Football: Stoke denied by Mills

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The Independent Online
Port Vale 1 Stoke City 1

Port Vale substitute Lee Mills headed a dramatic equaliser three minutes into injury time at Vale Park yesterday to deny Stoke City their first derby victory since March, 1993.

Before Mills converted Steve Guppy's cross, Stoke had taken the lead through another substitute, Kevin Keen, the former West Ham and Wolves winger, with his first goal since March.

Though the first sign of a breakthrough came when Vale's Tony Naylor struck the crossbar with a dipping shot from Jon McCarthy's pass in the 16th minute, Stoke had enjoyed the greater possession. Mark Devlin and Graham Kavanagh both tested Arjan Van Heusden in the Port Vale goal.

At half-time Stoke introduced Keen for the injured Northern Ireland international, Gerry McMahon, with Vale forced into a 47th-minute switch when Mills replaced the injured Ian Bogie.

The contest began to open up as Mike Sheron headed just wide for Stoke and McCarthy failed to connect close in for Vale. The deadlock was broken in the 65th minute when a corner was only partially cleared and Keen scored with a looping header from Ally Pickering's far-post cross.

Goals: Keen (65) 1-0; Mills (90) 1-1.

Port Vale: Van Heusden; Hill (Foyle, 87), Tankard, Porter, Griffiths, Aspin (Glover, 83), McCarthy, Bogie (Mills, 47), Talbot, Naylor, Guppy.

Stoke City: Prudhoe; Pickering, Worthington, Sigurdsson, Dreyer, Forsyth, Devlin (Whittle, 88), Wallace, McMahon (Keen, 45), Sheron (Macari, 90), Kavanagh.

Referee: K A Leach (Wolverhampton).

Bookings: Vale: Porter, Talbot.

Man of the match: Keen.

Attendance: 14,396.

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