Danny Whitehead’s first senior goal for the Valiants was in vain as Port Vale narrowly lost their second round Carabao Cup game against Fleetwood Town.
Port Vale manager John Askey made ten changes to the side which defeated Crawley Town on Saturday including a start for recent signing Harry McKirdy.
Fleetwood had the first chance as Vale keeper Dino Visser pulled off a fine save in the opening moments. However, on 13 minutes the home side did beat Visser although Paddy Madden’s shot did take a hefty deflection off Zak Mills. Vale’s best chance of the first-half came on 19 minutes when good work from Whitehead and Hurst set up Theo Robinson but he missed from close range.
The home side continued to have the more clearcut chances with Visser continuing his fine form with a couple more decent saves. However, Vale did have chances with Alex Hurst looking bright on the left flank.
In the second period, Vale appeared rejuvenated and restored parity on 48 minutes. Harry McKirdy’s driven cross was met by Danny Whitehead on the edge of the box and his shot hit the back of he net. The Valiants could have doubled their lead four minutes later but Oyeleke’s effort was blocked. Just minutes after that Oyeleke effort, Fleetwood sub Saunders hit the bar while full-back Zak Mills blazed over for the Valiants.
John Askey brought on David Worrall for Harry McKirdy, Luke Joyce for Dan Trickett-Smith and Scott Burgess for Oyeleke but it was the home side who netted the decisive goal. Josh Morris took advantage of some defensive hesitancy to score on 74 minutes.
Vale went long in the closing stages as they tried to force an equaliser but to no avail as their vastly changed side lost out to their League One opponents. Nevertheless, there were some pleasing signs for Askey’s side. Hurst, Whitehead and Visser had all looked bright, Theo Robinson and Cristian Montano played the full 90 minutes while Manny Oyeleke got more game time.
Visser – Mills, Brisley, Crookes, Montano – Oyeleke (Burgess), Whitehead, Trickett-Smith (Joyce) – McKirdy (Worrall), Robinson, Hurst
Subs: Brown, Smith, Cullen, Fitzpatrick.