A well-deserved point for both teams after Bristol Rovers were left to fight for the equalising goal, after newly signed Robert Harris thrust Port Vale into the lead with an OG. However, a lovely strike from Billy Bodin took the Pirates 1-1, stretching their unbeaten run to five consecutive games.
Bristol Rovers only made the one change; putting defender, Lee Brown, on the bench for Bob Harris, where he made his debut appearance for the blues. Port Vale made four changes to the team, including Jerome Thomas and Chris Eagles.
Only eight minutes into the game, the Pirates had to make an early substitution after defender, Joe Partington, was injured and subsequently replaced by Cristiano Montano. The formation remained 4-4-2 as Stuart Sinclair filled in as a right-back.
The first half of the game didn’t provide many chances to either team. Only minutes before the half-time break, Ryan Sweeney grabbed himself a yellow card after a poor challenge, giving Port Vale the free-kick. Forward, JJ Hooper fired a curling shot which was deflected by a great header from Tom Lockyer.
Centre-back, Jonathan Burn was substituted on for Tom Lockyer at the beginning of the second half, making him the second player to make a debut appearance.
Former Vale player, Chris Lines, nearly took the Pirates into a 1-0 lead against the Valiants after making his run with just him to beat the ‘keeper. However, he fired just too wide and the ball went out of play for a goal-kick.
Vale took the lead after 54 minutes of play when Francisco Rosa’s corner was driven into a dangerous spot for the defence, where Bob Harris’ attempt to deflect the ball out of box directed past Joe Lumley into the back of the net.
— Port Vale FC (@OfficialPVFC) February 18, 2017
The Pirates found themselves fighting for a goal after introducing striker, Luke James, to the pitch after being substituted on for Ellis Harrison. Defender, Jonny Burn’s powerful header after meeting a set-piece was just too high.
However, only 12 minutes left in the game, Billy Bodin put Bristol Rovers equal with Vale; an incredible right-footed shot which went passed Leo Fasan, straight into the net. Bodin kept control of the ball whilst the Valiants had many attempts to tackle the midfielder.
— Bristol Rovers (@Official_BRFC) February 18, 2017
Substitute Callum Guy tried all he could to lead Vale 2-1, but the ball could not lift over Lumley and the match ended with Port Vale 1-1 Bristol Rovers.
The Pirates’ next game is against promotion chasers, Scunthorpe United at the Memorial Stadium. Scunthorpe gained a point after playing Sheffield United. They have only won one of their five previous away games. For the Valiants, they play Bradford City, who sit comfortably in the playoffs.
One Girls Opinion
As a Rovers fan, I am happy with the result, mainly down to the effort we made in the second half. Many Bristol Rovers fans were going into todays game quite optimistic, given Port Vales position in the table. These hopes were set back a little by Bob Harris’ own goal, but it’s one of those mistakes you can work on avoiding. Bristol Rovers continue to sit in 10th and need to start winning a few games in order to progress, as the fight for the playoff spot is not over.