Supersub Dennis Politic turns the game on its head to give the Valiants a deserved place in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup
A return to Emirates FA Cup action off the back of a good performance against another League One side in Rotherham in the Papa John’s Trophy. The Valiants had their first chance on nine minutes from a free-kick. Tom Conlon’s ball was sent to the back post but Nathan Smith’s header went wide of the goal.
Aidan Stone started the game in goal after making a number of terrific saves on Tuesday night. But he had no chance with Burton’s opener after 23 minutes played as Ryan Leak nodded in a Kane Hemming’s cross at the back post from close range.
Albion sat tenth in League One and had won their last two games. They were clearly in full confidence as they came close to a second just two minutes later. Jonny Smith’s effort from inside the area was saved well by Stone before the ball was cleared away.
Burton dominated for the next ten but Vale took hold of the game on 39 minutes and almost got level through a David Amoo effort in the area but Ben Garratt parried it away. A minute later James Gibbons got clear down the right flank and picked out Ben Garrity in the box but his header looped over.
After our two big chances Burton almost doubled their lead at the other end. Tom Hamer got onto a loose ball in the area and tried to curl the ball into the far top corner but it didn’t swerve enough and went wide.
There was huge controversy in stoppage time of the first half when Garrity was taken out in the area by a Burton defender, right in front of goal, but referee Martin Coy was unmoved and waved play on with Garrity down on the deck.
The Valiants almost made that non-penalty decision a moot point after 47 minutes when Tom Pett played through Amoo one on one with Garratt who came out of his area. Amoo won the race and lobbed the Brewers’ keeper but the effort went inches wide.
Three minutes later James Gibbons picked the ball up in defence and ran the length of the pitch to the opposite box and put in a strike which was well saved by Garratt. The host’s first chance of the second half came on 63 minutes. Daniel Jebbison took on two Vale defenders cutting in from the left and sending in a shot but he blasted it high over the bar from 20-yards.
Conlon had a big chance to get the score line level. A goal line scramble on 66 minutes led to the ball falling to the Vale captain but his shot, through a ton of bodies, went wide.
74 minutes played and Politic entered the pitch from the bench and eight minutes later he had turned the game around. On 80 minutes he got us level with a deflected shot from the right which beat Garratt. Just two minutes later Devante Rodney held the ball up superbly before playing Politic in one on one who took the ball past Garratt with ease and calmly placing the ball into the net.
The Valiants defended superbly in the remaining minutes to keep out the Brewers to send us into the third round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Burton Albion: Garratt, Borthwick-Jackson, Oshilaja, Hemmings, Smith, O’Connor (64’ Mancienne), Shaughnessy, Jebbison (87’ Amadi-Holloway), Tayor (87’ Chapman), Leak, Hamer
Subs not used: Balcombe, Morris, Powell, Akins, Patrick, Lakin
Port Vale: Stone, Gibbons, Jones, Smith, Garrity, Conlon, Benning (62’ Cass), Martin (62’ Worrall), Amoo (74’ Politic), Rodney (90’ Walker), Pett
Subs not used: Covolan, Legge, Johnson, Amos, Burgess