Mick Ede’s young Port Vale side booked their place in the second round of the FA Youth Cup on Monday evening after convincingly sweeping aside Kidderminster Harriers at Vale Park, with Maxwell Chimenes and Joe Berks both bagging braces.
Hayden Campbell and Lucas Green-Birch also netted for the Valiants during what was a stylish display, but Kidderminster did register a consolation through Reiss Taylor-Randle. The home side did look comfortable throughout, however, and they ran out as deserved winners.
Vale’s youngsters couldn’t have made a better start to the game as they raced into the lead with just three minutes on the clock. Chimenes pounced on an error in the Kidderminster back line, and he made no mistakes with the finish, planting a finish into the bottom corner from 18 yards.
Five minutes later and Vale were on the attack again, with Green-Birch at the heart of things. His initial low cross skidded across the face of goal and Josh Ede wasn’t quite able to make contact, but Green-Birch then tried his luck from range almost immediately afterwards, only to be denied by Mountjoy.
It didn’t take the Valiants much longer to double their advantage, however, as Chimenes went down under a challenge inside the area to win his side a penalty. Berks then stepped up to confidently slam the ball into the bottom corner from 12 yards with 12 minutes played.
Kidderminster then responded with a spell of pressure as they attempted to find a route back into the game, and they almost did that on 17 minutes. Myles Brooks did well to head down to Jaiden White, but his effort was hooked off the line and Vale were able to clear the danger.
Vale then went forward up the other end nine minutes later and they made the move count to give themselves a three-goal cushion. Luke Chambers did well to send in a pinpoint cross after driving down the right flank, but it was Campbell who provided the finishing touch with a sublime glancing header.
The visitors did reduce the deficit before half-time, despite the best efforts of the Vale defence to keep it out. Luke Chambers did well to block an initial effort before Finlay Jackson was able to prod James Dutton’s rebound off the line, but the loose ball fell to Taylor-Randle who fired home from close range.
Following the restart, it was Kidderminster who looked to get on the attack early on as Dutton went down inside the area on 46 minutes, only to see his penalty appeals waved away by the referee. Vale then countered and Green-Birch fizzed a cross low into the box, but it was just beyond the reach of his teammates.
The young Valiants then found the net once again after 56 minutes, this time in spectacular style. Ryan Campbell-Gordon flicked the ball into the path of Chimenes inside the area, and the striker doubled his own tally by diverting a strike beyond the reaches of the goalkeeoper with the outside of his boot.
Jack Wakefield almost got himself on the scoresheet five minutes later following another incisive attacking move. Green-Birch found the midfielder on the overlap with a delicate touch, but he could only manage to curl his effort inches wide of the far post from 20 yards after shifting the ball onto his right foot.
The final half an hour proved to be a quiet period as both teams battled for possession, but Vale looked comfortable as they held onto their commanding lead. They did then make it 5-1 on 79 minutes as Green-Birch rifled home a goal that his performance warranted, profiting on a pinpoint pass from Jackson.
Joe Berks then added another goal with five minutes to play as he rifled a strike under the body of Mountjoy, sealing what proved to be a very productive night for Ede and his side as they progressed into the next stage of the competition.
Port Vale: Harvey Adams, Luke Chambers, Ryan Campbell-Gordon, Hayden Campbell, Max Beeston, Finlay Jackson, Jack Wakefield, Joe Berks, Maxwell Chimenes, Lucas Green-Birch, Josh Ede.
Substitutes: Kyle Johnson, Louis Lake, Alex Hallchurch, Liam Hickson, Nelson Agho.
Kidderminster Harriers: Ewan Mountjoy, Kian Kang, James Dutton, Myles Brooks, Nathaniel Christie, Tristan Murphy, Harry Statford, Zak Williams, Reiss Taylor-Randle, Jaiden White, Tom Smith.
Substitutes: Harvey Cartwright, Conor Basford, Harrison Yates, Ethan Muckley, Casey Collins.