Vale’s U18s gained their second consecutive win against a young Rochdale team in this first Youth Alliance League Cup Group 6 game.
Vale got off to a Flying start by scoring after only 50 seconds as a ball broke into a group of 3 Vale attackers just outside the penalty area on the left hand side of the pitch.
Benns took control and curled a 20 yard shot around the ‘keeper and into the far top corner of the net.
Vale continued to apply pressure and the next shooting chance also came to Benns after Ward won the ball in midfield and broke forward to pass to Daulby who laid it off for Benns to shoot but this time straight at the ‘keeper.
Vale added a second goal after 17 minutes as a defence splitting pass put in Wakefield on the left wing and he cut in and made no mistake slotting the ball into the far corner of the goal.
Rochdale began to make more of an impression on the game with No.9 Fabio Tavares having two good chances to score but he failed to connect fully with the ball on either occasion.
Within minutes, Vale made it 3-0 as Steele rose highest to head the ball home from a corner.
Rochdale refused to lie down though and Jackson blocked a shot from Tavares before Ryder cleared of the line from Kuemo after a corner, who had also clipped the top of the bar with a cross in the build up to the corner.
The last chances of the half fell to Vale a volley on the turn by Daulby dropped just wide of the far post and Ryder met a corner, that had been won by Benns, but he headed over the bar.
The second half started with Tavares having the ball in the Vale net but he had been flagged for offside. Vale then took control again and Johnson hit the ball against the outside of the post after Wakefield had cut in and crossed towards the post.
In the 55th minute it was Johnson who scored after indecision in the ‘Dale defence allowed him to slot home from 12 yards.
Crockwell then made 2 good saves to ensure Vale didn’t get the jitters like at Carlisle 2 weeks ago and let a lead slip and soon Vale were threatening again as Green-Birch put Berks free to cut in from the wing and bring a good save from the ‘keeper.
Green-Birch then hooked a shot goalwards only to see it come back from the inside of the post. As the game entered the final 10 minutes a sweeping Vale move finished with Grimshaw guiding a shot just the wrong side of the post.
The final action of the game saw Rochdale’s Tavares meeting a cross and heading wide from a good position, just not his day but they are back in the League in two weeks, so Vale will need to watch him carefully next time.
Port Vale: Dequan Crockwell, Jake Thomas (Max Beeston 74 (Zac Hill 80)), Ryan Gordon-Campbell, Matty Ward, Josh Ryder, Finnley Jackson, Jack Grimshaw, James Steele, Tom Daulby (Kyle Johnson 51), Harry Benns (Lucas Green-Birch 58), Jack Wakefield (Joe Berks 65).