Port Vale reserves continue 100% winning run and stay six points clear after a victory over Morecambe.
Vale began on the front foot with Benns’ early shot hitting the outside of the post and were one goal up after seven minutes as Forrester played a ball towards the near post where Turner arrived to sweep the ball home from close range.
The next incident of note was a bad eye injury to Adam Yates as he collided with Sam Hornby as they combined to deny a Morecambe forward a goal scoring opportunity. With Vale starting the game with a back four of all fullbacks the substitution saw Tyrone Barnett coming on in an unfamiliar role at the heart of the defence.
Barnett settled in well and after Denton under hit a back-pass he was forced to make a goal saving challenge that also brought him a yellow card. He continued to look at home in the role and pulled off another saving tackle only to see the offside flag raised anyway.
Vale extended their lead in the 28th minute as a Reeves' corner was neatly back-headed by Bennsinto an empty net as the ‘keeper had hesitated to come and meet the ball. Eight minutes later and it was 3-0 as good work by Benns out on the right saw him collect the ball under pressure, hold off two defenders and then play it back to Wilson; his inch perfect cross was met by Forrester who headed back across goal and just inside the far post.
HALF-TIME: Port Vale 3 - 0 Morecambe
Vale made a substitution at the start of the second half as Pyke replaced Forrester. It only took four minutes before he was on the score sheet as Turner was found out on the right wing, his cross was pushed away to de Freitas who played it back into the middle where Pykedrove the ball home from six yards.
Vale continued to press and Benns saw a 25-yard thunderbolt whistle inches the wrong side of the post, and de Freitas shot too close to the ‘keeper when another chance arose. Morecambe made a couple of substitutions and Vale seemed to lose momentum and the visitors started to pose more of a threat.
The Shrimps pulled a goal back just before the hour mark as a cross to the far post saw left back Davies free to head back across goal into the net. Vale then had a half-chance, made by Turner’s initiative to put the defenders under pressure, as a back pass was short and although he nicked the ball past the ‘keeper it ran out of play before he could direct it goalwards.
Turner almost got his second; a cross by Denton was just behind him but he hooked it towards goal and brought an excellent save from Nizic at the expense of a corner. The play was now end-to-end with Barnett doing well with a couple of tackles and Walford producing a goal-saving tackle to stop a shot on goal before Calveley had a shot well held at the other end.
Hornby then made another good save but was unable to stop the visitors pulling another goal back after Barnett missed a clearance and the ball was played to substitute Hawley who made no mistake from 15-yards out.
Pyke then found Turner who played in de Freitas but his shot was easily dealt with by Nizic. Hornby who was becoming the busier of the two goalkeepers made another good save as Vale saw out the game to record their fifth win in five and stay six points clear at the top.
FULL-TIME: Port Vale 4 - 2 Morecambe
PORT VALE: Sam Hornby, Lawrie Wilson, Tyler Denton, Billy Reeves, Graham Kelly, Adam Yates (Tyrone Barnett 14), Harry Benns (Charlie Walford 70), Mike Calveley, Anton Forrester (Rekeil Pyke 46), Dan Turner, Anthony de Freitas.
SUB NOT USED: Dequan Crockwell, Matthew Ward, James Steele.
MORECAMBE: Dan Nizic, Luke Jordan, Leif Davies, Tyler Brownsword, Toby Twiname (Ellis Jones 55), Luke Conlon, Elliott Osborne, Ben Hedley (Harrison Coady 78), Callum Lang, Rhys Turner (Kyle Hawley 55), Steve Yawson.
SUB NOT USED: Niall Maher, Joe Nelligan.