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Match Reports

Match Report | Port Vale 2-3 Burton Albion

19 September 2023

The Valiants dominated proceedings from the off and had the ball in the net after just four minutes when James Wilson latched onto a through ball and squared to Funso Ojo who tapped home. However, Wilson was adjudged to be offside in the build-up and so it was ruled out.

Two minutes later, Vale came close again when Ollie Arblaster found Connor Grant down the left side, he fired in a low cross which deflected agonisingly wide of the near post. Much to the relief of the sprawling Max Crocombe in the Burton goal.

Despite Vale’s early pressure it was the visitors who took the lead when Beryly Lubaba put the visitors ahead when he headed home Tom Hamer’s cross from close range. This was the first time Vale had conceded a league goal at Vale Park this season.

Despite going a goal down early on, The Valiants continued to dominate the play. They had another good opportunity after 15 minutes when Ben Garrity fired a low effort towards goal but Crocombe was on hand to palm behind for a corner. From the resulting Nathan Smith headed wide of the goal.

The Brewers had a good opportunity to double their lead when Mustapha Carayol was spectacularly played in behind by a long goal kick from Crocombe, he got to the byline and crossed to Beryly who headed over from six-yards.

The frantic tempo to the game continued, and Vale squirmed another good chance. Alfie Devine found Ben Garrity, but his effort was blazed over from just inside the box after 20 minutes.

As the game settled down, Carayol picked up the ball on halfway and spotted Ripley of his line. However, his effort got caught in the wind and sailed over the bar.

With just under half an hour gone, Vale had their best effort of the game when Ollie Arblaster danced his way into the box before finding Wilson who crashed an effort off the inside of the post before it rolled rather fortuitously into Crocombe’s arms. The Vale kept pushing and minutes later Ollie Arblaster took aim from 20 yards but it whistled the wrong side of the post.

Five minutes before the break Vale finally got the goal they deserved. Conor Grant crossed from the left side and it was met by a bullet header from Ben Garrity who saw his effort crash off the inside of the post before nestling in the back of the net to grab his fourth goal of the season.

As the referee indicated four minutes of added time, The Vale breached Burton’s backline and should really have gone ahead. Alfie Devine raced towards goal and looked to square to Ben Garrity, but his ball was straight at the Burton keeper.

Max Crocombe was keeping his side in the game and in the third minute of added time, he made another good save. Alex Iacovitti showed good feet to work a shot but it was straight at the Burton keeper who stood firm.

In the second half The Valiants’ dominance continued. Just ninety seconds after the restart Crocombe was once again called into action when he saved well with his legs following a low drive from Devine.

In the 50th minute the visitors regained the lead via a set play straight off the training ground. Joe Powell and Mustapha Carayol linked up well from a corner before Powell crossed into the box, his ball in caused chaos in the Vale box and feel to Steve Seddon who was on hand to fire home from close range to put the visitors ahead for the second time in the game.

Ten minutes later Burton doubled their lead when Kwadwo Baah won the ball on halfway, before cutting inside then back outside and firing past Ripley to make the score 3-1 at Vale Park.

Vale pushed to get back into the game came close in the 68th minute when Conor Grant acrobatically volleyed towards got but his effort was tipped over the bar by Crocombe. Moments later Wilson swivelled on the ball before shooting towards goal, but it was blocked by the resolute Brewers backline.

The Valiants continued to push and the introduction of Mitch Clark & James Plant gave Vale a new dynamic going forward. In the 80th minute Clark burst down the right side and found Wilson in the box, he turned well before shooting straight at Crocombe once again.

Six minutes from time Vale won a freekick in a dangerous area when Tom Hamer floored Garrity. Funso Ojo stepped up and curled his freekick over the wall but once again Crocombe saved well.

From the resulting corner, Connor Grant crossed from the left, Burton failed to clear their lines before Ollie Arblaster thundered a low strike into the back of the net to halve the deficit and get his side deservedly back into the game.

In the 97th minute of added time, Mitch Clark broke down the right side and floated in a cross towards the back post, it was cleared as far as James Wilson who volleyed towards goal. Somehow Crocoombe managed to trap the ball inbetween his legs to maintain his sides lead at the death.

Desptie there being eight minutes of added time, The Valiants were unable to find that leveller and therefore suffered their first home defeat of the season.

Port Vale | Connor Ripley, Tom Sang (Lewis Cass 62’), Kofi Balmer (Gavin Massey 62’), Nathan Smith, Ben Garrity, Alfie Devine (Mitch Clark 62’) , Funso Ojo, Conor Grant, Alex Iacovitti (James Plant 76'), Ollie Arblaster, James Wilson

Subs not used: Jayson Leutwiler, Ryan Loft, Jason lowe,

Burton Albion | Max Crocombe, Steve Seddon, Adedeji Oshilaja, Sam Hughes, Joe Powell, Jasper Moon, Beryly Lubala, Mark Helm, Mutapha Carayol (Jake Caprice 73), Kwadwo Baah (Rakheem Harper 75’), Tom Hamer

Subs not used: Jamal Blackman, Ryan Sweeney, Josh Gordon, Josh Walker, Ciaran Gilligan.

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