The Valiants booked their place in the next round of the Papa John’s Trophy in emphatic style, netting five goals for a second consecutive game, as we picked up a 5-0 victory over the Liverpool Under-21’s at Vale Park.
It was the visitors who had the first chances of the game on the third minute, as Kaide Gordon wriggled into space in the area and curled a powerful effort towards goal that forced a fantastic stop from Aidan Stone, with the two subsequent rebounds also being stopped being the ball was cleared by Danny Amos.
Vale had their first opportunity soon after, as a well worked move saw the ball dinked across the box towards Dennis Politic who struck the ball on the half-volley, producing a wonderful save at the other end, as he was denied by Marcelo Pitaluga.
In the 15th the Vale broke the deadlock through George Lloyd, netting his second goal in as many games and his second in a Vale shirt. The goal came thanks to the work of Politic, who drove forward and whipped a cross towards the back post where Lloyd met it with a diving header.
Vale looked to double the lead minutes later through Jake Taylor, as he dribbled into the box, found a yard of space, and tried a strike on goal, but the keeper was equal to it and made the save.
Gordon continued to showcase his skills on the attack for the Reds, cutting inside and out as he drove down the right flank and into the area, before delivering a cross that was cleared as far as Dominic Corness whose audacious volley flew high over the bar with 25 minutes played.
The Vale lead was doubled just one minute later however, as Jake Taylor played a beautiful ball into the feet of Politic, who drove into the area, nicked the ball past the challenging defender and goalkeeper before slotting the ball into the open net from a tight angle.
Liverpool looked to find a way back into the game and respond in quick fashion through Jarell Quansah whose powerful effort from range had to be tipped over the bar by Stone.
David Worrall looked to get his name on the scoresheet after a stunning cross field ball from Jake Taylor was brought down expertly by Worrall, who cut inside before letting fly, but his strike was saved comfortably by Pitaluga.
As the game passed the half-hour mark, Brad Walker tried for his first goal for the Vale, taking on a half-volley from 25-yards, but the effort bounced wide of the mark.
Taylor nearly turned from creator to scorer as the game entered the 45th minute, nicking the ball off a defender and driving a low shot just wide of the far post.
It took just six minutes of the second period for the Vale to extend the lead, as Taylor played a sensational cross field ball that picked out Politic in style, with the Romanian doing well to find Mal Benning whose strike across goal found the back of the net despite a minor deflection off a defender.
With 62 minutes on the clock Leon Legge returned to action following his long spell on the side-line with injury, to a standing ovation, and nearly scored with his first touch, sending a powerful header towards goal from a Politic corner, but his effort was saved; only as far as the captain for the day, Aaron Martin, who hammered home the rebound for Vale’s fourth.
For the second game running Vale scored a fifth goal, this time Taylor the man on the score sheet, when he tackled a defender inside the area, cut the ball onto his right foot and nearly took the net off with a thunderous strike into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
Port Vale: Stone, Benning, Cass (Johnson 45’), Martin, Amos, Worrall (Legge 62’), Walker, Garrity (Amoo 45’), Taylor, Politic, Lloyd
Unused Subs: Covolan, Conlon, Pett, McFarlane.
Liverpool: Pitaluga, Clark (Pilling 78’), Bajcetic, Gordon (Cannonier 76’), Gallacher, Bearne, Norris, Quansah, Corness, Woltman, Musialowski
Unused Subs: Kelly, Mrozek.