March 29, 2013
Pope treble sinks Robins
Tom Pope ended his 11-match barren spell with a sensational hat-trick to earn Port Vale a thrilling 3-2 victory over promotion rivals Cheltenham.
Pope, who was voted the best player in League Two by rival managers last weekend, netted a priceless treble to take his season's tally to 30 goals.
Vale recovered from the early loss of striker Lee Hughes to a hamstring injury to dominate most of the first half and take a 19th-minute lead.
Cheltenham were caught napping from Jennison Myrie-Williams' short corner and a terrific cross from Dan Jones led to Pope burying a downward header inside Scott Brown's left-hand post from 10 yards.
Brown then kept Town in the game with some terrific saves before Paul Benson served notice of the visitors' revival when he headed against the crossbar from Billy Jones' long ball.
Town boss Mark Yates made two changes at half-time and one of the substitutes, Byron Harrison, played a major part in the equaliser just 72 seconds after the interval.
Harrison's shot was blocked by Vale 'keeper Chris Neal but only into the path of Kaid Mohamed who fired the ball into an empty net.
And Cheltenham went ahead seven minutes later when Neal kept out Michael Hector's firm header from Mohamed's corner but Benson scrambled in the rebound.
It was now a thrilling contest with a chance at one end or the other every minute and Vale levelled just before the hour mark when Pope rammed in Myrie-Williams' left-wing corner with a fierce low shot from 10 yards.
And it was Pope who had the final say in the 74th minute when he galloped clear from Louis Dodds' pass to fire an expertly placed left-footed shot inches inside Brown's post from 14 yards.
|Port Vale||Cheltenham Town|
|1 Chris Neal||1 Scott P Brown|
|25 Liam Chilvers||3 Billy Jones|
|2 Adam Yates||6 Steve Elliott|
|5 John McCombe||22 Sido Jombarti|
|36 Daniel Jones||27 Michael Hector|
|4 Anthony Griffith||16 Russell Penn|
|8 Louis Dodds||25 Jason Taylor|
|9 Jennison Myrie-Williams||7 Marlon Pack|
|3 Robert Taylor||11 Jermaine McGlashan|
|29 Lee Hughes||23 Kaid Mohamed|
|11 Tom Pope||19 Paul Benson|
|12 Sam Johnson.||Connor Roberts 12|
|6 Darren Purse||Keith Lowe 2|
|24 Richard Duffy||Darren Carter 4|
|15 Chris Shuker||Sam Deering 8|
|22 Ryan Lloyd||Shaun Harrad 14|
|16 Calvin Andrew||Darryl Duffy 9|
|19 Ben Williamson||Byron Harrison 29|
|Ben Williamson for Lee Hughes (12)||Keith Lowe for Billy Jones (46)|
|Calvin Andrew for Robert Taylor (81)||Byron Harrison for Jason Taylor (46)|
|Sam Deering for Kaid Mohamed (83)|
|Daniel Jones (63)||Billy Jones (45)|
|Louis Dodds (90)||Steve Elliott (87)|
|Tom Pope (74)|
|· Squads: Port Vale | Cheltenham Town|