Match Report: Port Vale 0 City 1
Martyn Waghorn’s excellent first half goal proved to be the difference in terms of the scores when he expertly finished a move started by Wes Morgan with the outside of his foot in the 15th minute.
City Manager Nigel Pearson will have been delighted to see his side breeze through 90 minutes in such impressive style and build up that all-important match fitness ahead of the new season.
Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel returned to the fold for The Foxes for the clash as they continued their pre-season preparations for the big kick off on 3 August away at Middlesbrough.
The hosts meanwhile started with last season’s 33-goal striker Tom Pope in attack along with former Fox Louis Dodds, but it was City who came out of the blocks quickest – Waghorn heading wide De Laet’s centre two minutes in.
City continued to attack more fluidly than their hosts, and on 15 minutes they had their lead.
Morgan brought the ball expertly out of defence, riding several challenges and offloading to Andy King, who threaded a ball to Waghorn to take a touch and finish coolly with the outside of his left boot in a crowded box.
Vale did respond with excellent openings of their own though – first Chris Lines forced a good low stop by Schmeichel, before Gavin Tomlin was narrowly adjudged to be offside from Pope’s ball.
City continued to have the better of the play, with Waghorn again showing great desire to get on the end of a long ball on 35 minutes but being denied by Vale ‘keeper Chris Neal.
Next it was Ben Marshall’s turn to have a go at doubling the lead when King threaded a beautiful ball into his path, however his flick bobbled just wide of the post.
Just after the hour mark, and with City’s pressure building, Micky Adams’ Port Vale sprung an excellent counter attack ending with a neat ball to Chris Birchall, but the Trinidad and Tobago international couldn’t get his effort on target.
The Foxes pressed and probed relentlessly though and were very nearly rewarded for an excellent piece of play when De Laet smashed a driven effort at goal only to see Neal parry it away for a corner.
It was certainly a good work out for City’s starting XI, as the bench showed no signs of activity in the final minutes and the front two of Waghorn and Vardy showing some excellent energy in chasing lost causes down the channels to ensure the match ended 1-0.
Port Vale: Neal, Parker, Griffith, Robertson, Doumbe, Myrie-Williams, Lines, Pope, Tomlin, Mohamed, Dodds
Subs: Johnson, Shuker, Hughes, Williamson, Lloyd, Chilvers, Alexander, O’Neill, Morris, Price, Jefford, Birchall
City: Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky, St. Ledger, Morgan (c), Whitbread, Marshall, Danns, Vardy, King, Waghorn.
Subs not used: Futacs, Smith, Anton, Blyth, Cain, Dodoo.
Goal: Waghorn 15
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