Port Vale 7-1 Burton Albion: the Valiants biggest crowd for 15 years saw Vale take a giant step towards automatic promotion with an astonishing 7-1 home win over Burton. The win came thanks to a Lee Hughes hat-trick and goals from Chris Birchall, Ben Williamson (2) and Tom Pope.
Port Vale 7-1 Burton Albion highlights:
Vale roared into a 3-0 lead after just 25 minutes as they put the visitors to the sword thanks to some great play from the Valiants.
First, on 12 minutes, a superb cross by Daniel Jones was headed home by Lee Hughes for his seventh goal of the season.
And nine minutes later, Tom Pope was fouled in the area and Hughes stepped up to take the spot-kick. The veteran Sent Tomlinson the wrong way to make it 2-0.
On 25 minutes, Chris Birchall sealed a terrific spell for the Vale as he scored with a cracking drive. It was the 28 year-old’s tenth career Vale goal and the first of his second spell at the club.
That concluded the scoring for the first period as Vale went into the break comfortably ahead after a superb first-half performance.
Vale were awarded another penalty five minutes into the second-half as Doug Loft was brought down. Lee Hughes stepped up and completed a memorable hat-trick in front of the Vale fans.
Just before the hour mark, top scorer Tom Pope got on the scoresheet with the fifth as Vale continued their stunning Friday night form.
Hughes then departed to a deserved standing ovation as Ben Williamson came on.
With twenty minutes to go, Burton did pull a goal back but it was only a consolation. Vale immediately countered with sub Ben Williamson breaking free to make it six to the home side.
In the final minutes, Pope went close to making it seven only for Tomlinson to save. But Vale were not to be denied as Williamson made it seven from Shuker’s cross.
The magnificent attendance of 10,978 was the biggest crowd at Vale Park since April 1998.
On a night that paid tribute to some great Vale performances of yesteryear, it could well be that this game will still be remembered twenty years from now…
Goals: Hughes (3), Birchall, Pope, Williamson (2)
Vale: Neal, Yates, Purse, Chilvers, Jones, Myrie-Williams (Dodds), Griffith (Shuker), Birchall, Loft, Hughes (Williamson), Pope
Subs: Johnson, Duffy, McCombe, Andrew