Stafford Rangers 1 Port Vale 1 AET (Port Vale won 3-2 on penalties)
Stafford Rangers – Whitehouse, Griffiths, Ballinger, Bullock, Burke, Cope (Hannan 85), Craney (Vaughan 68), Henderson (Edwards 74), Berkeley, Curtis
Subs not used – M.Johnson, Lees.
Port Vale – S.Johnson, Alexander, Morris, O’Neill, Price, Davis, Carvalho (Swarby 74), Lloyd, Dell (Beesley 64), Tambini, Jefford
Subs not used – Smith, Osbourne, Reeves.
Sam Johnson was the hero for Port Vale saving two penalties in the shoot-out as Port Vale triumphed 3-2 after a 1-1 draw.
Rangers began the game on the front foot and Saul Henderson blazed over before they took a 14th minute lead. A cross from the right saw Matthew Berkeley head towards the goal only for Sam Johnson to make a flying save but the ball ran wide to Alex Curtis and he fired the ball into the net.
Vale began to get into the game and Wilson Carvalho hit a shot straight at Adam Whitehouse in the Stafford goal from 25 yards on the half hour mark. Gary O’Neill also tested the ‘keeper from the edge of the box before Vale came close to an equaliser a minute before the interval. Ryan Lloyd played the ball to Louis Tambini on the left and his low shot hit the side netting.
With 20 minutes to go a clever chip by O’Neill led to a volley by Lloyd that was superbly saved by Whitehouse. It was Lloyd who finally got the goal that Vale deserved in the 78th minute when he produced a sublime chip into the far corner of the net from the edge of the box.
The game then went into extra time but that didn’t settle the tie and it went to penalties. Sam Johnson, whose brother Matt was on the Stafford bench, saved Matthew Burke’s first effort. The next five were all scored, Lloyd, Luke Beesley and O’Neill for Vale and Matthew Berkeley and Andrew Griffiths for the Rangers. Johnson then saved from Jack Edwards. That meant that former Stafford loan player Tom Morris could have won it for the Vale only for Whitehouse to save his shot. Curtis then fired his spot kick over the bar to leave the Vale winners 3-2.
In the semi-final Vale will be at home to Newcastle Town.