Port Vale 1 Brentford 0

Last updated : 30 August 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Brentford's stop-start opening to the season would be difficult to fix against a Port Vale side that was looking to resume their good form after a poor performance against Hartlepool.

Vale's Stephen Brooker looked to have opened his account for the campaign after only eight minutes when Ryan Brown crossed from the right to find his team-mate at the back post but the linesman adjudged it offside.

Vale proceeded to batter the Brentford goal but missed by a whisker again when Brown's half volley was brilliantly saved by Alan Julian and parried over the bar.

Out of Brentford's limited chances, Jay Smith's 42nd minute effort rated as the best when he fired in a blistering shot from 18 yards after Sam Collins half-cleared Michael Dobson's cross but Dean Delaney proved equal and got down low to stop.

Brentford came out looking the stronger for the second half and had chances that could have undone all of Vale's hard work but the Valiants' determination finally paid off in the 63rd minute.

A darting run by Michael Cummins past Matt Somner down the right created enough space for him to pick out Billy Paynter who steered the ball perfectly into Julian's bottom right hand corner.

Shortly after goal provider Cummins had to be stretchered off but Vale continued to look for a second with Brooker and Paynter causing the Bees back line no end of trouble.

Brentford even brought goalkeeper Alan Julian up for the final corner deep into stoppage time, but to no avail.

Vale manger Brian Horton said: "I thought we were strong, created plenty of chances and I think we were up for it today after Monday's performance.

"We've had to be physical, I've told the lads to look at top players and to get to the top you've got to show strength."