Vale end Blues' unbeaten run on the road
Port Vale 2 Wycombe Wanderers 1
All good things must come to an end, and this afternoon at Vale Park it was Wycombe's unbeaten record away from home that fell by the wayside.
The Blues played some good stuff at times, but the Valiants created far more clear-cut chances and if it weren't for some wayward finishing on their part and some excellent saves from Nikki Bull, the margin of victory would have been greater.
The first warning sign came after only four minutes when an incisive passing move from Vale carved the Wycombe defence apart with ease only for Justin Richards to place his shot wide of the post with only the keeper to beat.
A few minutes later Bull made his first save of the day when he denied Marc Richards who had found time to turn and shoot from just inside the box.
It was a good spell of pressure for the home side and they made it count after 11 minutes when central-defender John McCombe opened the scoring from close range.
Wycombe had only partially cleared a corner, and when the ball was crossed back into the danger area, Marc Richards knocked it across the face of goal where McCombe applied the finishing touch with a diving header.
The goal seemed to spur Wycombe into action and they equalised only five minutes later when Dave Winfield headed home a Matt Bloomfield corner.
The Blues went on to enjoy their best spell of the match between Winfield's goal and half-time, but for all their possession they couldn't fashion another shot on target.
Vale were on the back foot, but as the first-half drew to a close, Bull had to make an absolutely breathtaking save to prevent them from regaining the lead.
Gary Roberts found Justin Richards unmarked on the left and his low cross was inch perfect for the on-rushing Marc Richards who looked stunned when Bull saved his shot from point blank range.
Stuart Beavon fired one high and wide just after the break, but Vale were soon applying pressure of their own, and after a couple of near misses, they regained the lead when defender McCombe scored his second of the game - hooking home a Gary Roberts free-kick after 61 minutes.
The Blues had it all to do again, but try as they might, they couldn't get past a solid Vale defence.
Kevin Betsy screwed one past the post from 20 yards and Andy Sandell fired one at the keeper from the same distance, but the only clear-cut chance fell to Ben Strevens in the final minute when a corner was nodded on and he made contact at the far post but couldn't direct his effort on target.
It was by no means a poor performance from Wycombe, but they will be disappointed to have dominated possession and yet only managed two shots on target all game.
Moan of the Day - The numerous short-corner routines that went horribly wrong and almost invariably meant losing possession while most of our players were still in the box waiting for a cross that never arrived.
Man of the Match - Nikki Bull
Bull, Foster, Winfield, Westwood, Sandell, Ainsworth, Bloomfield, Montrose, Betsy, Strevens, Beavon
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