Brentford's miserable run in The Potteries continued with a single-goal defeat at Port Vale. The Bees have not kept a clean sheet a Vale Park since 1958, and despite some stout defending at times, never looked like forcing their way back in to the match after Billy Paynter's 63rd minute goal for home side.
Despite the fact The Bees managed just three shots on target all afternoon, Boss Wally Downes was still confident that the strike partnership of loanee Ben May and Tony Rougier would bear fruit. "It's only Ben's second game", said Downes. "They need to get some sort of understanding together. We got the win with them against Oldham last week, today we didn't get it, but there are signs that Tony can link the play up. Once Ben gets acclimatised they should be a decent front pairing".
As a sign of The Bees economy drive, Boss Wally Downes was forced to include forty-year-old coach Jim Stannard on the bench as cover for goalkeeper Alan Julian, and in doing so became the oldest Brentford player to be selected for a competitive first-team match. Wally made two changes from the side that beat Oldham Athletic. Matt Somner moving to left-back - replacing Lee Fieldwick - with Leo Roget recovering from a knee injury to slot into central defence.
Port Vale dictated the early part of the play, putting The Bees under pressure. The Valiants' Stephen Brooker had a goal disallowed for offside nine minutes into the game, and Bees goalkeeper Alan Julian had to be on his mettle to brilliantly parry over Billy Paynter's goal-bound effort with twelve minutes on the clock. Tony Rougier's trickery provided The Bees with their best opening of the half twenty-six minutes in, with an inch-perfect cross for Ben May. His header however, was wide of the target.
The Bees appeared to creep back into the game, as two minutes before half-time Jay Smith came closest opening his account in a Brentford shirt but Delaney parried his effort from outside the box. Tony Rougier, injured after receiving an accidental kick in the head just before half-time, came out of the dressing room heavily bandaged. Brentford were put under pressure almost immediately, Vale striker Stephen McPhee fired in a first-time shot that fizzed just wide. The inevitable home goal came in the 62nd minute, Billy Paynter heading Cummins' right wing cross past Alan Julian from twelve yards.
That was the signal for a tactical change by Bees boss Wally Downes, Stephen Hunt replacing Matt Somner. This almost paid dividends moments later as Delaney tipped over Ibrahima Sonko's bullet header from a Dobson free-kick. The home side almost put the game beyond doubt but Alan Julian tipped Billy Paynter's low drive round the post. Brentford failed to carve out another opening, Vale taking all the points and rising to the top of Nationwide League Division Two.