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Match Reports

📝 Match Report: City 4 Port Vale 0

City win big on home League One opener

6 August 2022

After 10 years with no League One football at SJP, City kicked off their home campaign with an emphatic 4-0 battering of last season's promotion rivals.

A beautiful, warm sunny day welcomed The Grecian support back to competitive action at SJP, with 500 Valiants making the long travel down from Stoke, for what was a fantastic day for a game of football.

A Harry Kite barnstormer, a double from the magic man Jevani Brown including one from the spot and another goal for the season from Sam Nombe saw the mighty Grecians easily wrap up a 4-0 win on their Sky Bet League One return

Matt Taylor made a couple changes for today's game, with Jamal Blackman coming in for Scott Brown in goal, to make his hotly anticipated debut for The Grecians and Kite starting over Josh Coley.

Early on in the game Blackman was tested, spilling a shot before smothering at the next attempt - it was a heart in mouths moment for City inside the first two minutes. 

A wasted chance from The Valiants saw the pressure ease for City, the resulting goal kick saw Blackman play through Nombe who is denied by the keeper. City started to mount more pressure with Alex Hartridge making a nuisance with his long throw.

Jevani Brown started the game as he did the last, putting the opposition defence under plenty of pressure. A blocked shot on the edge of the area saw Brown hit a peach of a volley testing the keeper from distance.

Vale also kept the pressure on but the brick wall at the back - otherwise known as Cheick Diabate - prevented any counter attacks making their way through to Blackman in goal. With 19 minutes gone City had their closest chance, with Sam Nombe darting towards the near post and latching on to a low cross. Only to see the ball sail inches wide.

Just before the 22nd minute a corner kick made its way to the back post, only to see Cheick’s header fly over the bar, The Grecians much the team on top.

In the 24th minute an absolutely outrageous finish from Kite gave City a deserved lead. A lovely bit of play from attacking centre half Pierce Sweeney saw the ball end up at Kite's feet, who unleashed a stunning volley into the far corner.

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Jack Sparkes in the 36th minute made a run into the opposing area and was taken with a kick to the heels. Referee Charles Breakspear showed no hesistancy to point to the spot and the opportunity arose to double City's lead.

Up stepped last week's man of the moment Brown, who cooly slotted away from 12 yards to put City twoo to the good. City proving to be the much better side in the first half.  With half time fast approaching, the opposition had their best chance, but Blackman got down easily to his near post and makes the save.

The second half started very much the same for City with the starting XI completely unchanged. Very much the opposite for Vale, with the away side utilising the new 5 sub rule by making a triple change at the break. The Grecians were straight out of the starting blocks on the front foot.

The colossus Frenchman in the midfield Tim Dieng was breaking up everything in the middle of the park, allowing Sweeney, Hartridge and Diabate to relax a lot more in the second half.

In the 56th minute lovely ball round the back from Brown, found Nombe through on goal but a slight stumble as he was about to unleash the shot led to the ball agonisingly going wide of the post.

There was a scary moment at the back from Blackman, who took a little too long with a kick upfield, as his kick was intercepted by vale's Ben Garrity. His blushes were spared thanks to a favourable bounce. Vale were starting to mount some pressure, but an offside from the linesman allowed City to get the ball back under control.

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City regained momentum and were soon three up thanks to superb vision from Kite, unselfishness from Nombe, and a cool finish from Brown.

A lovely pass in behind from Kite led to Nombe and Brown combining once again for Sam to play the ball across goal and Jevani to slot the ball away for his second of the game.

City made it 4-0 only minutes later with Nombe slotting the ball home from close range after a Hartridge long throw to all but put three points on the board for Taylor's rampant Grecians.

Not long after that Matt Taylor gave another debut with Southampton loanee Kegs Chauke getting 15 minutes on the pitch in front of the home fans, replacing Kite.

It's a quick turnaround for City as they head to the Completely-Suzuki Stadium on Tuesday, ready for their first round Carabao cup fixture against Cheltenham.

Starting XI: Blackman, Sparkes, Hartridge, Diabate, Sweeney (C), Key (Caprice), Dieng, Collins (Jay), Kite (Chauke), J. Brown (Grounds), Nombe (Coley).

Subs not used: S.Brown, Stubbs.

Port Vale: Stone, Cass, Hall, Smith (C), Garrity, Benning, Proctor, Ojo, Charsley, Robinson, McDermott

Subs not used: Forrester, Hussey

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 6701 (532 away)


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