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Match Reports

Match Report | Port Vale 1-0 Crewe Alexandra

5 September 2023

Match Reports

Match Report | Port Vale 1-0 Crewe Alexandra

5 September 2023

The Valiants started their EFL Trophy campaign perfectly with three points thanks to Ben Garrity’s first half strike.

After only six minutes of play James Plant forced Crewe keeper Tom Booth into action. Plant won the ball deep in the visitor’s half and drove past multiple defenders into the area, but Booth palmed away his strong effort at the near post.

The Railwaymen created their first opportunity just before the quarter hour mark when Joe White found Ryan Cooney in space on the right inside the Vale penalty area, but he was unable to capitalise slicing his effort well wide of Jayson Leutwiler’s goal.

Vale dominated play and continually threatened down the visitor’s right-hand side in the early stages, Ben Garrity and Tom Sang played numerous dangerous balls into the box but the Crewe defence managed to scramble them away.

On e18 minutes the Valiants were rewarded for their bright start and took the lead. The same duo linked up again as Garrity met Sang’s cross into the box, taking the ball over the Crewe defender with his first touch before smashing home on the volley with his second. Despite getting a hand to it, Garrity’s strike had too much power for Booth to keep it out.

The hosts never lost control of the game after breaking the deadlock, winning a series of corners in the 25th minute, one where Sang’s delivery was sent goalwards by an unsuspecting Crewe defender but fell just agonisingly wide of the net.

Vale Park erupted five minutes later when Plant won the race for the ball after he was sent through on goal from an excellent chipped pass but was dragged down clumsily by Booth just outside the area.

The visitor’s stopper was only shown a yellow card and from the resulting free kick the ball was laid off to Conor Grant on the edge of the box, who struck his effort powerfully off the post to keep Vale just one goal in front.

After just two minutes of additional time, the referee blew his whistle with the Railwaymen lucky to only be trailing 1-0.

Following a more evenly matched start to the second half, the Railwaymen had a golden opportunity to bring themselves level in the 52nd minutes Owen Lunt found himself one on one with Leutwiler but the Valiants’ keeper prevailed, making himself big to maintain the host’s lead.

Vale looked to double their advantage four minutes later when Ryan Loft carried the ball from his own half to the edge of the Crewe box before firing a powerful effort which was pushed away by Booth in the goal.

Crewe enjoyed the better of the ball in portions of the second half but they failed to make it count and left opportunities open for the Valiants, the pick of the bunch coming on 71 minutes when substitutes Funso Ojo and Baylee Dipepa linked up to nearly guarantee the three points for Vale.

Ojo broke from a Crewe corner and slipped the ball into Dipepa with no defenders in sight, however his effort was denied by the visiting keeper.

The visitors continued to apply the pressure on Vale in the closing stages as seven minutes from time Calum Aigus wriggled into some space just inside the box, but his right-footed effort was curled over.

There was no greater chance for the visitors to level than with three minutes to play when a cross from the left side was headed by Baker-Richardson back across goal to Aigus who miscued his aerial effort sending the ball wide from point-blank range.

The visitor’s frustrations boiled over with seconds left after Cooney pushed Mitch Clark having already been booked which produced a red card by referee Steven Copeland.

The dismissal was virtually the final action of the EFL Trophy clash, with the full-time whistle confirming all three points for the Valiants.


Port Vale | Jayson Leutwiler, Lewis Cass (Funso Ojo 64’), Tom Sang, Kofi Balmer (Alex Iacovitti 45’), Ben Garrity ©, Ryan Loft (Baylee Dipepa 64’), Conor Grant, Jason Lowe, James Plant (Mitch Clark 71’), Jack Shorrock, Rhys Walters

Unused Subs: Connor Ripley, Gavin Massey, Liam Brazier


Crewe Alexandra| Tom Booth, Ryan Cooney, Michael Demetriou ©, Conor Thomas, Connor O’Riordan, Owen Lunt, Elliott Nevitt (Shilow Tracey 45’ (80’ Lewis Nolan)), Aaron Rowe (Calum Agius), Charlie Finney, Lewis Billington, Joe White (Courtney Baker-Richardson 60’)

Unused Subs: Harvey Davies, Luke Offord, Nathan Robinson

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