Carlisle Utd 1-3 Port Vale: a fine all-round performance saw Port Vale put Carlisle to the sword on Tuesday night with striker James Wilson the star performer.
Manager Darrell Clarke made one change with Brad Walker dropping into the back three to replace Aaron Martin and Kian Harratt coming into the eleven.
The Valiants made a stunning start as intelligent play by James Wilson played in David Worrall and his deflected shot put the visitors into the lead with less than a minute played. Carlisle’s first chance came two minutes later when Omari Patrick shot wide during a lively opening period.
Vale could have stretched their lead as Wilson had a snapshot saved and plenty of half-chances created. However, Clarke’s side suffered a blow when the defence failed to clear a low cross and Windsor’s low drive made it 1-1 on 21 minutes.
The Valiants rallied with a Chris Hussey header deflected wide and a Wilson shot blocked from a narrow angle. The pressure told as good work from Ben Garity set up the impressive Wilson. The forward’s first attempt was blocked but he was on hand to slot home the rebound and give Vale a 2-1 lead at the interval.
Half-time: Carlisle Utd 1-2 Port Vale
Vale started the second-half well with some lovely possession football and the side looking full of confidence as they controlled the opening stages. The first chance fell for Nathan Smith who headed wide from a Worrall free-kick. The Valiants were then grateful for Smith in a defensive role as he blocked a Carlisle breakaway. There was a further chance for the home side when Gibson’s cross was headed just wide by Vale defender Brad Walker.
The Valiants came agonisingly close to making it three on 68 minutes when David Worrall headed it to Kian Harratt but his close range shot was saved. After that, chances were few and far apart until a defensive blunder allowed sub David Amoo to go one-on-one with the keeper and make it 3-1 on 80 minutes. It could have been four but Wilson headed just wide from sub Cooper’s cross and Cooper himself hit the side netting with another effort. By that point the result was not in doubt as the Valiants recorded an excellent away victory.
Brad Walker had impressed in the back three with some flowing passes while there were good performances throughout the team with Tom Pett, Chris Hussey and David Worrall all catching the eye. However, the stand-out performance came from the classy James Wilson, who had arguably his best game in a Port Vale shirt.
Full-time: Carlisle Utd 1-3 Port Vale
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Port Vale: Holy; Smith, Walker, Hall; Worrall, Garrity, Pett, Hussey; Wilson (Charsley); Harratt (Amoo), Edmondson (Cooper)
Subs: Stone, Jones, Hurst, Robinson
Port Vale bookings: none
Attendance: 3,339 (240 away)