Tuesday 6th August 2013At Vale Park
Port Vale v Walsall
Capital One Cup
Attendance: 4013 including 546 visiting supporters
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Chris Robertson, Carl Dickinson, Daniel Jones, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Chris Lines, Anthony Griffith, Doug Loft. Gavin Tomlin, Tom Pope. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Louis Dodds, Kaid Mohamed, Richard Duffy, Chris Birchall, Lee Hughes.
WALSALL: Richard O'Donnell, Andy Butler, Adam Chambers, Sam Mantom, Milan Lalkovic, Craig Westcarr, Ashley Hemmings, Paul Downing, Malvind Benning, James Chambers, James Bexendale. SUBS: Ben Purkiss, Dean Holden, Nicky Featherstone, Shane Lewis, Kieron Morris, Troy Hewitt, Romaine Sawyers.
Attendance: 4,013 including 546 visiting supporters
Walsall ended Vale’s hope of a cup run in the Capital One Cup to continue Vale’s poor record in the competition with a 2-1 victory at Vale Park.
Ashley Hemmings put the visitors in front two minutes before half time, only for Chris Robertson to head home a 59th minute equaliser.
The game looked like it might be going into extra time when Walsall went straight up the other end following Vale’s penalty appeals when Chris Robertson went down inside the box and James Baxendale restored the Saddlers’ advantage.
Vale had slightly the better of the opening exchanges and could have taken the lead in the 7th minute when Tom Pope rose to meet a right wing corner from Chris Lines to send in a powerful header which was nodded off the line by Paul Downing.
Just moments later, Craig Westcarr, the scorer of two goals in the Saddlers’ opening game of the season against Tranmere Rovers at the weekend wasn’t too far off at the other end, firing inches over Chris Neal’ crossbar.
Vale had to be ever mindful of the pace of both Westcarr and Lalkovic, but the threat from the visitors was not seen too often, with most of the play inside their half of the pitch.
Daniel Jones tested O’Donnel with a shot from distance after running from deep inside his own half, only to find three red shirts closing him down.
Vale continued to cause the visitors problems with their attacking ethos and had the ball in the net in the 27th minute only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.
Lines crossed from the right for Pope to head towards goal and Tomlin nipped in – a bit too soon for the linesman’s liking – to slam the ball into the net.
The home side were well on top and again went close when Pope met a cross from Yates to power in another header – this time O’Donnell got down well to block.
Play switched to the other end but although the build up looked good, they struggled to find a way through a resolute Vale defence.
GOAL:That was all to change in the 43rd minute, however, when James Chambers’ cross was headed against the crossbar by his twin brother Adam Chambers and ASHLEY HEMMINGS was on hand to prod the rebound over the line.
The Saddlers seemed to have stemmed the flow a little in the opening ten minutes of the second half, but the home side got themselves on level terms in the 59th minute.
GOAL:Daniel Jones was upended on the Walsall right and Chris Lines floated in a free kick which was met by CHRIS ROBERTSON, who sent a looping header over O’Donnell and into the Walsall net to level the tie.
Vale made their first substitution three minutes later when Anthony Griffith was replaced by Kaid Mohamed and the former Cheltenham winger was soon in the action, scooping the ball back across the face of goal for Tom Pope who, from a tight angle, saw his header smack the upright.
Chris Neal had to be alert when the ball was flicked over the top for Westcarr, who looked odds on to put the visitors back in front, but Neal had spotted the danger and raced off his line to throw his body in the way and make the block.
The visitors looked a much stronger outfit in the latter stages of the game and put Vale under pressure at times, but the home side refused to lie back.
O’Donnell had to get down rather sharply to stop a fiercely struck low drive from Tomlin and Vale proceeded to pile on the pressure themselves.
GOAL:Vale had what appeared to valid claims for a spot kick when Chris Robertson went down inside the Walsall box, but their appeals were waved aside and the visitors went straight up the other end and scored, JAMES BAXENDALE netting from close range in the 84th minute.
Vale made a double substitution a minute later, Lee Hughes replacing Jenison Myrie-Williams and Ben Williamson coming on for Gavin Tomlin.