Marvin Sordell and Chris McCann on target as the Sky Blues earn their first three points of the league season...
The Sky Blues claimed their first league victory of the new campaign as they ended Port Vale’s perfect home record with a 2-0 win at Vale Park.
In Mark Venus’ first match in charge, Marvin Sordell grabbed his third goal of the season after good play from Gael Bigirimana and Chris McCann scored his first goal for the club, finishing emphatically after winning the ball in midfield.
In difficult weather conditions it was a tight opening to the contest, with chances hard to come by for both sides. Vale had the first sight of goal through in-form Alex Jones when a whipped free-kick was punched clear by Lee Burge, but only as far as the loanee striker, who opted for an audacious chip that went just over.
City began to grow in to the game and could have been in the lead shortly after. A lovely passage of play involving the midfield trio of Bigirimana, McCann and Ben Stevenson played in Daniel Agyei. The striker chipped the ball over Jak Alnwick and into the Vale net, but referee John Busby had already blew his whistle for an earlier foul.
The Sky Blues began to take control of the game as Vale were forced to start defending deeper. Bigirimana hit a free-kick just wide of the post; before Agyei cut inside his man and fired a shot at goal that Alnwick was equal to.
The constant barrage of City pressure finally paid off just ten minutes before half time. Bigirimana harassed the Vale defence to win the ball back in an advanced position, he drove at the defence and cut the ball back to Sordell to smash home and give the Sky Blues a deserved lead.
Vale looked to respond immediately and went close through their top scorer Jones. He picked up the ball on the right and hit an effort towards Burge. Via a deflection, the helpless ‘keeper could only watch as the ball landed on the top of the net and out for a goal-kick.
Vale made a double substitution at half time, and it very nearly told as they started brightly. A succession of corners and crosses into the City box caused all sorts of problems, but following a scramble inside the six-yard box the ball was cleared to safety.
City should have doubled their lead as Vale were beginning to cause their own problems. Trying to play it out from the back, Streete passed it straight to Agyei and the striker looked to be in on goal. He took it past the defence but Alnwick spread himself well to deny the striker.
The Sky Blues didn’t have to wait long though, as they doubled their advantage just minutes later. Sloppy in possession again, Vale gave the ball away in midfield and Agyei drove at the defence. He committed the defender before slipping in Chris McCann who finished into the roof of the net - his first goal is a Sky Blues shirt.
Vale pushed for an unlikely route back into the game and just as it looked like Martin Paterson would get a goal back, Jamie Sterry produced a fantastic last-ditch challenge to preserve City’s two-goal lead.
City could have added a third deep into injury time when Ruben Lameiras broke away from the Vale defence. The substitute squirmed a ball through to Marcus Tudgay but his effort went agonisingly wide.