Port Vale v Hartlepool United
Sunday 4th December 2016
At Vale Park
FA Cup 1st Round
Attendance 3,514 including 213 visiting supporters
There was to be no repeat of last season’s FA Cup second round exit, with Vale comfortably putting visitors Hartlepool United to the sword with a convincing win at Vale Park.
Vale booked their place in the third round of the competition with, proving to be too hot to handle for the visitors, hitting four goals in an impressive display.
An own goal by Michael Woods was sandwiched by goals from Rigino Cicilia and Alex Jones as Vale hit three in the opening forty-five minutes and a second half penalty put away by Ryan Taylor completed the scoring.
Vale made two changes for the visit of Hartlepool United in the first round of the FA Cup, each one enforced due to the suspensions of Kjell Knops and Sam Hart.
In came Rigino Cicilia from the start, along with Paulo Tavares, rested at Shrewsbury in Vale’s previous game at Shrewsbury. Kiko dropped back into the left back spot
Vale dominated the early stages of the game, without giving Pools’ ‘keeper Trevor Carson too much to do, as the visitors fought feverishly to keep the home side at bay.
That was all to change, however, when Vale struck two goals in quick succession, putting their stamp on the game with Hartlepool looking a little shell-shocked.
GOAL:In the 12th minute Paulo Tavares picked up the ball down the left hand side and cross low into the box for RIGINO CICILIA at the front post. The striker controlled and side-footed home all in one movement to leave Carson in the visitors’ goal flat-footed.
GOAL:Two minutes later Vale doubled their lead, with the damage again done down the Vale left, when this time Kiko crossed towards the far post and with Alex Jones lurking dangerously, the ball was turned into his own net by MICHAEL WOODS.
Vale continued to have plenty of the ball and were hardly troubled by the visitors, yet the League Two side kept plugging away and didn’t let their heads drop.
GOAL:But on the half hour Vale increased their lead when Tavares threaded a delightful ball through for ALEX JONES, who controlled, made space for the shot and finished in typical style form an angle.
Vale continued to impress, playing some lovely passing football, while going in hard to win the ball when Hartlepool were in possession.
With half time approaching there was a delay in play while Bates received treatment inside the Hartlepool box, but after a few minutes the defender was able to continue.
The fourth official indicated that an extra five minutes were to be added on, and during that time Hartlepool manager Craig Hignett was sent to the stands for remarks made to the match officials.
The visitors made a double substitution in the 53rd minute when Lewis Hawkins and former Vale favourite Billy Paynter were introduced, Paynter getting a good reception from the Vale fans.
GOAL:Two minutes later Vale were awarded a penalty when Nathan Smith was bundled to the ground and RYAN TAYLOR made no mistake, blasting home the spot kick.
Vale gave youngster James Gibbons a taste of the action when he came off the bench on the hour as a replacement for Paulo Tavares.
There was a disturbing sight for Hignett’s side when defender Rob Jones was stretchered off on 65 minutes after picking up an injury inside his own area.
There was a further change in the 71st minute when Vale took off Alex Jones and sent on winger Gezim Shalaj.
Two minutes later Shalaj cut inside dangerously, making space for a shot which ‘keeper Carson managed to get a hand to and the ball trickled inches wide of the upright.
Vale introduced a pair of fresh legs in the 82nd minute, making their third and final substitution when Sam Kelly came off to be replaced by Chris Mbamba.
PORT VALE:Jak Alnwick, Ryan Taylor, Remie Streete, Kiko, Nathan Smith, Paulo Tavares, Sam Kelly, Sebastien Amoros, Anthony de Freitas, Rigino Cicilia, Alex Jones. SUBS: Miguel Santos, Calvin Mac-Intosch, Quentin Pereira, Martin Paterson, Chris Mbamba, Gezim Shalaj, James Gibbons.
HARTLEPOOL UNITED:Trevor Carson, Jake Carroll, Nicky Featherstone, Rob Jones, Matthew Bates, Padraig Amond, Michael Woods, Lewis Alessandra, Nicky Deverdics, Toto Nsiala, Josh Laurent. SUBS: Billy Paynter, Rhys Oates, Adam Bartlett, Lewis Hawkins, Jordan Richards, Jake Orrell, James Martin