Leek Town through to the final
Leek Town:James Martin, Paul Donnelly, Tyler Williams, Sean Kinsella, Toby Mullarkey, Darren Chadwick, Anthony Danylyk (Sam Hall 71), Tom Lowe, Tim Grice (Dan Oultram 90+3), Warren Burrell, Jordan Johnson (Dan Shelley 75).
Subs not used:Karl Espley, Ben Chapman.
Port ValeLewis Bergin, Luke Lewis (Brad Ede 72), Chekaine Steele, Jonathon Kapend, Dan Turner (Brian Barton 67), Omar Haughton. Calum Ferrie, Kyle Clarke, Aziz Deen–Conteh, Billy Reeves, MacKenzie Faulkner, Reserves:
Subs not used: Harry Pickering, James Gibbons, Tom Ashton.
minute that the ball reached either of the ‘keepers in open play as a slip in the Vale defence required Ferrie to come out quickly to collect the ball and avert any threat.thThe very young Vale team, featuring only Aziz Deen-Conteh who was not part of the U18s team lost narrowly to title chasing Leek Town at Hanley Town’s ground in this re-arranged semi-final tie. The game got off to a slow start with each team trying to play possession football and it was only in the 8
Vale then gained a free kick and the clearing header fell to Turner whose shot lacked power and direction and caused no danger to the Leek goal. A nice break by Clarke saw ex Vale player Donnelly finally chesting the ball back to Martin to clean up the attack. The game was mainly being played in midfield but Vale were the only team offering any threat at this stage and after 25 minutes Lewis broke into the penalty area and appeared to be fouled but the referee awarded a corner.
Leek then had a better spell and Johnson cut in from the left and his dipping shot dropped just too late to cause Ferrie any concern. Donnelly then fouled Kapend and a quick free kick enabled Deen-Conteh to find Turner with a cross but again the header lacked threat. Lewis had a long range shot from 25 yards that whistled wide of the far post before the final effort of the half came from Mullarkey who shot wide after Bergin had conceded a foul out near the corner flag. With no clear cut chances for either side the first period ended in a goalless to no-ones’ surprise.
It only took 2 minutes to break the deadlock after the restart as the Vale defence failed to clear the danger, with Faulkner being the last player to miss the ball, allowing Grice to slip the ball underneath Ferrie and into the net. Vale pressed to try to get back on equal terms and the closest they got was after a foul on Deen-Conteh allowed Reeves a shot that was curling inside the near post until Martin, at full stretch got his hand to the ball to tip it for a corner. The corner went to the far post; it was knocked back into the middle where Kapend hooked it over the bar as he turned goalwards.
On the hour mark Leek nearly extended their lead as Grice collected a through pass and twisted and turned before firing just wide of the far post. Vale continued to look for the goal to get back them back into the tie but without really looking like scoring as Kapend had a shot blocked and Bergin’s long range effort saw a partial block that looped the ball up in the air to drop safely into Martin’s hands, before Steele saw a shot fly over following a corner
April.thFor all their possession Leek always looked more likely to score from one of their breaks and Lowe brought a good save from Ferrie that kept Vale in with a chance and Ferrie again foiled another attack before Ede broke from midfield but screwed his shot well wide. In added on time Ferrie saved at Grice’s feet and both players were injured with Grice having to be substituted but Leek played out the final minutes to deservedly go through to meet Stafford Rangers in the Final at Vale Park on Monday 20
LINDON ROBERTS – Port Vale Volunteers Group