WANDERERS (3-4-1-2)



His save seconds after the opening goal was pivotal but he also got through a lot of excellent work in the packed penalty box which helped to calm nerves.


Couldn’t have written a better script on his return to Port Vale. Got to see both sides of his game – good on the ball first half, gritty defending second half.


Some heroic blocks towards the end of the game to preserve three points and a clean sheet. Looks very comfortable in the centre of the three. MOM.


A real confidence booster for the Australian, who chipped in with a magnificent defensive effort under pressure in the second period.


Once again one of Bolton’s best attacking outlets early on but showed his skills as a full-back later on coming up with some important challenges and headers.


Back in the team and played a few defence-splitting passes when Bolton were on the front foot. Game didn’t suit him especially when the Whites were pinned back.


Didn’t get much of an opportunity to flex his attacking muscles but his movement, drifting out to the right to create an extra man, caused all sorts of issues for Vale.


Like Morley, the second half didn’t really give him a chance to play his best football, but before the break he was instrumental in absolutely everything Wanderers were doing well.


Covered a lot of ground in both directions and put in some very good crosses from the left too. Really has made a consistent start to the campaign.


Should probably have scored with one of the first couple of chances that fell his way but produced a brilliant finish in the end and created a few too.


Vale couldn’t really live with him at times when he received the ball with back to goal. Ran out of steam a bit in the end but another positive step forward.

Subs: Bodvarsson 65 (for Nlundulu) – Worked really hard in the latter stages.

Jerome 80 (for Charles) – Got through some important work towards the end.

Ashworth 90+2 (for Williams) – Good to see him back.

Not used: Coleman, Khumbeni, Matheson, Andreucci.

Tactics: 7/10 - Vale paid far too much respect to Wanderers in the first half, and both Dacres-Cogley and Williams exploited big spaces on either wing. Things changed after the break and both wing-backs tucked in to help the defensive effort. Evatt had few options from the bench - but the experience of Bodvarsson and Jerome was key in seeing the game out.

Port Vale (3-4-1-2): Ripley; Balmer, Smith, Iacovitti; Grant, Arblaster, Ojo, Plant; Garrity, Devine; Wilson.

Subs: Cass 25 (for Iacovitti), Massey 46 (for Devine), Thomas 46 (for Wilson), Debrah 75 (for Balmer), Sang 75 (for Smith).

Not used: Leutwiler, Lowe.

Referee: Declan Bourne 8/10 – Played a very good advantage in the build up to the Bolton goal and tried his best to keep the game flowing. One of the better refereeing performances of the season so far.

Attendance: 10.457.