sport

Spoils shared at Vale Park

Walsall recovered from a half-time deficit in an entertaining derby clash with Port Vale that ended in a 1-1 draw.

The visitors dominated much of the first-half possession, but Vale created the better chances and were good value for their interval lead.

The goal arrived in the 25th minute when the Saddlers rearguard failed to deal with Mark Marshall's low cross from the left and Tom Pope side-footed into an empty net from six yards out at the far post.

And Pope, Vale's top scorer for the past two seasons, almost doubled the lead three minutes later when his left-foot strike veered inches wide.

Debutant Michael O'Connor also went close for Vale early in the second half before Walsall took charge - and this time with more potency.

The impressive Ashley Grimes forced a fine save from Sam Johnson before laying on a 59th-minute equaliser for fellow debutant Tom Bradshaw.

Bradshaw burst onto Grimes' pass to lift an intelligent 14-yard finish past the advancing Johnson and low inside the Vale goalkeeper's right-hand post.

Walsall's ascendancy continued as Johnson saved from Andy Taylor, before Mal Benning shot too high and Grimes' effort was deflected wide.