Vale: Scott Brown, James Gibbons, Luke Joyce (Dior Angus, 68), Antony Kay, Manny Oyeleke, Tom Pope, Luke Hannant, Connell Rawlinson, Nathan Smith, Mitchell Clark, Ben Whitfield (Ricky Miller, 79).
Subs: Sam Hornby, David Worrall, Ricky Miller, Louis Dodds, Dior Angus, Theo Vassell, Tom Conlon
Town: Joel Coleman, Josh Emmanuel (Alex Gilliead, 90), Kieran Kennedy, Omar Beckles, Lee Angol, Doug Loft, Abo Eisa, Ryan Sears, James Rowland (Fejiri Okenabirhie, 90), Ryan Barnett, Christos Shelis
Subs: Steve Arnold, Fejiri Okenabirhie, Alex Gilliead, Lifumpa Mwandwe, Kian Taylor, Jack Leask, Jamaine Turner.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson
Assistants: Nik Barnard and Gareth Miller
Fourth official: Simeon Lucas
Attendance: 1355 (192)
Town lose out in the Checkatrade Trophy with a penalty loss to Port Vale.
Ryan Sears’ goal wasn’t enough to see Town progress into the next round of the cup as the Valiants secured a late equaliser to see the game into penalties.
Team News: Sam Ricketts made a number of changes to the starting line up for the Checkatrade Trophy clash with Port Vale. A number of Town youth prospects were included in the match day 18.
The first 15 minutes of the half under the lights at Vale Park went by with both teams lacking goalmouth opportunities. Town’s young players didn’t look out of Place against the Valiants and were providing the strong Vale side with a battle in the middle of the park.
Ryan Barnett was one of Town’s bright sparks in the early stages of the half. The midfielder was ensuring Vale’s Mitchell Clark was being made to work on the right side of the pitch. Amongst with Ryan Sears, the two combined well to look dangerous.
James Rowland was unfairly booked in the 39th minute by referee Christopher Sarginson. Rowland was covering on the left wing as the two went shoulder to shoulder as the Vale man went to the ground.
Josh Emmanuel came inches away from giving Town the lead just before the half-time whistle. Sears and Barnett were once again being a trouble down the right wing. Barnett lofted in a cross and Emmanuel managed to get on the end of the ball with a diving header but saw his effort glance past the post.
The half came to an end with the score sheet remaining unmarked. Both teams were entertaining a highly competitive half and the score line was a fair reflection of the first 45 minutes of action.
Just five minutes into the half James Gibbons was given a yellow card for a challenge on Lee Angol as he looked to break on the left wing.
Joel Coleman was having a relatively quiet night in the Town goal and didn’t have many problems to face. But when called into action, the keeper comfortably claimed a Luke Joyce shot which was fired from outside of the box.
Connell Rawlinson was the next player to be added to the referee’s book. The defender made a poor challenge on Eisa as the forward looked progress into the Vale box.
Sears finally broke the deadlock in the 64th minute for Town. Emmanuel floated a lovely ball towards the back post and Town’s young defender managed to get his head on the cross to lift the ball over the keeper – giving Town the lead.
A goal-line clearance was the only thing preventing the home side from getting back into the game with just 10 minutes to go. Sears proved to be vital at the other end of the pitch as well and cleared the ball to keep Town’s lead intact.
Shortly after, Town were punished for not clearing a cross as Tom Pope snuck in at the back post to stab home the ball from a low cross, which brought the home side level with very few minutes on the clock.
The game came to an end with the scores level and the tie was decided on penalties.
Oyeleke: (Vale): Goal
Miller: (Vale) Goal
Pope: (Vale) SAVED
Kay: (Vale) Goal
Hannant: (Vale) Goal
The Valiants won the shootout and put themselves into the next round of the Checkatrade Trophy.