Port Vale 6-2 Hartlepool United

Port Vale 6-2 Hartlepool United

Ben Williamson scored his first hat-trick for the Vale, Tom Pope netted his sixtieth Vale goal and former Pools target Michael Brown scored – as Vale beat Hartlepool in the league cup.

Manager Micky Adams largely kept faith with the side that took on Walsall although Chris Robertson came in for Richard Duffy and Chris Birchall for Louis Dodds. Former Vale skipper Sam Collins started for the away side.

The game started in entertaining fashion – a Ryan  McGivern drive was parried by Pools keeper Flinders and Ben Williamson tapped in for his first of the season on eight minutes.

Two minutes later, Jonathan Franks levelled past Johnson from long-range. However,  just five minutes after that, Ben Williamson scored his second after a brilliant run by Marshall took him past three Pools defender.

Williamson then completed his hat-trick on seventeen minutes after a pass from Chris Lines. Vale could have added to their lead before the interval after a goalmouth scramble, but the first period finished with Vale comfortably ahead.

The Valiants brought on former Hartlepool transfer target Michael Brown at the interval and the veteran nearly set up Pope early in the second-half. Then the away side countered with another shot from Franks.

But on the hour mark, Hartlepool got back in the game after Robertson conceded a penalty by bringing down Sam Collins. Neil Austin gave Johnson no chance from the spot.

However, just minutes later, sub Michael Brown netted his first goal to restore Vale’s two goal cushion. The Valiants shored up after Brown’s goal with Jennings coming on for Birchall and Dodds for Williamson.

And Vale made victory secure when sub Dodds set up Tom Pope for Vale’s fifth on 75 minutes.  Pope then made it six with six minutes left (it was his sixtieth Vale career goal) and that proved to be more than enough for the Vale to reach the second round.

Vale: Johnson, Veseli, Robertson, McGivern, Dickinson, Birchall (Jennings), O’Connor (Brown), Lines, Marshall, Pope, Williamson (Dodds)

Subs: Neal, Yates, Duffy, Lloyd

Attendance: 2,879

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