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Match Reports


4 November 2023

Match Reports


4 November 2023

ALBION will be in the hat for the FA Cup second round but will have to beat Port Vale in a replay after a goalless draw with the ten-men Valiants at Vale Park.

The home side had to play for over seventy minutes a man down after skipper Nathan Smith was dismissed for his challenge on Mark Helm.

Albion hit the woodwork twice in search of a winner and thought they had sealed victory when Josh Walker was denied by the assistant’s flag right at the death.

The Brewers were to rue those missed chances as Vale defied their man disadvantage and Ethan Chislett could have won it for Vale in added on time but for a good save from Max Crocombe.

Looking to make progress in the Cup saw Dino Maamria restrict his changes to just one from the side held to a goalless draw against Leyton Orient in League One last weekend. Mustapha Carayol came into the side, playing in a wide role as Albion looked to make use of the wide expanses of Vale Park. His inclusion came at the expense of Ciaran Gilligan who dropped to the bench. Fresh form their FA Youth Cup victory over Vale in the week, Will Tamen, Dylan Scott and Ronny Wakelin all made it onto an extended FA Cup substitutes bench.

Vale won a free kick through the strength of striker Uche Ikpeazu and Ben Garrity saw his header clip the bar as the home side threatened in the opening minutes.

Alfie Devine should also have done better in the fourth minute when a corner was helped on and the midfielder could only steer his header up and over the bar from inside the six-yard area.

Bez Lubala fired well over the bar from Albion’s first real and Joe Powell fired a trademark free kick straight at Connor Ripley before Vale were reduced to ten men through a straight red card for skipper Smith after he was adjudged to be last man bringing down Mark Helm as he tried to burst through. Powell again stood over the free kick and this time beat Ripley but clipped the crossbar.

Vale almost profited from some loose Albion defending when Crocombe dwelt on a clearance and allowed Uche Ikpeazu to nick the ball back, but Ryan Sweeney got a crucial block on Garrity’s angled shot.

Quickfire yellow cards for Oshilaja and Powell in the lead up to half time led to a free kick situation for Vale just outside the box that Albion managed to see off and in added on time Carayol was denied by Tom Sang’s goalline clearance.


Albion started brightly in the opening stages of the second half looking to take more advantage of their extra man. Powell had another free kick five minutes in and Ripley made an awkward save bit did enough to see it over the bar.

Vale saw off Albion’s concerted pressure and won themselves a flurry of corners just before the hour mark but were unable to make anything of them.

That was the moment for Albion to introduce Cole Stockton, the striker making his long-awaited return in place of Lubala.

Carayol tested Ripley with a curling left footed effort moments later as Albion got back on the front foot in search of a breakthrough.

Alfie Devine drove at the Burton back line and fired narrowly wide before Powell spotted Ripley off his line and tried to lob him from distance, his effort just landing on the roof of the net from 40 yards out.

Stockton had his first chance on 68 minutes firing just into the side netting before he was joined on the pitch by Mason Bennett who replaced Helm.

Stockton went closest yet on 77 minutes spinning away as he beat the offside trap and seeing his shot hit the inside of the post and ricochet agonisingly along the line and stay out.

Josh Gordon was the third attacking change taking over from Carayol as the game headed towards the final ten minutes.

Vale threw men forwards and almost got themselves ahead, Crocombe making a smart save to deny substitute Ryan Loft with fellow sun Gavin Massey unable to bury the loose ball either.

Albion thought they had nicked it with the final chance of the game when Walker hooked in from a scramble but the flag of the assistant meant that the game would head to a replay.



ALBION: Crocombe; Moon, Sweeney, Hamer; Caprice, Powell; Oshilaja, Carayol (Gordon, 77);  Helm (Bennett, 68), Lubala (Stockton, 60); Walker.

Substitutes: Blackman, Harper, Gilligan, Scott, Wakelin, Tamen.


Referee: Simon Mather


Attendance: 4,245 (512 away)

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