Burton Albion 1-2 Port Vale: the Valiants earned a place in the FA Cup third round after they served up their second giantkilling of the season – beating League One side Burton Albion thanks to two late Dennis Politic goals.
Manager Darrell Clarke made several changes for the game including starts for goalkeeper Aidan Stone and left-back Mal Benning. Dennis Politic passed a fitness test to make the bench.
The Valiants started the match strongly but Burton had the first chance of the opening fifteen minutes when a mistake from Nathan Smith allowed Kane Hemmings to cross but no-one was on hand to convert. However, the home side did take the lead a few minutes later when Ryan Leak’s downwards header from Kane Hemmings’ fine ball into the box went in from close range. It could have been worse moments later but Jonny Smith’s effort was denied by a combination of Vale defender Dan Jones and the crossbar! Smith’s shot beat Aidan Stone, but Jones scooped the ball onto the woodwork and out.
Vale countered on 39 minutes following good work from James Gibbons and Tom Conlon. David Amoo forced a great stop from Ben Garratt and moments later Ben Garrity headed over when he should have hit the target. As the half went into time added on, Vale were incensed at not being awarded a penalty, after Burton centre-back Deji Oshilaja tangled with Ben Garrity. However, the Vale appeals were turned down as the Valiants entered the break trailing by a solitary goal.
Half-time: Burton Albion 1-0 Port Vale
The Valiants had a great chance early when David Amoo chipped the onrushing Garratt in the Burton goal but it just went wide. There were further chances for Gibbons and Pett before Gibbons blocked on the line to prevent Burton doubling their lead.
Manager Darrell Clarke rang the changes on the hour mark bringing on Cass and Worrall for Martin and Benning. The change had a positive effect although forward David Amoo then looked to pick up a knock and was replaced by Dennis Politic, himself an injury doubt for the game. Vale fans will be keeping their fingers crossed that Amoo doesn’t join the club’s lengthy forward injury list.
However, forward worries were put to the back of fans’ minds on 80 minutes when Politic put the side level with a fine finish after good work from Rodney, Cass and Worrall. It was reward for a fine spell from Clarke’s side. Three minutes later, a superb second goal from Politic turned the tie around. Good work from Devante Rodney sent the sub clear to finish past Garratt and put the Valiants ahead with nine minutes left.
Those two late goals were enough to send the Vale through to the lucrative third round stage as they dispatched their second League One opponents in succession. It was a fine away performance from an injury-hit side who delighted the impressive Port Vale away showing – with nearly 2,000 travelling fans celebrating at the final whistle. All eyes will now be on Monday night’s third round draw.
Full-time: Burton Albion 1-2 Port Vale
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Port Vale: Stone; Smith, Martin (Cass), Jones; Gibbons, Pett, Conlon, Garrity, Benning (Worrall); Rodney (Walker), Amoo (Politic)
Subs: Covolan, Legge, Amos, Burgess
Port Vale bookings: None