After a goaless draw in the 90 minutes, the Valiants progress into the Third Round of The Carabao after a penalty shootout victory.
Vale keeper Connor Ripley was forced into the first save of the game after just three minutes when he had to claw Rio Adebisi’s cross from underneath the crossbar.
The Railwaymen enjoyed the better of the ball in the opening stages of the game but failed to make it count. After weathering the storm, Vale had the first opportunity of the game when Tom Sang’s cross fell nicely for Ben Garrity, but he could only volley wide from the right side of the box.
Despite Vale’s early chance, Crewe continued to dominate play and they came close in the 20th minute when Ryan Cooney crossed from the right side towards the back post where Adebesi ghosted in but failed to hit the target from what seemed like point-blank range.
The visitors came close again in the 34th minute when a cross-field ball found Ryan Cooney on the edge of the box, he let the ball come over his shoulder before volleying first time straight at Connor Ripley in the Vale goal.
In first half added time the Vale had the ball in the net when Alex Iacovitti headed home a Tom Sang free kick. However, the referee had already blown for a foul before the goal was scored.
After just one minute of added time, the referee bought the first half to a close with the sides level at 0-0.
Vale came out the traps the stronger in the second half and came close after just one minute. A quickly taken corner resulted in Sang crossing towards Iacovitti whose header deflected, forcing a smart save from Davies.
In the 56th minute Andy Crosby made a triple substitution as Gavin Massey, James Wilson and Ollie Arblaster all entered the fray. This sparked the Vale into life and they immediately came close as Jack Shorrock volleyed just wide of the far post.
Moments later, James Wilson cut in from the right side onto his left foot, but his effort was straight onto the wanting arms of Harvey Davies.
Wilson came close again in the 67th minute when Ollie Arblaster won the ball in midfield before crossing to Vale’s frontman, but his deft flick lacked power and Davies saved at his near post.
The Valiants looked to take the game by the scruff of the neck, the game ebbed and flowed but neither side were able to work a real opening until the 80th minute when Arblaster fired over from just outside the box.
Vale almost won it in the 94th minute when Arblaster found Wilson inside the box, he fired an effort towards goal and forced Davies into a smart save. The rebound excellently cleared by a last ditch tackle from a Crewe defender.
After 90 minutes of no goals, we headed to penalties.
Elliot Nevitt stepped up first for the Alex and blazed his spot kick over the crossbar which set the tone for his side as they missed all four of their penalties. Connor Ripley saved one, and the other two crashed off the crossbar. For Vale, James Wilson & Ollie Arblaster scored the winning penalties to help Vale progress into the third round.
Port Vale | Connor Ripley, Lewis Cass, Tom Sang, Nathan Smith ©, Ben Garrity (Ethan Chislett 79’), Alfie Devine, Jason Lowe (Gavin Massey 56’) Alex Iacovitti, Jack Shorrock (James Plant 64’), Rhys Walters (Ollie Arblaster 56’) , Josh Thomas (James Wilson 56’)
Unused Subs: Jayson Leutwiler, Mitch Clark, Funso Ojo, Baylee Dipepa,
Crewe Alexandra | Harvey Davies, Ryan Cooney, Rio Adebesi, Zac Williams (Michael Demetriou 66’), Luke Offord ©, Conor Thomas (Chris Long 59’), Joel Tabinor, Connor O’Riordan, Matus Holicek, (Shilow Tracey 59’) Elliot Nevitt, Jack Powell (Regan Griffiths 88’)
Unused Subs: Tom Booth, Owen Lunt, Charlie Finney, Lewis Billington, Callum Aigus