- Tuesday, 24 April 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
Marc Richards headed his 16th goal of the season to earn Port Vale a 1-0 victory against Mustapha Carayol’s Bristol Rovers, who had defender Tom Parkes sent off in the first-half.
Parkes threatened from a first minute corner when he hooked a shot narrowly wide, but Vale were soon on the front foot with forwards Tom Pope and Richards combining well and Richards delivered in the 23rd minute when his eight-yard header from Sean Rigg’s left-wing cross deflected off Rovers midfielder Jim Paterson to wrong-foot visiting goalkeeper Scott Bevan.
The visitors improved with Mustapha Carayol causing Vale a few problems, but Mark McGhee’s side had a mountain to climb after Parkes was shown a straight red card six minutes before the break.
The centre-back launched a two-footed lunge on Chris Shuker and the Vale midfielder was fortunate to escape serious injury. Valiants defender Joe Davis was inches away from putting Eliot Richards’ cross into his own net three minutes after the interval, but the home side were in cruise control for much of the second period.
Adam Yates, Shuker and Louis Dodds, who forced two fine saves from Bevan, threatened to add a killer goal as the outnumbered visitors battled to stay in the game.
The defeat comes just one week after the team scored seven goals against Burton Albion. McGhee said that Eliot Richards’ performance wasn’t a patch on last week and said Mustapha Carayol’s performance was ‘very disappointing’.
“He [Carayol] is so vital to our attacking prospects that when he plays as poorly as he did today then we aren’t going to be anywhere near as potent as we were last week,” he said.
The defeat leaves Carayol’s Rovers in the bottom half of the table, ahead of their penultimate game of the season, at home with Accrington Stanley next weekend.