Despite Chris Shuker (pictured) scoring after just nine minutes, Port Vale were defeated 3-1 by Championship side Burnley in the first round of the Capital One cup.
With all Vale’s protracted off-field woes, it was a relief to concentrate on matters on the pitch and a respectable crowd of just over 4,000 were there to watch proceedings.
Micky Adams handed full debuts to Chris Neal, Jennison Myrie-Williams and Ashley Vincent with Richard Duffy and Darren Murphy on the bench. Youngsters Joe Davis and Sam Morsy also started with Ryans Lloyd and Burge on the bench.
The home side, wearing their pink third kit, took the lead after just nine minutes when Chris Shuker’s free-kick bounced past keeper Lee Grant. But the lead lasted just ninety seconds as Jason Shackell’s header levelled things up.
Then Burnley took advantage of a mistake by Joe Davis to take the lead on 28 minutes. Davis’ header failed to reach keeper Neal and Charlie Austin scored the visitor’s second goal.
And the Clarets made it 3-1 as Dean Marney took advantage of some static defending on 42 minutes.
Micky Adams brought on Clayton McDonald for Davis at the break and in the early stages of the second period, Shuker missed an opportunity to get his second of the match. Then Ryan Burge marked his recovery from last season’s injury woes as he was brought on to replace Shuker.
Vale’s best effort of the second period came from Louis Dodds who forced a good save from Grant. And with Vale putting in a much better second-half display, Dodds forced another good save from Grant.
Ben Williamson came on for Vincent as Vale continued to press. Sam Morsy went close in the dying moments, but it was to no avail as the visitors from the Championship progressed into the second round.
Port Vale: Neal, Yates, McCombe, Davis (McDonald), Loft, Myrie-Williams, Morsy, Dodds, Shuker (Burge), Vincent (Williamson), Pope
Subs not used: Johnson, Duffy, Murphy, Lloyd
Bookings: Morsy, McCombe
Referee: Mr Haines