Cheltenham Town, but this time the Vale did not let their opponents off the hook. Burton were run ragged. They could not cope with the movement of Birchall and the outstanding Loft. Loft`s abilities are better suited to playing wide and tucking in. It gives him more freedom and allows him to create space for others.
Yates and Jones poured forward virtually unhampered. Burton posed no threat. Symes was so isolated up front that it seemed he might be suffering from a communicable disease. Burton huffed and puffed in the second half, but in order to get any of the ball they had to squeeze the midfield and play a very high line that left them vulnerable to the pace of Myrie-Williams, Loft and (eventually) Williamson. Vale really did seem as though they might score at will.
A word of praise for Myrie-Williams for a gritty performance when he clearly was not fit; and a word of criticism for Anthony Griffith, who managed to get booked for dissent with his team leading 5-1!
Unfortunately, 7-1 victories only receive the same points as 1-0 victories. It was obviously a huge blow to Burton, not least in terms of confidence, though they were missing some key players, but the win does nothing to change Vale`s fundamental situation. The campaign is far from done and dusted. We need to keep winning. I have a feeling that Aldershot Town will prove more difficult opponents on Tuesday evening.