Report from the Hawthorns
West Bromwich Albion v Port Vale
At The Hawthorns
Tuesday 25th August 2015
Capital One Cup
Attendance: 13,915 including 2,750 visiting supporters
Vale bowed out of the Capital One Cup to Premier League West Bromwich Albion, but they can hold their heads high after a battling performance in which they matched their hosts all the way.
After ninety minutes of normal time and another thirty minutes of extra time, neither side managed to find the net and the game went to penalties.
Never the nicest way to go out of any competition, Vale eventually went out after Richard Duffy fired his spot kick over the crossbar, but that didn’t spoil the supporters’ night too much, they had seen their side go toe to toe with the Baggies and there was no disgrace in defeat.
There were no surprises when Rob Page announced the team before kick-off, naming the same starting eleven that performed so well against Doncaster Rovers.
Neither side managed to dominate affairs early on in the game, with both defences looking organised and on top of things.
Vale were having plenty of the ball but were finding it difficult to break through to where it really mattered, with Albion tidying up at the back when called upon.
Sam Foley steered a header wide of Myhill’s left hand post and that seemed to stir the home side into action, but despite one or two scary moments, the Vale back four, along with Jak Alnwick, coped with things.
Vale continued to have plenty of the ball inside the Albion half but Myhill was seeing very little of the action from close quarters.
Serge Gnabry looked dangerous when he cut inside from the left with pace in the minutes but again Vale ‘keeper Alnwick wasn’t troubled as the Albion man fired high over the crossbar.
But in first half stoppage time Alnwick had to be alert, diving full length to his right to push away a 20 yard shot from Rickie Lambert.
Albion went close to breaking the deadlock within sixty seconds of the second half, but Anthony Grant was on hand to clear Lambert’s header off the line.
Two minutes later the home side were foiled again, this time Alnwick making a superb save to keep out a 20 yard shot from Lambert.
The home side were looking more determined after the interval and had Vale on the back foot for a short while, but the visitors hit back and an angled shot from Dodds flashed across the face of the Albion goal, just begging for a nick from a Vale player.
Vale began to enjoy a spell on top, winning a succession of corners, then midway through the second half Vale made a change, bringing on Ajay Leitch-Smith for Uche Ikpeazu.
A 30 yard free kick taken by Carl Dickinson flew over the bar after Louis Dodds had been brought down unceremoniously by Gareth McAuley.
It was a gutsy display from Rob Page’s charges and with fifteen minutes to go it was still anybody’s game to win.
When McManaman slid in to take the ball from Andoh inside the Albion box there were loud shouts for handball from the Vale following who were right behind the incident, but the referee waved all appeals aside.
minute the home side almost struck when substitute Salamon Rondon met a cross from the right but could only head wide.thIn the 84
Then Alnwick appeared to touch over a shot from Lambert, but the crowd were stunned when the referee awarded a goal kick.
With neither side able to break the deadlock the game went into extra time and there were clearly a few aching limbs out there as the players waited for the restart.
minute of extra time Vale made a second change, Enoch Andoh being replaced by Colin Daniel.thIn the 4
Vale continued to knock the ball around well, without really threatening the Albion goal, and at the same time made it difficult for the home side.
Rondon really should have won it for the Baggies with a point blank header which crashed against the Vale crossbar.
Alnwick then had to be at his best to keep out a close range header from Darren Fletcher as the home side threatened again.
Alnwick again denied Lambert,whose shot seemed to get a slight deflection, but the Vale ‘keeper stuck out a hand to make the save.
The game then went to penalties. West Brom win 5-3
Ajay Leitch-Smith Scored
Richard Duffy missed
Ben Purkiss scored
Sam Foley scored
WEST BROM: Jack Rose, Craig Gardner, Victor Anichebe, Callum McManaman, Craig Dawson, STephene Sessegnon, Salomon Rondon SUBS: Boaz Myhill, Jonas Olsson, James Chster, Claudio Yacob, Brown Ideye, Chris Brunt, James McClean, Rickie Lambert, Gareth McAuley, Darren Fletcher, Serge Gnabry.
PORT VALE: Sam Johnson, Chris Birchall, Remie Streete, Colin Daniel, Michael Brown, Sam Kelly, Ajay Leith-SmithSUBS:Jak Alnwick, Ben Purkiss, Ryan Inniss, Richard Duffy, Carl Dickinson, Byron Moore, Anthony Grant, Sam Foley, Enoch Andoh, Louis Dodds, Uche Ikpeazu.
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A match gallery (photos courtesy of Gerard Austin) will also appear on the site soon.