David Worrall scored the only goal of the game this afternoon as Port Vale progress into the second round of the Emirates FA Cup with a win at MK Dons.
It took just two minutes for the Vale to fashion their first chance of the match at Stadium MK this afternoon. The ball fell to Richie Bennett just inside the box and he rifled a shot with his left foot from a tight angle, forcing Lee Nicholls into making a smart save.
Vale continued to look promising early on, and it was Scott Burgess to try his luck just a few minutes later, spinning away from his man but dragging his audacious effort wide of the mark.
Askey’s men seemed comfortable throughout the opening 10 minutes; MK Dons only having a single corner to show for their efforts which was easily dealt with by the Vale defence.
It was Alex Gilby who then took it upon himself to create something for the home side, he drove in towards the box and unleashed a shot which was deflected behind for a corner.
The resulting corner almost led to the first goal of the match; Conor McGrandles’ corner was flicked on towards the back post but no player in white could find the clinical touch.
The Vale’s confident start to this one paid off after 19 minutes as Askey’s men took a well-deserved lead thanks to David Worrall. A poor headed clearance from the Dons defence made its way to James Gibbons on the right and he delivered a pin-point cross to the back post where Worrall was unmarked to head home.
Russell Martin didn’t quite get the reaction he expected from his players after going 1-0, but after 28 minutes the Dons were presented with an opportunity from 25-yards-out after Legge brought down Dickenson. However, his effort from the resulting free-kick sailed well wide of Scott Brown’s goal.
Martin’s side began to get a foothold in this game and were enjoying the lion’s share of possession on the half-hour mark, yet failed to create anything of note.
Dickenson looked like a bright spark for the Dons during the first period, and he danced his way down the left flank making a room for a cross which missed everybody in the box.
The Valiants continued to create chances late in the first-half, and it was David Amoo causing the home side problems down the right and a tackle on him led to ball to Burgess who struck the ball first time but his effort failed to trouble Nicholls.
Moments later it was Amoo once more causing havoc on the wing, he beat his man confidently and crossed into the box, yet Bennett couldn’t quite connect with the ball.
Just before the interval the Vale had a golden chance to double their lead. It was great football from Askey’s side and Worrall received the ball on the left and his excellent cross found an open Bennett who should have found the net from six-yards out.
The Vale were not finished there however, a Worrall corner from the right was flicked on by Bennett and Leon Legge was there, but he couldn’t connect properly and his effort was easily dealt with by the Dons’ keeper.
It was an excellent display from the Valiants in the first-half who went into the break a goal up, yet may have been disappointed not to have extended their lead late on.
The Dons started the second-half in much better fashion than they did the first, and five minutes after the restart Jordan Bowery had a fantastic chance to draw his side level. It was another MK Dons corner which again was flicked on and this time it was Bowery from six-yards out who sent his effort over.
Just two minutes later Martin’s side had another opportunity to level proceedings. A ball was threaded through to the lively Dickenson on the left, and he looked to fire the ball across Brown, but the Vale keeper watched the ball go wide of the post.
Askey’s side didn’t see much of the ball early on in the second period, but the Vale’s stern defence continued to keep the home side at bay.
It was James Gibbons who had Vale’s first real chance of the second-half, the ball fell to the right-back just outside the area and his effort was well blocked.
On 65 minutes MK Dons really should have found themselves on level terms. A ball came in from the left-hand side, which was parried away by Brown, yet Reeves followed up and smashed his effort over from close range.
With 15 minutes left the home side continued to dominate possession, yet the Vale stood strong to clear anything that came their way.
Askey’s men continued to press high late on in this one, winning vital free-kicks deep in the home side’s half.
Despite a strong second-half from the home side, Worrall's first-half strike was enough to send the Vale through to the second round of the FA Cup in front of 593 travelling Valiants.
Port Vale: Brown, Gibbons, Joyce, Legge, Worral, Montano, Smith, Taylor, Amoo, Burgess (87' Evans), Bennett (68' Pope)
Unused subs: Maddison, Browne, Brisley, Archer, Cullen
MK Dons: Nicholls, Lewington, Poole, Reeves, Gilbey (84' Houghton), Bowery, Dickenson (60' Mason), Moore-Taylor, McGrandles, Brittain, Kasumu (70' Boateng)
Unused Subs: Moore, Cargill, Sorinola, Freeman