Carlisle United and Port Vale played out a dismal draw, with both sides lacking any urgency or quality to seal a victory. The Cumbrians missed the opportunity to into the League Two playoffs, whereas Port Vale failed to set a club record of seven wins.
Carlisle United looked to continue their five-game unbeaten run, as Chris Beech named an unchanged line-up from his sides 0-0 draw away to Newport County last Tuesday. Danny Devine continued at right-back, whilst Lewis Alessandra made his 500th senior football appearance.
Your team for today's game against @OfficialPVFC 👇
— Carlisle United FC (@officialcufc) April 17, 2021
Port Vale were attempting to win their seventh successive fixture, as manager Darrell Clarke made one change from his teams 1-0 victory over Morecambe last Saturday. Cristian Montaño replaced Manny Oyeleke, as the latter signed for Chesterfield this week.
Here is your Vale starting XI to face @officialcufc 👇
1️⃣ change: Monty returns
⏩ McKirdy, Popey & @SBurgess10_ return to the bench
— Port Vale FC (@OfficialPVFC) April 17, 2021
Carlisle United started the brighter side, as former Carlisle midfield linchpin Luke Joyce was deemed to have fouled Callum Guy on the edge of the box. Guy hit a low, bending effort round the Vale wall, which was matched by experienced stopper Scott Brown.
The Cumbrians looked to work a clever corner routine in the 22nd minute, as Guy passed short corner to Joe Riley. The former Manchester United man’s cross was cleared to Omari Patrick, whose low volley was deflected wide of Brown’s goal.
In the 23rd minute, Callum Guy’s corner was contested by Leon Legge and Rod McDonald, which saw the ball drop to Riley. The ever-improving midfielder took on a snapshot, which shot just wide of the target.
Carlisle were looking threatening from set-pieces, and another whipped Callum Guy cross caused havoc in the Valiants area. However, McDonald, who was excellent defensively for United, mistimed his run, which caused the ball to glanced off the back of the former Wimbledon man’s head.
Port Vale threatened from a corner of their own in the 33rd minute. Assist specialist David Worrall sent in a teasing cross, which former Carlisle United defender Shaun Brisley diverted over the bar with his knee.
United finally undertook a neat passage of play, which intricate interplay between Jack Armer and Patrick combining to allow the former Preston academy man time to cross. Armer’s floated delivery was temptatious, but Offrande Zanzala could only send a bullet header over the bar.
One talking point of the first half was a tussle between Zanzala and Montaño, who had a brief altercation on the deck. Montaño seemed to aggressively land on Zanzala, who seemed to lash out at the Columbian wing-back.
Neither player was shown a card, despite a stern talking to by referee Peter Wright.
Half time: Carlisle United 0-0 Port Vale
Port Vale looked to be the team most likely to score at the start of the second half. Former Carlisle winger David Amoo burst down the right-hand side and hooked a high cross into the danger area, but the imposing Leon Legge headed wide.
In the 61st minute, an intelligent throw-in by full-back James Gibbons found Theo Robinson on the edge of the box. The Jamaican defender swivelled and managed to get a fast-paced shot, which Paul Farman palmed away for a corner.
From the resulting corner, Jon Mellish broke away and laid the ball off to Patrick. The lightning-fast winner faced down the wing, but he could not find the quality to create a goal-scoring opportunity.
Callum guy showed his brilliance and nous to win a throw-in deep in the Port Vale half. Substitute Josh Kayode’s arrowed long throw fell to Guy on the edge of the area, but a deflection took the sting out of the shot.
Another astute throw-in, this time by David Worrall, found the onrushing Nathan smith. The central defender who’d moved forward from deep was unlucky to see his shot hit the roof of the net.
Both teams seemed to match each other on the day to the extent that any creativity was limited. Pace from Omari Patrick for Carlisle or Davante Rodney looked both sides biggest threat from open play, but both players were substituted in the second half.
Full Time: Carlisle United 0-0 Port Vale
See reaction from both sets of fans here:
Missed opportunity. Lacked creativity today. We never make it easy
— Dan (@D_Stokoe) April 17, 2021
That probably it now massive chance missed such hard games coming up and with performances like that I just can see us getting enough points to get the play offs 🙃
— Matthew (@Matthewgaskell9) April 17, 2021
Still unbeaten in 7 games I will take that. Up the Vale 😃 Another clean sheet as well. #pvfc
— Jonathan Turnock (@jw_turnock2) April 17, 2021
Shame not to break the record, but it's a solid point against a difficult oposition.
— Sebastian J. Whizzer (@SirSebastian20) April 17, 2021