Another clean sheet as Vale find the net six times
Tom Pope hit a second half hat-trick to follow up on the four goals he scored against in the corresponding game twelve months ago as Vale hit Athlone Town for six to continue their pre-season success.
Sporting a new hair style, or rather lack of one after shaving off his locks, Pope proved he hasn’t lost his goal scoring touch as Vale romped home.
Veteran striker Lee Hughes opened the scoring in the fourth minute, finishing after running on to a pass from fellow striker Gavin Tomlin.
Tomlin then showed his goal scoring credentials, netting his fourth goal in three outings to extend the visitors’ lead, against a competitive Athlone side.
that, sending out a completely different eleven for the second forty-five minutes. three, but the home side did just This time Vale didn’t make wholesale changes at half time, being content to make just the
Chris Neal took to the bench to allow Sam Johnson to play in goal, whilst Louis Dodds and Ben Williamson came on to replace Chris Lines and Lee Hughes.
minute. By then Vale had made a further seven changes.thWilliamson didn’t take too long to make his mark, increasing Vale’s lead in the 66
minute Williamson’s lob came back off the crossbar and goal machine Pope was on hand to take full advantage, heading home the rebound.thIn the 74
Six minutes later Pope grabbed his second when he nodded in a cross from Louis Dodds, before completing his hat-trick three minutes from time, firing home from six yards.
Athlone Town 1st half:Skinner, Harney, Clancy, Clarke, McMahon, O'Brien, Collins, Hughes, Gorman, Sweeney, Byrne.
Athlone Town 2nd half:Shine, Scullion, Matthews, Lanigan, McCarthy, Broughall, King, Flood, Brookes, Friel, Byrne (Geoghegan, 59).
Port Vale:Chris Neal (Sam Johnson, 46), Richard Duffy, Chris Robertson (Doug Price, 61), Liam Chilvers (Joe Davis, 61), Ryan Lloyd (Tom Morris, 61), Chris Shuker (Jennison Myrie-Williams, 61), Doug Loft (Gary O'Neill, 61), Chris Lines (Louis Dodds, 46), Kaid Mohammed (Wilson Carvalho, 61), Gavin Tomlin (Tom Pope, 61), Lee Hughes (Ben Williamson, 46).