Port Vale v Hartlepool United
Capital One Cup
At Vale Park
Tuesday 12th August 2014
Attendance: 2,824 including 79 visiting supporters
Ben Williamson grabbed himself a ten-minute hat-trick to help Vale on their way to Capital One success over Hartlepool United at Vale Park.
It is believed to be the quickest hat-trick by a Vale player since Fred Mitcheson netted three goals in as many minutes back in 1934.
Midfielder Michael Brown netted his first goal in a Vale shirt and Tom Pope grabbed a brace as Micky Adams’ side finished up 6-2 winners, reaching the second round of the competition for the first time in four years.
Vale made two changes for the visit of Hartlepool United. Richard Duffy, who had suffered from a dead-leg and an ankle problem wasn’t risked, but took his place on the bench.
The only other change to the starting eleven was the inclusion of Chris Birchall, who came in for Louis Dodds on the Vale right.
Judging by how the visitors came out of the traps, they were in the mood for it and looked hungry for a place in round two of the competition.
But it was Vale who drew first blood with an 8th minute opener. The visitors defence opened up allowing Vale defender Ryan McGivern a clear passage towards goal and although his shot was saved, BEN WILLIAMSON was on hand to ram home the loose ball.
Vale’s lead lasted all of two minutes, however. JONATHAN FRANKS stunned the home crowd – and Sam Johnson too – when his 30 yard effort flew into the Vale net, just inside the ‘keeper’s right hand post.
Vale were soon back in front. Mark Marshall was allowed to dance his way through a mass of blue and white shirts before his shot was saved, but WILLIAMSON was on hand once again to find the net for his and Vale’s second with 14 minutes on the clock.
In the 18th minute WILLIAMSON claimed his first hat-trick in a Vale shirt when he met a deep cross from the right from Chris Birchall, towering above his marker to power a downward header into the Hartlepool net.
Vale rarely looked in any danger from that point on. Marshall went close to adding a fourth with a rasping effort that flew just wide of the post, and then Tom Pope couldn’t quite guide his header on target.
A rare Hartlepool attack ended with a header from Franks, who launched himself at the ball but couldn’t quite make full contact and his effort went wide.
Michael O’Connor forced a superb reaction save from Pools’ ‘keeper Scott Flinders, who threw himself to his left to palm a fierce twenty-five yard free kick around the upright.
The ‘keeper then did well with a reaction save to deny a close range effort from Tom Pope, with Vale threatening to run riot.
Vale made a change at the start of the second half with the introduction of Michael Brown for Michael O’Connor in the middle of the park.
The visitors had been under the cosh for a while during the opening forty-five minutes, but all credit to them, they didn’t look like they had lost belief and they took the home side on.
Sure enough, they pulled a goal back in the 59th minute after a foul on Collins by Robertson inside the box. NEIL AUSTIN stepped up to put the spot kick away and give the visitors some hope.
But two minutes later MICHAEL BROWN restored Vale’s two-goal advantage when he met a left wing cross from Marshall with a close range header.
Vale made their second change in the 65th minute when Steve Jennings came on as a replacement for Chris Birchall.
Eight minutes later Louis Dodds came on for Ben Williamson and within seconds he had a hand in Vale’s fifth goal, Flinders saving his low shot and TOM POPE on hand to slam home the loose ball.
POPEheaded home his second and Vale’s sixth in the 84th minute when he rose at the far post to meet a deep cross from the right by Chris Lines to nod the ball back across goal and into the net.
Williamson 8 mins
Franks 10 mins
Williamson 14 mins
Austin (pen) 59 mins
Williamson 18 mins
Brown 61 mins
Pope 74 mins
Pope 84 mins
PORT VALE: Sam Johnson, Frederic Veseli, Chris Robertson, Ryan McGivern, Carl Dickinson, Chris Lines, Michael O’Connor, Ben Williamson, Chris Lines, Tom Pope, Chris Birchall. SUBS: Chris Neal, Richard Duffy, Louis Dodds, Michael Brown, Steve Jennings, Adam Yates, Ryan Lloyd
HARTLEPOOL UNITED: Scott Flinders, Neil Austin, Matthew Bates, Sam Collins, Jonathan Franks, Bradley Walker, Tommy Miller, Michael Woods, Ryan Brobbel, Michael Duckworth, Luke James. SUBS: Darren Holden, Marlon Harewood, Jack Compton, Lewis Hawkins, Jordan Richards, Connor Smith, Jonathan Barber