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Match Reports

Match Report: Port Vale 1-2 Grimsby Town

Town come from behind to earn all three points

7 October 2017

Leila Coker/PRiME Media Images
Siriki Dembele in action at Port Vale

Siriki Dembele's first-ever professional goal earned Grimsby Town a victory against Port Vale at Vale Park.

The Mariners had to come from behind after striker Tom Pope put the hosts ahead six minutes before half-time.

But Sam Jones restored parity after the break and Dembele completed the turnaround to ensure all three points went back to North East Lincolnshire.

One change was made to the Town side that earned a goalless draw with local rivals Lincoln City last week, with Scott Vernon preferred to Jamille Matt in attack.

James McKeown started in goal, with Ben Davies, Nathan Clarke, Danny Collins and Paul Dixon making up the back four.

Dembele, James Berrett, Luke Summerfield and Martyn Woolford were the midfielders, with Jones joining Vernon up front.

The Grimsby substitutes were Mitch Rose, JJ Hooper, Zak Mills, Karleigh Osborne, Diallang Jaiyesimi, Matt and Ben Killip.

Port Vale were looking for their first win since the opening day of the season and were without a home win in six months, with new manager Neil Aspin aiming for the perfect start in his first game in charge.

Their side included Gavin Gunning, who spent the second half of last season with the Mariners, while striker Tom Pope would hope to get on the scoresheet and further experience came with Michael Tonge and Danny Pugh.

A quiet start to the game produced no chances for either side in the opening 10 minutes, as Town looked for a direct approach to attacks and their hosts failed to cause any significant problems.

McKeown had to come off his line to beat Bournemouth loanee Ben Whitfield to the ball on 12 minutes, before a header back towards his own goal by Summerfield was pushed out for a corner by McKeown, which eventually led to a header by Gunning being saved by the Town keeper.

Whitfield was involved again on 15 minutes after Summerfield gave the ball away but the mistake went unpunished as the shot was saved by McKeown.

A shot by Marcus Harness was blocked as the home side attacked again on 18 minutes, before Tyler Denton was also blocked and Pugh fired wide in what was the game's best chance so far.

McKeown saved from Pope as the home pressure continued, before Town won a corner at the other end when a cross from Vernon was divertd over the bar by Tonge.  Collins' header from Woolford's flag-kick went away from goal and Port Vale cleared.

Dembele tried his luck with a long-range effort on 25 minutes but home keeper Kelle Roos managed to get back and save the swerving shot.

Whitfield dragged a shot wide just before the half-hour, before a foul on Pope by Clarke gave the hosts a free kick, which led to a Gunning header going wide for a goal kick.

Town had a chance when Dixon went for goal from 25 yards but his drive was pushed away by Roos.  The ball came out to Woolford and then Jones but neither could find a way through.

Pugh shot wide from a narrow angle, then the home side made a breakthrough with their next attack.  A cross into the Town box was not dealt with by McKeown and the ball dropped for POPE to turn into the net.

Town's response saw them win a corner but nobody connected with Woolford's ball from the flag and it went out for a throw-in.

One additional minute was signalled to be played at the end of the half and with no further chances created by either side, the Mariners remained a goal down at the interval.

No changes were made before the restart and an early free kick led to Pope turning inside the Town box but the striker was unable to get a shot in.

A shot from Berrett was blocked by Gunning, then Vernon went down under a challenge inside the box but no action was taken as the game continued.

Dembele showed some trickery to cut in from the right and get into the box five minutes into the half but his shot was deflected behind for a corner.

And from the flag, the Mariners had their equaliser, as Woolford's ball was met by JONES, whose flicked header flew into the top corner of the net to make it 1-1.

Vernon sent a header through to keeper Roos after a cross from Dixon, before a home free kick came to nothing as the referee spotted a foul in favour of Town.

Defender James Gibbons gave away a corner just before the hour but Grimsby could not make anything of it, despite Collins' protests that he had been pulled back.

Dembele was denied by Roos after he had got onto the end of a cross with a deft touch at the far post, with Summerfield and Jones unable to capitalise from the rebound.

Substitute David Worrall, on for Whitfield, had a shot saved for the hosts, before a Town corner at the other end was cleared.

Town were getting on top though and after Vernon had a shot saved following a run throough the middle, it was not much longer before they took the lead for the first time in the game.

It was DEMBELE who was on the scoresheet with his first goal for the club, picking the ball up from Jones, then going around Roos and running it into the net.

Anthony de Freitas replaced Harness for Port Vale on 71 minutes, then a cross from Tonge was headed wide by Pope, who unsuccessfully tried to claim a corner.

A cross from Gunning was heaed back across goal by Pope but McKeown claimed the ball as the home side looked for a way back into the game.

Matt and Rose were sent on for the last 10 minutes, with Vernon and Jones making way as Town boss Russell Slade looked for an extra midfielder in a bid to hold onto the 2-1 advantage his side had earned.

A free kick from Woolford soon afterwards was headed on by Clarke for Matt to send a free header wide of the target.

McKeown made a comfortable catch from another Pope header with six minutes to go, then a cross was punched by McKeown and eventually cleared from danger.

Anthony Kay saw a shot blocked by Dixon for a corner as the home side kept pressing for an equaliser, with Mills coming on for Dembele in Grimsby's last substitution with two minutes to go.

A Vale corner was headed over the bar as the game moved into four minutes of added time.

And the home side kept attacking through the additional minutes, with de Freitas having a shot blocked amid a spell of pinball inside the Town box.

But the Mariners were able to see the game out to collect all three points and make it three league games unbeaten since the reverse at Newport.

Town are next in action on Saturday, when they host Crawley Town at Blundell Park.

Port Vale

36 Kelle Roos 
33 Gavin Gunning 
24 Nathan Smith 
6 Antony Kay 
21 James Gibbons 
3 Tyler Denton 
32 Michael Tonge 
8 Danny Pugh 
9 Tom Pope (C) 
7 Marcus Myers-Harness 
31 Ben Whitfield


12 Sam Hornby 
4 Tom Anderson 
5 Joe Davis 
10 David Worrall 
28 Anthony de Freitas 
14 Tyrone Barnett 
19 Dan Turner


1 James McKeown 
2 Ben Davies 
3 Paul Dixon
5 Nathan Clarke (C) 
6 Danny Collins 
19 Luke Summerfield MF
27 Siriki Dembele 89' 
10 Sam Jones 80
25 Martyn Woolford 
7 James Berrett 
21 Scott Vernon 80'


30 Ben Killip 
12 Zak Mills 89' 
14 Karleigh Osborne 
20 Diallang Jaiyesimi 
8 Mitch Rose 80' 
9 JJ Hooper 
29 Jamille Matt 80' 

Attendance: 5,849 with 533 away fans

Referee: Andy Woolmer

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