A spirited second-half performance and Danny Whitehead’s first Vale goal wasn’t enough to propel the Vale into the third round of the Carabao Cup as they fell to defeat on the road against League One Fleetwood Town.
The first chance of the game came after just two minutes and went the way of the hosts, when Burns was played in down the right and had his powerful low effort towards the far bottom corner stopped well by Dino Visser.
The Fisherman maintained on the front foot as the game reached the five minute mark and had a call for a penalty for a foul on Camps waved away by the referee without many complaints from the home side.
Vale’s first chance came soon after as Danny Whitehead let loose a shot from 25-yards, but his attempt was deflected out for the games first corner which came to nothing after a well worked set-piece tactic involving a short ball to Harry McKirdy.
The Cod Army took the lead with 13 minutes played when Ched Evans beat McKirdy to drive to the by-line down the right and pull the ball back into the box where Madden poked the ball towards goal where it took a major deflection off Zak Mills and into the back of the net.
The Vale saw their first big chance come just before the 20 minute mark as McKirdy did brilliantly to launch a counter-attack where he played the ball into Whitehead who drove forward and unleashed Alex Hurst whose low cross reached Robinson at the back post where he was unable to find the back of the net.
At the half-hour point Evans nearly doubled the Fleetwood lead when he found space in the box and fired a low effort towards the far corner but Visser got down to make a good save with a strong arm.
Following a well-defended Fleetwood corner, Whitehead was unable to control the ball as it fell from the air, falling to Morris who hit a curling effort towards goal and claimed for handball however their protests were swiftly waved away by the referee.
Just two minutes after the restart, the Vale replied in stunning fashion. After good link-up play from the right-hand side, it was debutant, Harry McKirdy who cut to the by-line to find the feet of Whitehead, who’s clean-cut volley from the edge of the area nestled into the bottom corner for his first goal in a Vale shirt.
One goal could’ve nearly become two just a few minutes later as Zak Mills did well to reach the by-line once again, and after some good footwork, stood a cross up into the air which was headed away for the first of a string of corners to follow.
The first major chance of the Vale onslaught fell to Manny Oyeleke who’s efforted deflected off teammate Cristian Montano.
After a tense period of play that saw neither side able to forge a clear chance on goal, Oyeleke tried a long-ranger from 25-yards out but failed to trouble Cairns before the Trawlermen came so close to taking the lead again.
They broke forward on the counter and worked a move down the right flank before a cross into the danger area which Saunders got onto the end of it but failed to find the net from point-blank range, rattling Visser’s bar.
With 20 minutes left of the 90, Mills looked to grab his second Vale goal and put Vale in front, but his powerful attempt flew over the bar.
Five minutes later Fleetwood did take the lead once again, as Morris rocketed a left-footed volley into the bottom-left corner of Visser’s net, with the Valiants unable to find a late equaliser.
Port Vale: Visser, Crookes, Brisley, Mills, Montano, Whitehead, McKirdy (71’ Worrall), Trickett-Smith (63’ Joyce), Hurst, Oyeleke (73’ Burgess), Robinson
Unused Subs: Brown, Fitzpatrick, Smith, Cullen
Fleetwood: Cairns, Andrew, Whelan, Burns, Evans (54’ Saunders) , Camps (79’ Matete), Morris, Coutts, Madden, Stubbs, Hill
Unused Subs:, Leutwiler, Duffy, Boyes, Garner, Holgate