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Report: Town 1-0 Port Vale

28 December 2014

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ANDY Williams’s second half winner sealed a 1-0 win over Port Vale to push Town back into the League 1 automatic promotion places.

The frontman netted his third goal in just two matches to secure all three points for the home side.

Nathan Thompson was the headline absentee from the starting XI as he missed out with an injury. There were recalls to the side for Harry Toffolo and Jon Obika while Michael Smith dropped to the bench.

The opening exchanges saw both sides trade effort from distance with neither goalkeeper being seriously tested. Ben Gladwin twice fired off target for the hosts before Nathan Byrne was denied by Neal having been picked out by Andy Williams.

Toffolo side-footed a shot over the bar after good work from Louis Thompson while Andy Williams was convinced he had broken the deadlock only to watch as Neal’s outstretched leg hooked the ball off the line and away to safety. Thompson also fired over before the half was over.

Swindon started the second period as they had ended the first. Louis Thompson went closest with a shot that flashed across goal and wide. Jon Obika then connected with an in-swinging Gladwin free-kick and planted the ball in the back of the net. As he wheeled away to celebrate, his joy was cut short by the linesman’s flag signalling an offside and the goal was chalked off.

Just before the hour mark, the home side made the crucial breakthrough. Nathan Byrne’s trickery on the right created an inch of space to clip a delicate chip over to the far post where Andy Williams rose highest to direct a header into the back of the net.

Town had further opportunities to stretch their lead: Williams blazed over the bar while Byrne saw his shot saved by Neal.

At the other end, Foderingham had to be alert to keep out a tame shot from the edge of the area while some last-gasp defending towards the end kept the visitors at bay.

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