Mick Ede’s young Valiants saw off Sutton Coldfield Town on Tuesday night to progress into the Third Round of the FA Youth Cup, setting up a home tie with Norwich City. In a tightly contested game, goals from Maxwell Chimenes, Luke Chambers and Joe Berks proved decisive for the hosts.
It was Vale who looked more comfortable in possession during the opening exchanges, but the visiting side had the first real opportunity of the evening on six minutes. Kyle Baskeyfield latched onto a through ball before taking aim from inside the area, only to be denied by Harvey Adams.
That chance seemed to settle Sutton Coldfield down and they began playing some tidy football, but they were unable to trouble the Vale back line once they advanced into promising areas. Lucas Green-Birch then tried his luck up the other end with 13 minutes played, but Nathan Lawrence denied him with an acrobatic save.
Five minutes later, the away side spurred a golden opportunity as Max McNulty sent in a dangerous cross from the right flank. Kye Hemans then got to the ball ahead of the Vale ‘keeper, but he was only able to direct his effort inches wide from close range.
Vale then put together one of the best moves of the game two minutes later as some intricate passing eventually found Hayden Campbell, but his final ball was slightly wayward. Chimenes then had a good opportunity almost immediately afterwards as he headed a pinpoint Chambers cross on target, but a defender was on hand to clear off the line.
The end-to-end nature of the game continued and a wayward pass from Adams was intercepted by Samuel Yankson and he found Louis Monaghan in space, but the Sutton Coldfield striker curled his effort just wide from 20 yards on 34 minutes. Vale then went close themselves on two occasions seconds later, but Green-Birch couldn’t find the net.
Berks then worked an opening himself in the 36thminute with a sensational mazy run. After receiving the ball inside his own area, the midfielder carried the ball the length of the pitch – wriggling past several defenders on the way – before letting fly. To his frustration, Lawrence was equal to it and he made a sprawling stop.
Following the restart, the frantic pace continued as Jack Wakefield burst down the wing before cutting a low cross back across the face of goal, but Sutton Coldfield managed to hook it clear just two minutes into the half. Vale then pulled themselves ahead on 53 minutes as Chimenes slotted one beyond the ‘keeper with real composure after a fast-paced move set him free inside the area.
Vale then scored twice in quick succession to widen the margin to three goals, with the first coming on 68 minutes. Chambers received the ball out wide before cutting inside to power a stunning strike into the top corner to make it 2-0. Berks then got the Valiants’ third three minutes later, beating two defenders to hit a strike beyond the reaches of Lawrence from 18 yards.
With progression into the next round all but secure, Vale looked to dictate proceedings and see the game out. Green-Birch skipped past two defenders on 81 minutes as he looked to add further punishment, but his strike was cleared from the goal line with Lawrence beaten. Yankson did pull one back for Sutton Coldfield with the last kick of the game, but it meant nothing in terms of the result.
Port Vale Youth: Harvey Adams, Luke Chambers, Ryan Campbell-Gordon, Hayden Campbell, Max Beeston, Finlay Jackson ©, Jack Wakefield, Joe Berks, Maxwell Chimenes, Lucas Green-Birch, Joshua Ede.
Substitutes: Kyle Johnson, Liam Hickson, Louis Lake, Will Tams, Luke Daley.
Sutton Coldfield Youth: Nathan Lawrence, Joe Maguire, Elliott Mellor, Daniel Hurst ©, Max McNulty, Samuel Yankson, Louis Monaghan, Kyle Baskeyfield, Sean Doyle, Frankie Evans, Kye Hemans.
Substitutes: Joel Powney, Mason Hughes, Will West, Callum Beet, Ethan Hancocks.