Campion At The Double As Vale Beat Stoke
SUBS NOT USED: Harry Pickering, Daniel Wakeham, Omar Haughton, Jonathon Kapend.
STOKE CITY: Dom Kurasik, Elliot Wheeler, Keiran Monlouis, Ben Barber, Eddy Lecygne, Mason Watkins (Jack Cook 50), Ryan O’Reilly (Joel Taylor 56), Robbie Parry, Charlie Ward, George Waring, Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson.
SUBS NOT USED: Chris Marques, Tomi Adeloye, Jack Nardelio.
Achille Campion scored a brace as Port Vale beat cross-city rivals Stoke City by an impressive 3-0 scoreline on Wednesday afternoon.
The local derby attracted a crowd of a few hundred standing on the bank over looking the practice pitch and it was the young visitors who nearly took the lead in the first minute as a cross from the left saw Greenidge only get a touch on it that sent straight on to Ricketts-Hopkins head, from where it was heading into the roof of the net until Boot’s hand pushed it over for a corner.
Stoke continued to press from the corner and another cross struck Clarke on the hand to go out for a corner with the Stoke players appealing for a penalty.
Vale then began to string some passes together and took the lead in the eighth minute as Deen-Conteh pushed up the right wing to deliver a cross to the far post where Campion out jumped his defender to send the ball back across goal and into the far corner of the net.
The game was mainly being played in midfield where both teams were trying to play a passing game but with little causing any real threats. One move by Vale carried a little more forward momentum and this saw Lloyd set up Birchall for a long range effort that was deflected over for a corner in the 18th minute.
It was another 20 minutes before anything further of note happened and this time it was Lloyd with a shooting chance but he blazed wide from distance. With five minutes of the half left Campion had the ball in the net again but the referee had already blown for a handball as he controlled the ball before rifling it home, so half time was reached with the game very much in the balance.
Vale nearly extended their lead with less than two minutes on the clock of the second half when Slew picked up a misplaced back pass and side stepped Kurasik but then stumbled and the ball ran out of play.
A clever flick-on by Lloyd allowed Slew to break down the left and his low cross to the far post just eluded Campion and went out to safety for the visitors. Vale’s domination in the second period saw them extend their lead 10 minutes in, as a cross by Andoh found Moore unmarked in front of goal 6 yards out.
He slipped as he tried to shoot and the ball sat up nicely for Slew to slot home. Soon after a Moore corner was met by Duffy at the near post but his attempt to lift it towards the back post had just too much weight.
Stoke then had their first chance of the half as a neat ball set up Ricketts-Hopkins but his fierce drive was just wide. With 63 minutes gone it was 3-0 as Campion added his second to make it eight goals in six Reserve games.
This time it was Slew as provider as he skipped past three defenders before finding Campion who had a simple chance to slip it home as Vale’s experience was beginning to show against the young visitors.
Stoke then had their best period of the game as Waring rattled Vale’s crossbar and then Boot made a good save from Taylor. However Vale were soon on the offensive again and Campion was brought down just outside the box as bore down on goal and Monloius was lucky to only see a yellow card.
With 15 minutes to go Andoh raced past Cook and also beat Kurasik to the ball in the penalty area and Cook then brought him down for a penalty and was sent off. Kurasik saved well from Andoh, as he tried to place the spot kick rather than blast it, to keep the margin at 3.
Lecygne was next to be booked as he brought down Moore from behind in midfield and finally a Vale player saw yellow as he took a couple of bites as a Stoke player broke through the middle of the park and eventually brought him down.
Stoke had another good spell as the game came to an end and Ricketts-Hopkins was unlucky with a glanced effort just past the far post and another low cross was just in front of an incoming Stoke attacker.
Vale now have to wait for the result of the Shrewsbury vs Walsall game on 24th February to see if they progress to the Northern Semi-Finals as only the Group winners go through.