A game, which the Bees could, and should have won comfortably, ended all square this afternoon.
But having acquired the lion's share of the goal chances during the afternoon, the Bees had to rely on a penalty to score a goal for the fourth time this season. This time, Stephen Hunt who had missed from the spot in the previous home game, won the penalty following a corner which the players had used in training only a day previously, and immediately seized the ball.
His well-struck ball flew high into the net, and thus after 55 minutes the Bees had made the all-important breakthrough. But they only held the upper hand goalwise for 13 minutes, for then Steve McPhee who had been recalled into the side cut in from the right and got in the end of a short header from the veteran Brett Angell. He flashed his shot against the post but the ball rebounded kindly into the path of Billy Paynter who slid the ball home from eight yards out. The first half had seen the Bees take the game to their visitors.
But both Mark McCammon and Eddie Hutchinson had missed glorious chances to ease the Bees ahead. In fact the best chance fell to Big Mac seconds before the break. But having slipped his marker when receiving the ball from a fine Rowan Vine through ball he saw his shot blocked, while on this occasion Hutch was unlucky to see his follow up shot blocked just short of the line.
While the Bees had sufficient chances to have sealed the game early on, Vale posed a threat sporadically through the experience and guile of John Durnin and Brett Angell, and come the end of the day it can most certainly be claimed that it was a case of two points lost for the Bees rather than one point gained.
Line up: Smith (P), Dobson, Sonko, Roget (Marshall), Anderson, O'Connor (Williams), Fullarton, Hutchinson, Hunt, McCammon (Peters), Vine.
Subs not used: Julian & Evans.