Saturday 25th January 2014
Port Vale v Brighton & Hove AlbionAt Vale Park
FA Cup Fourth Round
Attendance: 7,293 including 1,142 visiting supporters
PORT VALE:Chris Neal, Jack Grimmer, Chris Robertson, Joe Davis, Rob Taylor, Anthony Griffith, Chris Lines, Doug Loft, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Tom Pope, Gavin Tomlin. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Adam Yates, Louis Dodds, Chris Shuker, Ben Williamson, Chris Birchall, Jordan Hugill
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION:Peter Brezovan, Lewis Dunk, Kemy Agustien, Andrea Orlandi, Inigo Calderon, Adam Chicksen, Jake Forster Caskey, Matthew Upson, Jonathan Obika, Solomon March, Rohan Ince. SUBS: Bruno Salter, Gordon Greer, Keith Andrews, Casper Ankergren, Stephen Ward, Leonardo Ulloa, Kazenga Lualua
Vale made three changes to the starting line-up for the visit of Brighton & Hove Albion. Carl Dickinson was out suspended and Rob Taylor came in to replace him at left back.
Gavin Tomlin returned from injury to take the place of Ben Wiliamson up front and Chris Lines returned from suspension to take the midfield place vacated by the injured Flo Cuvelier.
A hailstorm an hour before the game ensured there was a lot of surface water, and further rain obviously didn’t help, making playing conditions tricky in areas of the pitch.
The visitors had been described as a good passing side earlier in the week and it was soon apparent why, though Vale were showing some great enthusiasm and making themselves known.
Vale had what appeared to be a good shout for a penalty kick turned down in the 16th minute when Chris Lines forced his way into the box before going down under pressure.
Both Andrea Orlandi and Lewis Dunk fired warnings at the other end, each sending shots whistling past the post as if to show the Championship side meant business.
Chris Neal then went down to smother an attempt on goal from Solomon March, needing two attempts to hold on to the ball.
GOAL:The visitors finally went in front in the 27th minute when Orlandi’s outswinging corner was met on the edge of the box by ROHAN INCE, who fired first time past Neal.
The visitors certainly weren’t having things all their own way, but Vale were finding it difficult to pierce the Brighton rearguard, despite their attempts
GOAL:That all changed in the 36th minute, however, when CHRIS ROBERTSON met Chris Lines’ flag kick from the right with a downward header to level the scores.
GOAL:The visitors managed to get their noses back in front in the 43rd minute with a rather fortuitous goal when Orlandi’s short corner to SOLOMOM MARCH was curled in as an intended cross, but it flew over everybody and into the net.
Vale made a substitution at the onset of the second half with Adam Yates comin on at left back in place of Rob Taylor.
Within seconds of the restart Vale ‘keeper Chris Neal got down smartly to his left to push a shot from March around the upright for a corner as the visitors showed their intentions early on.
The visitors were almost opened up on two occasions by surging runs down the right by Jack Grimmer as the home side went looking for an equaliser.
They were not able to throw caution to the wind, however, with the visitors still looking menacing at the other end, in what was becoming a ‘proper’ cup-tie.
Neal was called into action again when he dropped to his right to push Kemy Agustein’s shot onto the post and out for a corner.
Vale made their second change in the 66th minute when Ben Williamson came off the bench to replace Jennison Myrie-Williams.
Play switched from one end to the other with enough action to keep both sets of supporters warm in extremely cold and windy conditions.
M icky Adams threw his last dice on 75 minutes, sending on fresh legs in the shape of Jordan Hugill – Gavin Tomlin making the trip in the opposite direction.
GOAL:Brighton effectively wrapped things up in the two minutes later when JONATHAN OBIK slipped in behind the Vale defence and was able to calmly slot the ball into an empty net to put his side firmly in the driving seat.
Vale’s heads didn’t drop and they came close to pulling a goal back just moments later when there was an almighty scramble in front of goal, but from a Vale point of view nothing came of it.
Vale continued to show their battling qualities, still believing in themselves and still pouring forward at every opportunity – unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough.