This afternoon’s game at Vale Park between Port Vale Reserves and Notts County Reserves in the Central League North was played in a blustery wind and at times, torrential rain.
The Notts team was a young one made up of seven youth team players plus Dunn, Crawford, Osborne & Campbell.
Owen Newell, Owen Betts, Declan Dunn & Leo Marshall
Kieran Cummings, Oscar Ramirez, Tom Crawford & Sam Osborne
Coden Duncan & Remaye Campbell
The Port Vale starting XI looked an older more experienced side.
Not surprisingly Port Vale began the game well and were soon 2-0 up and, thanks to some fine saves from Max Culverwell in the Notts goal and some poor finishing they missed a host of chances which would have had the game won by half time. Instead, thanks to good work by Notts they ended the first half on a high ending with Sam Osborne tucking the ball away from around the edge of the six yard area and they went in at half-time only 2-1 down.
15 minutes into the second half and Notts equalised with a penalty for hand-ball which was put away by Remaye Campbell to make it 2-2.
On 78 minutes a superb individual goal from Sam Osborne made it 4-3 and put Notts back in with a chance of taking something from the game.
However, a comedy goal for Port Vale completed the scoring with only about five minutes left as an initial header from their no.9 hit the post but in the ensuing scramble to clear the ball one of the Notts defenders hit his clearance against another Notts defender with the ball rebounding into the back of the net to give a final score of a 5-3 victory to Port Vale.
With eight goals it was an entertaining game to watch with Notts giving a good account of themselves against a much bigger, stronger and more experienced side.
Just a very quick look at the stats shows that the average age of the Notts team was around 18 and the total number of FL appearances was negligible.
The ages of the Port Vale’s starting XI on the other hand ranged from 18 to 35 with an average of 26 and with a massive 2,300 FL appearances between them e.g. Danny Pugh (35) had 358, Anthony Kay (35) 571, Dave Worrall (28) 350 and Michael Tonge (35) 478.
Quite literally men against boys.