Darrell Clarke slams Port Vale mentality as Cheltenham pinch dramatic point



Posted Sunday, September 04, 2022 by PA

Darrell Clarke slams Port Vale mentality as Cheltenham pinch dramatic point

Manager Darrell Clarke blasted Port Vale’s lack of resolve as they conceded a stoppage-time goal and had to settle for a 2-2 draw at home to Cheltenham.

Charlie Brown touched the ball in from close range to earn the Robins a point on the road, leaving Clarke questioning his players’ willingness to take responsibility.

He said: “It’s a frustrating afternoon and a very lacklustre certainly first 25 or 30 minutes of the game.

“It’s work and it’s my job and my coaching staff’s job to make sure the players take the work on board and they do the work, if not they find themselves out of the team.

“They are capable. We are working very hard to keep this club going forward and we will keep this club going forward.

“With that, players’ mentality and mindset have to be stronger, with and without the ball.

“Not enough took good enough responsibility, certainly with the ball, and this is what separates players that are going to stay on and kick on here and move forward with the club to the ones that fall by the wayside.”

Mipo Odubeko’s debut goal had helped Vale hit back to lead 2-1 before half-time.

The West Ham loanee headed in David Worrall’s cross in the 37th minute to make it 1-1 and within three minutes Vale were in front.

Mal Benning’s corner was nodded towards goal by Will Forrester at the far post and as Taylor Perry attempted to clear it off the line, he could only end up touching it into his own net.

Cheltenham had taken the lead through Dan Nlundulu, who turned sharply after James Olayinka’s pass before finishing confidently in the 24th minute.

Vale nearly extended their lead early in the second half when Benning’s shot was deflected past the left post and Forrester nodded an in-swinging corner from Worrall just wide.

Ellis Harrison saw a header hit the bar with goalkeeper Luke Southwood beaten in the 74th minute.

Ben Garrity’s cross was then headed wide by a flying Harrison as Vale missed chances to put the game out of reach before Brown forced the ball over the line from close range in the final seconds.

Cheltenham boss Wade Elliott was delighted with the spirit his team showed to rescue something for the 214 travelling fans to celebrate.

He said: “It speaks of their character but also their fitness to keep going like that for 93 or 94 minutes.

“They had the guts, heart and desire to keep pushing and keep believing, so it was the least they deserved.

“Going behind was of our own making because the first goal we missed a tackle in midfield and it was against the run of play.

“We have a nasty tendency to concede quite soon again and we were really naive from the kick-off and invited them onto us.

“We had to sustain two or three minutes of pressure which results in a corner, which they end up scoring from. We have young lads learning their game, ironing things out and our job is to fast track them.”

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