Reserves secure victory at Vale Park.
Port Vale 2 v Burton Albion 1
Wednesday 28 September 2016
PORT VALE: Miguel Santos, Calvin Mac-Intosch, Kiko, Sebastien Amoros, Ben Fraser, Luke Dennis, Gezim Shalaj (Charlie Walford 82), Michael Brown (Nathan Ferguson 46), Rigino Cicilia (Brian Barton 71), Quentin Pereira (Omar Haughton 46), Sam Kelly.
SUB NOT USED: Harry Pickering.
BURTON ALBION: Harry Campbell, Charlie Gatter, Ryan Delaney, Ben Fox (Reece Hutchinson 67), Damien McCrory, Shaun Barker (Cameron Shaw 46), Joe Sbarra, Tom Flannagan, Stuart Beavon, Callum Reilly, Marcus Harness (Dylan Garnett 60).
SUBS NOT USED: Callum Hawkins, Jack Hallahan.
Both teams put out strong teams in a match between 2 of the teams that had won their first League fixture and it showed in a competitive game that was stop/start due to infringements but without any malice. Vale made the first chance as Kiko, who was frequently pushing up the left wing, swung over an inviting cross that Cicilia just failed to get his head to. Burton hit back with Reilly heading just wide and Sbarra seeing a shot deflected just wide of the post. Vale took the lead in the 20th minute as Pereira ran on to a through ball to round Campbell and shoot into an empty net as a defender failed to get back in time
The visitors nearly drew level within 3 minutes as Beavon broke into the box and kept the ball even though tackled twice but could not get in a shot before the ball was cleared away to safety. Vale responded with an attack that eventually saw the ball fall to Brown on the edge of the area and his shot was blocked and went for a corner with Vale claiming handball to no effect. Flannagan was causing Vale some problems but should have done better on the half-hour mark as he had a free header at the back post but could only put the ball onto the roof of the net. Delaney then drilled a diagonal ball through Vale’s penalty area with no-one able to get a vital touch.
Brown conceded a free kick on the edge of the area and Santos was down to tip the resulting shot around the post for a corner which then saw Flanagan have a header cleared off the line by Brown. With 5 minutes of the half left Burton got a deserved equaliser as Flanagan broke and as two defenders closed him down he slipped the ball sideways to Reilly who converted from 12 yards. It was Burton who continued to press up the break with Flanagan having a shot blocked and the ball ran to Sbarra whose shot was well saved by Santos. Santos was soon in action again, this time saving a long range effort from Sbarra.
Brown and Pereira were substituted at the start of the second period and substitute Haughton was soon making his presence felt as he raced in on goal but could not round the ‘keeper and the ball was cleared. Vale retook the lead after 6 minutes of the second period as Haughton crossed for Shalaj to spin and turn the ball goalwards past Campbell but Cicilia provided the finishing touch over the line to stop a defender making a last gasp clearance.
Beavon headed wide at the near post as the Brewers looked for an equaliser but Cicilia had a chance to kill the game off as he raced clear towards goal but he was driven a little wide and shot wildly as a defender and the goalkeeper put him under pressure. Ferguson was next to threaten the visitor’s goal but his shot was comfortably held by Campbell. Reilly hit a powerful shot goalwards but straight into the midriff of Santos. Late in the game came two bookings, one for either side; Amoros for a tackle and in added time Gatter for a poor tackle on Luke Dennis as Vale comfortably saw out the game.
Lindon Roberts – Port Vale Volunteers Group