Port Vale at least avoided FA Cup embarrassment in front of the TV cameras as they overcame a spirited Maidenhead side on Thursday night.
Rob Page named the same starting eleven that defeated Barnsley but the side got off to a poor start as the home side took inspiration from a packed stadium and duly dominated play in the early stages.
Vale were lumping the ball to diminutive strike duo Dodds and Leitch-Smith and it clearly wasn’t working and it was sadly not a shock when the home side took the lead. Jak Alnwick made a fine save but the ball was thumped home to give United the lead.
The Valiants were grateful to midfielder Michael O’Connor who headed home from a rare Vale attack to level the scores.
Then striker AJ Leitch-Smith trebled his Vale career tally with a couple of clever finishes to put Vale comfortably in front.
However, much credit has to go to Maidenhead who never gave up and showed glimpses of real skill particularly on the flanks. The home side were deservedly applauded off the pitch by Vale fans and players.
Vale will be grateful that despite the uninspiring play they are now through to the second round and still have the potential to embark on a lucrative cup run.
Vale: Alnwick, Yates, Duffy, McGivern, Dickinson, Grant, O’Connor, Foley (Daniel), Moore, Dodds, Leitch-Smith (Ikpeazu)
Subs: Neal, Birchall, Streete, Hooper, Kelly