Port Vale got life off to a good start in the first group game of the Checkatrade Trophy following a penalty-shootout victory over Oldham Athletic.
It was Tyler Denton who tucked away the final penalty for Michael Brown’s side following a good performance from The Valiants at Boundary Park.
The game started off slowly with neither side able to break each other down. The opening 10 minutes were soon awakened with the first chance of the game as David Worrall whipped in an excellent right-foot cross to Rekeil Pyke. His ‘turn and shoot’ technique was soon blocked on the line by the Oldham defender.
Pyke continued to cause more issues for the hosts and looked to be through on goal once again on the 15th minute. Cristian Montano played a through ball to the on-loan striker who could only force Ben Wilson to a good save.
19 minutes had passed and The Valiants were still searching for a goal. A lively Anthony de Freitas fed Montano a pass onto the edge of the area whose first-time effort flew well over the top of the crossbar.
Ryan Boot also had to play his part in the opening 25 minutes by claiming a fast, whizzing cross from a wide Oldham Athletic – who looked to use the width of the pitch to their advantage.
Dan Turner has enjoyed a good start to the season for Michael Brown’s men and could have added to his goal tally as the combination between Pyke and himself excels. Pyke whipped in a low cross for Turner as he blazed over from 12 yards.
The Latics continued to edge forward and saw their first real chance of the game three minutes later. Mason Fawns found himself close to the edge of the goalmouth where his initial shot was blocked by Gavin Gunning. The ball soon returned into the area and was cleared, much to the delight of the Vale defence.
37 minutes in and Oldham nearly caught out Boot once again as Aaron Amadi-Holloway tried his luck from range. His left-footed chip was attempted from 18-yards, only to go just wide of the goal.
Vale could go into the half-time break happy with how they have performed in the first-half, with the gaffer in promising spirits in this Checkatrade Trophy tie.
No substitutes were made at the break but a chance on the 48th minute as Fawns once again tried his luck. He found the ball towards the right hand-side of the six-yard area and blasted towards Boot’s goal. The ball went just wide after evading an attempted block by Gunning.
Port Vale looked to respond as David Worrall found Marcus Harness at the back post, Harness cut it backwards towards Montano who fired well-over the bar on 57 minutes.
Amadi-Holloway looked to continue to be a nuisance for the Vale defence but a well-structured back-line allowed the scoreline to stay at 0-0, 70 minutes in. He once again found himself at an awkward angle infront of Boot where his shot was denied by a brave challenge from a Vale defender.
It looked to be nervy final ten minutes for both sides, with several scrambles on the edge of each area. The game was now to be decided via a penalty shootout after a goalless draw, after 90 minutes.
Denton then finished off the game for Vale with an excellent penalty to give Vale a solid two points on the board with Notts County awaiting on Saturday.
Port Vale: Tonge (1), Gunning (2), Pope (3), Denton (4).
Oldham Athletic: Gerrard (1), Banks (X), Fawns (X), Gardner (2).
Port Vale win via penalties (4-2)
Oldham Athletic: Ben Wilson, Brian Wilson, Anthony Gerrard, Dan Gardner, Ollie Banks, Aaron Amadi-Holloway, Darius Osei (Kallum Mantack 65), Mason Fawns, Rob Hunt, Peter Clarke ©, Jack Byrne.
Unused Subs: Joe Boyling, George Edmundson, Ousmane Fane, Jay Sheridan, Tom Hamer, Francois Antoine.
Port Vale: Ryan Boot, Lawrie Wilson, Joe Davis, David Worrall (Tom Pope 72), Cristian Montano (Tyler Denton 72), Dan Turner, Rekeil Pyke (Marcus Harness 39), Nathan Smith ©, Anthony de Freitas, Michael Tonge, Gavin Gunning.
Unused Subs: Sam Hornby, Ben Whitfield, Jack Stobbs.