Town set up a home tie against Sunderland in the next round of the FA Youth Cup as they overcome Port Vale 1-0
Town Starting 11
Sam Agius, Zac Hartley, Dan Walker, James Rowland (c) (Redding 70) Tom Davies, Luke ward, Jamaine Turner (Thomas 70) , Ethan O’toole, Archie Elmore, Ryan Grosvenor (Aris 87), Charlie caton
Jaden Bevan, Lewis Redding, William Thomas, Nigel Aris, Edan sears
Port Vale Starting 11
Tom Gregors, Kennel Barratt, Luke Chambers, Thyler Bradbury, Alex Hallchurch, Michael Lennon, Jack Stevens (Jones 89), Hayden Campbell, Maxwell Chimenes, Liam Hickson (Dyer 67), Joseph Ajose
Joe Collinge, Ammar Dyer, Louis Lake, Reece Robins, Ellis Jones.
Referee – Dean Steatham.
Town's last encounter with Vale was a dominant 5-0 victory which saw the young Shrews take home all three points. This is the second of three meetings between the two sides as Town are coincidently set to take on Vale this Saturday in the league.
Vale started off with a dangerous attack after winning themselves a corner. The corner was played low into Chimenes who controlled the ball well and looked to shoot from a few yards out. However, Walker was there to put in a good block and end the attack.
Town responded shortly after with a great cross down the right-wing from Elmore. Caton timed his run well and looked to guide a header towards goal but his attempt sailed over the bar.
James Rowland showed in the opening minutes why he’d been highly thought of in Town’s first team environment as he asserted himself across both halves breaking up play and creating some dangerous attacking moves for his side.
Just after the 20th minute, Town continued to show their dominance after a long spell of possession, Grosvenor made a quick run down the left-wing and delivered an appetising low cross for Elmore and Turner to run onto. Turner looked set for a tap in but a sliding interception from Port Vale prevented the opportunity and Town were awarded a corner.
In the 32nd minute Elmore conjured up a speculative effort from outside of the box forcing the keeper to tip the ball over his bar for a Town corner.
When Vale did attack, Ajose was the main outlet on the left wing with his impressive footwork, however, he rarely made it past Hartley who managed to deal with Ajose’s attacking runs.
Town took the lead in the 36th minute after a long spell of pressure. Town originally started the attack with O’Toole before finding Turner out wide, Turner looked to put a cross in but the ball was cleared, Town soon won it back before another cross was delivered into the box. There was an almighty scramble on the line but the ball eventually dropped to Tom Davies who thumped the ball into the net from a few yards out.
Town started the second half as they ended the first with a lightning-quick run from Turner, he curved his run into the box and waited for his teammates to catch up, his low cross was blocked for a corner.
Just after the 50th-minute mark, O’Toole produced the pass of the game as his ball cut through Vale’s backline and found Walker, he was chopped to the ground by Stevens and was subsequently shown a yellow. The following free-kick was delivered beautifully by Rowland but the header from Grosvenor was headed high over the bar.
Hartley was brought down in the 65th minute as Town were on the attack, Hickson halted the play with a crunching challenge which earned him a yellow card.
Town’s double substitution of Thomas and Redding reinvigorated the Town side as they had started to show signs of tiredness. Town continued to push for the second goal but were still unable to find the final pass.
Towards the closing 10 minutes Vale started to show signs that they could get a foot back into the game. They too were struggling to find the killer pass to set them up with a chance on goal.
Several stoppages in play due to a few players requiring treatment meant the end to the game became rather stagnant, as neither team were able to build up any momentum.
As expected the fourth official indicated there would be a lengthy five minutes of additional time for Town to either see the game out or to kill the game off with another goal
Barratt was shown a yellow in the 91st minute for a late challenge on Thomas deep inside Vale’s half. Town took the free kick and Caton met the header and the attempt was on target but the keeper made a comfortable save.
The additional time came to and end and neither team were able to find a goal during that period however the single goal earlier in the game was enough to see Town through to the next round.