Bennett earned his start – Askey

Posted Wednesday, August 21, 2019 by PA

Bennett earned his start – Askey

John Askey played down his surprise decision to start Richie Bennett against Forest Green after the forward’s early goal helped Port Vale to a 2-1 win.

Bennett’s opener was cancelled out immediately by Joseph Mills but David Amoo’s 34th-minute strike proved the difference as Mark Cooper’s Rovers suffered their first defeat of the campaign.

Askey raised a few eyebrows from home supporters by starting Bennett ahead of Tom Pope but the Valiants boss felt his decision was vindicated.

He said: “He did really well when he came on on Saturday (against Salford). He got a goal. It’s as simple as that really.

“Tom’s not getting any younger. To play him Saturday, Tuesday is asking a bit much, so it was quite an easy decision really.

“I’m really pleased about the performance as much as anything. Some of the football that we played first half – anybody that’s been to watch surely would have enjoyed the game.

“It’s only nail-biting at the end because we haven’t put our chances away. We had some easier chances tonight. It just makes it hard for us in the last 10 minutes, especially with what’s happened in previous games, but I thought we thoroughly deserved it.

“I know we hadn’t lost (this season) but just to get that win now takes the pressure off a little bit and moves us up the table.”

Vale led after four minutes when a cross from James Gibbons was headed home from close range by Bennett.

Their lead lasted barely two minutes as Gibbons gifted the ball straight to Mills, who drove into the box and side-footed home the equaliser.

An entertaining first half eventually swung in Vale’s favour when Cristian Montano beat his man and crossed to Amoo, who fired into the roof of the net.

Despite squandering a host of chances to put the result beyond doubt Vale comfortably held out for a win that left Forest Green boss Cooper hugely disappointed with his team’s defending.

He said: “We wasted the first half really. We conceded two goals from crosses, not marking in the box.

“Port Vale were better than us in the first half. They had more desire. We got straight back in it after the first goal but we didn’t improve.

“The second half I thought we were on the front foot and we were just hoping we could get a little bit of creativity to get us that goal, but it didn’t come.

“The goals kill me. We’ve done hours and hours on defending crosses. We’ve got three centre-halves in the six-yard box and their man scores.

“When you come to places like this you know they’re going to put crosses in the box, so you have to be able to defend them.”


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