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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: PORT VALE

4 December 2021

BURTON Albion tumbled out of this season's Emirates FA Cup after two goals from Port Vale substitute Dennis Politic in three minutes late in the game turned the Staffordshire derby on it's head.

Albion were in front courtesy of Ryan Leak's first half header, his first goal in English football and seemed to be relatively comfortable but their failure to add a second goal cost them dearly as Vale grew in belief as the game wore on and the Bolton loanee came on to snatch the match from Burton's grasp.

With a place in the Third Round at stake manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink made just the one change for the second round clash in the Emirates FA Cup. Having completed his three-match suspension Deji Oshilaja was immediately recalled slotting into the back three allowing Cameron Borthwick-Jackson to move to left wing back as Lucas Akins was rested to the bench.

Having switched the teams around at kick-off to take advantage of the favourable wind at their backs it was the visitors who made a bright start with a number of balls launched into the Burton box to try and unsettle them but it was Kane Hemmings with the first real shot on goal on six minutes with a dipping shot from range that Vale Keeper Aidan Stone was grateful to get everything behind.

As the game settled down and both sides got used to the conditions it became more of a midfield battle but Albion were next to threaten when Hemmings capitalised on a mistake from Nathan Smith to burst down the left and drill a low cross through the six yard box that evaded everyone.

Hemmings was the provider when Albion broke the deadlock midway through the first half. Overlapping with Jonny Smith the striker produced a telling delivery to the back post where LEAK proved to be dstronger than his marker to head inside the post from close range.

And it was almost two minutes later when a deep cross found Smith at the back post and he lashed in a shot that beat Stone but was diverted onto the crossbar by Dan Jones.

Despite being disadvantaged by the conditions Albion continued to look the more threatening in front of goal, Hamer's long throw geaded forwards by Conor Shaughnessy and just evading Hemmings lunging in to try and convert as the game hit the half hour mark.

But Vale raised themselves as the half wore on and Garratt was forced into a smart save on 39 minutes from David Amoo when the winger turned striker found space in the box for a low shot ten yards out.

Albion picked up their game again and Hamer was close to doubling Albion's lead when a corner was only cleared as far as Oshilaja. His effort was controlled by Hamer but his curling shot was off target.

Vale had vociferous shouts for a penalty turned away by referee Martin Coy in first half stoppage time when Ben Garrity went down in a challenge with Oshilaja, the match official unmoved and Albion almost talking full advantage bursting upfield and Daniel Jebbison firing over on the break.

Half time - Burton Albion 1-0 Port Vale.

A fired-up Vale started the second half and Amoo was inches away from an equaliser chipping the ball over the advancing Garratt and seeing it bobble and bounce inches wide of the post.

Garratt was in action again moments later as Vale raided again and Gibbons fired in a low shot that was parried away before Tom Pett fired a loose ball over the bar from the edge of the box.

Oshilaja almost grabbed a bizarre goal when his looping header back into the box got carried on the wind and almost caught out Stone in the Vale goal, the keeepr getting across and palming the ball behind before colliding with the post.

Albion went close to a second on the hour mark when Hamer's long throw was flicked on by Leak and as the ball broke loose Smith saw a low drive blocked away by Gibbons.

Jebbison went on a mazy run on 63 minutes that took him from the wing to the edge of the box but he was unable to add to his recent array of goals, firing a rising drive over the bar.

Albion's first change came on 63 minutes with O'Connor replaced by Michael Mancienne in the centre of midfield and the former Chelsea man was quickly into action heading away a dangerous situation as Vale ramped up the pressure in search of an equaliser.

However, it was a Vale substitute who made the next telling contribution whenn POLITIC arrived on the edge of the box to fire home a pull back from fellow sub David Worrall.

And the Bolton loanee was at it again within minutes taking a pass from Devante Rodney to nick the ball round Garratt and fire in from a tight angle.

Albion sent on Aaron Amadi-Holloway and Harry Chapman to try and turn the tide for Albion but it was Leak who had the best chance in stoppage time with a left foot volley at the back post that Stone was able to drop onto with relative ease.


ALBION: Garratt; Shaughnessy, Leak, Oshilaja; Hamer, Taylor (Chapman, 87), O'Connor (Mancienne, 63), Borthwick-Jackson; Smith, Jebbison (Amadi-Holloway, 87), Hemmings.
Substitutes: Balcombe, Morris, Powell, Akins, Patrick, Lakin.


GOALS: ALBION - Leak (23) ; VALE Politic (79, 82)


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