Vale bow out of the Staffs Senior Cup at the semi-final stage
Staffs Senior Cup Semi Final
Hednesford Town 3 (0) Port Vale 2 (0)
Hednesford Town: Dan Crane, John Disney (Dave Mcpherson 58), Darren Campion, Ben Bailey, Sam Barnes, Alex Melbourne, Jamey Osbourne, Elliott Durrell, Aaron Rey (Neil Harvey 67), Michael Lennon, Nathan Woolfe (Franco Francis 90+5).
Subs not used: Sean O’Connor, Sam Craven.
Port Vale: Sam Johnson, Will Whieldon, Rob Taylor (Joe Evans 80), Sam Morsy, John McCombe, Doug Price, Chris Shuker, Chris Birchall, Ben Williamson, Louis Dodds, Josh Croft.
Subs not used – Ryan Boot, Jack Pryor, Nacauley Davies, Nathan Smith.
minute plucking a free kick out of the air without any concern. In the next 5 minutes Williamson had tow opportunities with his first being deflected for a corner and the second was held by Crane at the second attempt.thBoth teams began brightly with neat football in midfield without any goalmouth action and Johnson was called into action for the first time in the 7
minute a cross by Melbourne suddenly curled goalwards and Johnson had to be alert to deal with it. Next Morsy conceded a foul and from Durrell’s free kick a flick on saw Johnson again being sharp to avert the danger.thHednesford then began to dominate the game with McCombe blocking a shot from Osbourne and Johnson saving well at the foot of the post. In the 20
The pressure on the Vale defence continued and Rey had 3 shots in a few seconds with the first 2 being blocked and the third tipped over for a corner by the busy Johnson. From the corner the ball went directly into the Vale net but the crowd’s joy was short lived as the referee had already blown for a foul on Johnson. Vale finally broke free for Williamson to hold the ball up and tee up Morsy, but his shot was deflected for a corner. The half time whistle came with the game still goal less, but with the Pitmen clearly enjoying the best of the evening.
who powered his header home. There was now a long delay as Disney who had been injured a few minutes beforehand received treatment on the pitch before being stretchered off the field.Price minute Vale increased their lead; Williamson had broken down the right and he fed Dodds who was stopped from shooting at the expense of a corner. This was swung over to be met by the incoming thIn the 56 head put the ball into the net. Dodds’Vale came out for the second half and went straight on the attack and within 90 seconds they were in front as a Shuker cross landed in a cluster of players a few yards from goal and
Hednesford replied and another Johnson save saw Vale retain their cushion and a Williamson header lacked the direction to increase their lead. However Hednesford struck back after Morsy conceded another free kick 30 yards out. 25 gaol Durrell dipped his shot over the wall and Johnson’s outstretched hand diverted the ball on to the left hand post. Vale should have then cleared the danger but failed to do so, and eventually the ball fell to Barnes who poked the ball past a defender to get the home team back in the game with 25 minutes to go.
Hednesford piled on the pressure and only a timely challenge by Price forced Woolfe, Hednesford’s best player on the night, to put it just the wrong side of the post. On 72 minutes another corner from Hednesford caused problems and substitute Harvey hooked the ball over the bar from close range. Harvey was not to be denied though as in the next minute another attack seemed to have broken down as the ball seemed to heading straight into Johnson’s hands but suddenly there was a melee and the ball squirmed square to Harvey to tuck inside the far post for the equaliser.
Vale did respond as Dodds chased what looked to be a lost cause and succeeded in winning the ball on the goal line, he turned back towards goal and his shot was parried by Crane and then put out for a corner. With 11 minutes of normal time left Hednesford attacked again but McCombe easily dealt with the threat and launched a long ball out of defence for Dodds to chase and although he reached the ball before the ‘keeper and chipped the ball into the net, he was judged to have been offside.
Another ball out of defence saw Williamson chasing this time and again the ‘keeper was beaten to the ball but from a tight angle Williamson hit the outside of the post and the ball went out of play. With 4 minutes left the home crowd were celebrating madly as a shot went through a ruck of players and into the corner of the net. However, the assistant referee had seen a final touch from an offside forward to divert the ball past Johnson and it was disallowed, which caused a couple of minutes of protests from the home team.
This only inspired them further though and with 2 minutes of the 7 additional minutes allowed they scored the winner as the ball was played to Macpherson at the far post and he slammed the ball into the net from close range. Vale had one last throw of the dice as a cross saw Crane fumble under pressure from Dodds, but the ball was cleared and Hednesford were worthy winners to progress into the final.
Match Report Lindon Roberts