Nathan Smith effort enough as Port Vale edge Rochdale
Port Vale continued their unbeaten start to the Sky Bet League One season with a narrow 1-0 home win against Rochdale.
Young defender Nathan Smith, a graduate of the Vale Park academy, repaid manager Bruno Ribeiro's faith in him by scoring the only goal of the game seven minutes after the break.
Striker Calvin Andrew could have put the visitors ahead after 25 minutes when he took a pass from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and turned smartly in the box, but his shot was easily smothered by Jak Alnwick.
And the home side took the lead as 20-year-old Smith rose highest to meet Sam Foley's 52nd-minute free-kick before his header deflected off a Rochdale defender and over the despairing arms of goalkeeper Josh Lillis.
JJ Hooper had the chance to double Vale's lead from the spot after substitute Alex Jones - making his debut - was brought down four minutes from time, but fired his penalty wide of Lillis' goal.
Jones almost got on the score-sheet himself three minutes into second-half injury time, latching onto a through-ball and rounding the keeper before firing his shot straight at defender Niall Canavan.
Source : PA