Football: Sheron casts veil over Rudge's hopes

Stoke City 2 Port Vale 0

PHIL SHAW

Stoke City 2 Port Vale 0

A goal late in either half by Mike Sheron, one fortuitous and the other ferociously struck, guaranteed that Stoke City gave Lou Macari a deserved victory over Port Vale yesterday in what was not only his final Potteries derby as manager, but also the clubs' last meeting at the Victoria Ground.

Vale, who had won the three previous meetings at Stoke by 1-0, remain in contention for the play-offs to decide a place in the Premiership. On the day, however, their neighbours proved that local pride can still be a powerful source of motivation.

Undaunted by Macari's shock decision to resign this summer in order to pursue his claim for unfair dismissal against Celtic, Stoke hustled Vale out of their passing game. To their fans' raucous glee, it was as if they were intent upon ensuring that Vale are visiting them in the new Britannia Stadium next season rather than relishing trips to Highbury or Old Trafford.

The most notable incident of the first half appeared likely to be a brawl involving a dozen players after a bad foul by Vale's Dutchman, Rogier Koordes, on Ally Pickering. Stoke's Sean Flynn exacerbated the situation by charging with arms flailing, but he escaped even a yellow card and the home side enjoyed a further, more significant break 40 seconds before the interval.

Sheron drifted past Neil Aspin - the only time Vale's captain came off second best all afternoon - and Ian Bogie before taking aim from 22 yards. Paul Musselwhite had his under-hit shot covered, only for the ball to take a deflection off Dean Glover and spin gently into the opposite corner of the net.

It was the first goal Vale had conceded at Stoke in more than 400 minutes' play. Mike Macari, the outgoing manager's son, almost added another with an overhead kick that clipped the crossbar. Vale, despite a strong spell around the hour mark, failed to trouble Carl Muggleton.

The hapless Glover was again involved when Stoke made sure of the points. His clearance cannoned against the arm of Carl Beeston, where upon Sheron instantaneously drove home his 24th goal of the season from 12 yards. Only a diving header by Aspin denied him a hat-trick.

John Rudge, Vale's manager, conceded that his team would have to do better in their remaining fixtures, against Wolves and Crystal Palace, to extend the season.

His opposite number, looking drained after "a rollercoaster 48 hours", said it was Stoke's "last shot at doing something for our fans".

Macari confirmed that he will be leaving Stoke to concentrate on "a match I need to win more than any I've been involved in". He admitted that he feared "ruin" if the verdict went in Celtic's favour in September, with costs estimated at around pounds 450,000. "If I lose this case," he added, "I'll be selling The Big Issue the next day."

Fortunately for his place in parochial posterity, Sheron had already settled this particular big issue.

Goals: Sheron (45) 1-0; Sheron (85) 2-0.

Stoke City (4-4-2): Muggleton; Pickering, Sigurdsson, Whittle, Griffin; Flynn (McMahon 73), Beeston (Mackenzie, 90), Wallace, Forsyth; M Macari, Sheron. Substitute not used: Kavanagh.

Port Vale (4-4-2): Musselwhite; Hill, Aspin, Glover, Tankard; McCarthy (Corden, 70), Porter, Bogie, Koordes (Talbot, 70); Naylor, Mills. Substitute not used: Foyle.

Referee: D Allison (Lancaster). Bookings: Stoke: Wallace. Port Vale: Koordes, Mills.

Man of the match: Sheron. Attendance: 16,246.

News
peoplePerformer had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer
News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Media baron Rupert Murdoch owns News Corps and 20th Century Fox
theatrePlaywright David Williamson is struggling to find a big name to star as the media mogul
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling will not be releasing a 'romance' novel anytime soon
books
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
One of the 'princesses' in the video
videoYouTube reinstates sweary video after takedown for 'violating terms'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Systems Tester - Functional/Non-Functional/Full Life Cycle

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Systems Tester - Functional/Non-Func...

SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfordshire - £350 - £360

£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...

Business Intelligence Consultant - Central London - £80,000

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Consultant - C...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£70 - £85 per day: Randstad Education Group: SEN Teaching Assistants needed in...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?