Vale go through to the semi final of the Staffs Senior Cup
Staffs Senior Cup quarter final
Norton United 1 Port Vale 2
Chris Birchall’s first goal in a Vale shirt for over seven years settled a hard fought senior cup-tie at Norton United.
Vale dominated the play early on with shots by Macauley Davies and Tom Morris before going in front in the 13th minute.
A corner by Birchall swung over to the far post and as Clayton McDonald rose to head goalwards it appeared that a defender got there first to divert the ball into his own net,
Sam Johnson saved well from Lee Talbot whilst at the other end Kingsley James had a header well saved as Vale sought a second goal.
After the break a good move down the left saw Ryan Lloyd send over a cross which Birchall headed wide. Former manager Jim Gannon was an interested spectator as Norton pushed for an equaliser, which came a bit out of the blue in the 77th minute. A free kick out on the left was headed home in fine style by Tom Fogg.
Vale upped their game as extra time began and they re-took the lead in the 95th minute. James and Will Whieldon linked up well on the left before sending over a pinpoint cross that Birchall buried with a firm header. Johnson made a good save two minutes from time from a Mark McDonald shot as the Vale held on to reach the semi-finals.
Vale team – Johnson, Evans, McDonald, Price, Morris, Osborne, James, Whieldon, Lloyd, Birchall, M.Davies (Pryor 90)
Subs not used – Boot, Lander, Smith, Warner
MATCH REPORT: Phil Sherwin