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MATCH REPORT: Swindon Town 3-2 Port Vale

Reds Secure A Big Three Points In Style

17 February 2018

Paul Mullin notched a late winner to give Swindon Town all three points in a 3-2 win against Port Vale at The Energy Check County Ground this afternoon.

David Worrall and Tom Pope combined to allow Michael Tonge to give The Valiants an early lead, but parity was soon restored thanks to Marc Richards' sixth goal for the club.

Richards then doubled his and his team's tally but the scores were level going into the second-half thanks to Cristian Montano's header.

However, the Reds once again showed their character as Paul Mullin came off the bench to hit a late, late winner.

Town were forced into making just one change with Chris Robertson replacing the injured Olly Lancashire at the heart of the defence.

Following the heartbreaking defeat to Wycombe Wanderers in midweek, Dave Flitcroft's side were looking to bounce back and continue their superb home form since the turn of the year.

It was the visitors who got off to a bright start, however, as Cristian Montano saw an effort blocked before Nathan Smith thumped home from a free-kick, although the offside flag cut short his celebrations.

It wasn't long before Town carved out a chance of their own though as Luke Norris flashed a drive just past the far post.

The first goal of the game arrived moments later but it went the way of the guests with Michael Tonge slamming home from close-range after a free-kick wasn't cleared.

Town did well to compose themselves so quickly after going a goal down and they were putting pressure on their guests. 

Matty Taylor's cross was missed by a Vale defender but it arrived too quickly for Marc Richards who could only blaze over, before Ollie Banks sent an ambitious drive from distance well wide of the goal.

Vale were looking dangerous every time they poured forward and they went close to doubling their advantage with Tom Pope heading just over from a corner.

But Town were soon back level and it came courtesy of a similar source. Taylor picked out Richards perfectly with a weighted cross and the striker was able to head home the equaliser emphatically.

Swindon were on top for the rest of the first-half but they were struggling to break down a stubborn Vale outfit. 

There was the odd chance though as Norris curled over from 20-yards out, before the striker played a big role in his side's second of the game. 

A big mistake at the back between Vale's keeper and defender allowed Norris to tee up Richards, and the in-form frontman had an easy finish to score his and Town's second goal of the afternoon.

But the scores were soon level once again after Cristian Montano leapt highest to head home from a corner to make it honours even at the break.

Banks could only send a drive way over in what was the first action of the second-half, while Joe Davis thumped a header just over the bar at the other end.

Keshi Anderson was unable to keep his first-time effort down and Timi Elsnik warmed the palms of Ryan Boot from 25-yards out as the game began to open up a bit more.

Banks was next to try his luck as he was found by Chris Robertson's header after the defender was picked out by Taylor's free-kick, but the midfielder was unable to keep his shot down.

Town opted to make two changes just past the hour mark with James Dunne and Kaiyne Woolery replacing Timi Elsnik and Luke Norris respectively.

And Woolery got involved straight in the thick of the action as he cut in before firing a shot down the throat of Boot.

The game turned into a tight and cagey affair in the closing stages with chances few and far between at both ends.

Paul Mullin replaced Keshi Anderson with ten-minutes remaining, shortly after Tonge had dragged a shot just wide for the visitors.

And Mullin proved to be a super-sub as he latched onto Kyle Knoyle's header in the dying minutes before flicking a shot over the head of Boot and into the back of the net to clinch all three points.

TEAMS AND STATS:

SCORERS - Michael Tonge (11), Marc Richards (24, 39), Cristian Montano (43), Paul Mullin (89).

SWINDON TOWN (3-5-2) - Charles-Cook; Purkiss, Robertson, Menayese; Knoyle, Banks, Elsnik (James Dunne 63), Anderson (Paul Mullin 79), Taylor; Norris (Kaiyne Woolery 63), Richards (C).

SUBS NOT USED: Moore, Romanski, Iandolo.

PORT VALE (4-4-2) - Boot; Gibbons, Smith, Howkins, Harness (Tyrone Barnett 26) (Donovan Wilson 82); Worrall (Joe Davis 45), Pugh, Tonge, Hannant; Montano; Pope (C). 

SUBS NOT USED: Lainton, Raglan, Jules, Forrester. 

BOOKINGS:

SWINDON TOWN - Rollin Menayese.

PORT VALE - Tom Pope, Luke Hannant.

Referee - Andy Woolmer.

Attendance - 5,713.


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