Port Vale’s faces were as red as their borrowed shirts as they crashed out of the FA Cup after a 1-0 replay defeat to non-league Grimsby Town.
It was the third time in the last ten years that Vale have lost to non-league opponents in the FA Cup – the other defeats coming to Scarborough (2003) and Chasetown (2007).
Micky Adams made four changes with the most significant seeing Chris Martin coming in for Stuart Tomlinson in goal. Meanwhile, Lee Collins was passed fit, Doug Loft failed a fitness test and the out-of-sorts Sean Rigg dropped to the bench. Due to injuries, Vale only named six substitutes including youth teamers Joe Davis and Ryan Lloyd.
Due to their grey away kit not being distinguishable from Grimsby’s home kit, Vale then suffered the embarassment of lining up in Grimsby’s red away kit.
The Valiants lined-up with three at the back with Lee Collins joining McCombe and McDonald in central defence with Adam Yates and Rob Taylor as wingbacks. Anthony Griffith was handed the captain’s armband.
The Vale had not won in four games, but got off to a strong start as they forced Grimsby onto the backfoot in the opening ten minutes.
But Grimsby had the best chance on twenty minutes as Liam Hearn had a clear chance on goal and forced a fine save out of Chris Martin. Then Dodds, who had been quiet in the opening stages had a decent chance for Vale forcing a decent save out of the home keeper McKeown. Morsy went even closer on twenty one minutes with a shot that was tipped onto the post by McKeown.
Then the Vale defence differed allowing Hearn another one-on-one chance only for the striker to miss the target.
In the second-half the home side came out much brighter and went closest to taking the lead as Elding took advantage of a McDonald mistake but failed to hit the target. Then Vale survived again as Elding’s header was cleared off the line with Grimsby players appealing for a goal.
Grimsby’s pressure finally paid off in the 59th minute as Makofo found the target to put the home side 1-0 ahead.
The home side had a chance to double their lead only for Martin to pull off a fine save from Elding. Vale then went close from a fine strike from Roberts. But Grimsby went close to doubling their lead as they struck the outside of the post.
Rigg went close from a good ball from Roberts and threw on Roe for his Vale debut, but it was too little, too late and the pressure will mount on manager Micky Adams to add new faces after this latest cup upset.
Port Vale: Martin, Yates (Roe), McCombe, McDonald, Collins, Morsy (Rigg), Griffith, Roberts, Taylor, Pope, Dodds
Subs: Tomlinson, Kozluk, Davis, Lloyd