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League One

Shaun Derry hails heroic Notts County

24 August 2014

Proud Notts County boss Shaun Derry praised his team's heroic defensive display which secured a 1-0 win to inflict Port Vale's first defeat of the season.

A spectacular early goal by veteran midfielder Gary Jones put Derry's men in the driving seat before a double substitution by Vale manager Micky Adams changed the game.

Vale laid siege to the visitors' goal after Byron Moore and Colin Daniel were introduced in the 64th minute, but County survived before bagging a second with Liam Noble's late free-kick.

Derry said: "It was an incredible defensive display by us and a terrific victory. Every one of my players stood up to be counted and they had to.

"When you come to places like Vale Park you have to be brave in many ways. We were brave right through the side and I'm very proud of them.

"Port Vale will be disappointed not to get something, but you have to find ways of winning games and we've done that.

"It was a great goal by Gary to give us the lead and when you look at his scoring record you can see he has that in his locker.

"He might be 37 but that's just a number. The game has become so ageist, but that doesn't concern me. Gary was Bradford's best player for the past two years and I'm delighted to have him. I trust him because I know what he can do."

The visitors took the lead in the 11th minute when Jones fastened onto Carl Dickinson's defensive header with a 30-yard volley which gave Sam Johnson no chance.

And Noble should have capitalised on poor Vale defending five minutes into the second half when he failed to beat Johnson when clean through.

But Adams' substitutions completely changed the course of the game and Vale laid siege to County's goal for most of the rest of an entertaining contest.

Roy Carroll made a terrific save from Tom Pope before Moore and Mark Marshall went close. Derry's men also came through several goal-mouth scrambles before Noble secured the points.

His 87th minute free-kick from 25 yards deflected off the defensive wall and swerved low inside Johnson's left-hand post.

Vale boss Adams said: "It was amazing in the second half that's for sure. We had so many chances and the boys couldn't have done a lot more.

"But we started the game sloppily and our first-half performance wasn't good enough. I keep telling them they can't come out slowly like that and just expect things to happen.

"It was a sloppy pass on the edge of our area which led to the first goal and we never really got going.

"The substitutions injected something and we started to go about our business in the right way. We did everything right except score.

"I told the players before the game that a win would mean we had made a great start and a defeat would mean an average start. We've now had an average start, but we have to pick ourselves up and go again."

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