Port Vale started their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 win over local side Kidsgrove Athletic this afternoon thanks to goals from Mark Cullen and Richie Bennett.
Continuing the annual pre-season tradition of playing each other, both Kidsgrove and the Valiants played the game in good spirits in front of an excellent crowd of 1,689 fans.
John Askey named two sides that would both get 45 minutes during the game. New signings Mark Cullen, Ryan Lloyd, Kieran Kennedy and Adam Crookes all featured in the first half whilst Richie Bennett and Scott Burgess played their part in the second.
The opening 15 minutes of the game were even between the two sides, with trialist Rhys Browne coming the closest for the Vale.
The winger cut inside on his left foot and fired a decent looking effort at goal which looked to be heading in, but the Kidsgrove goalkeeper managed to tip it over the bar and out for a corner.
Moments later however Vale did take the lead through new signing Mark Cullen. Manny Oyeleke started the move with a well-worked ball over to Browne on the wing.
The winger clipped the ball to the far post which was nodded back into the six-yard box by Tom Conlon and Cullen was there to tap it in.
Vale headed into half time with a 1-0 lead and the gaffer introduced his second-half team to finish off the game. The Valiants dominated the opening periods of the second half, Luke Joyce had the first bite of the cherry with a powerful shot from 25 yards which the Kidsgrove goalkeeper caught firmly in his hands.
Askey was dealt with a blow 15 minutes into the second half when Cristian Montano limped off holding the back of his leg. This opened up the opportunity for our home-grown player, Ryan Campbell-Gordon, to step and get some minutes under his belt.
Richie Bennett saw fellow new boy Mark Cullen had got himself on the scoresheet so fancied himself doing the same.
With 65 minutes on the clock, the striker doubled Vale's lead in a similiar fashion to the opener. Worrall clipped a delicate free-kick to the back stick which Popey flicked back into a dangerous area, and Bennett was there to nod it home.
David Worrall almost added a third for the Vale 10 minutes later after some good play from Ben Whitfield. Whits made a surging run forward with the ball and found an unmarked Worrall in the Kidsgrove box, but the midfielder could only guide his header just wide of the post.
Kidsgrove did pull a goal back late on to half the deficit thanks to Lee Williamson. The midfielder found the bottom corner with a drilled shot 20 yards from goal.
The Valiants travel to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday to use their training ground and play a friendly against the under 23s side before facing Leek Town next Saturday.