Port Vale’s experienced side were too hot to handle for Stoke’s u21’s. The Valiants put in a rampant display to advance to the last 16 of the Checkatrade Trophy. It was men vs boys as Neil Aspin started with his strongest Xl for the first time in the competition. Goals from Tom Pope, a brace from Cristian Montano and Luke Hannant secured a 4-0 victory in the 186th Potteries Derby.
The hosts made one change from last week’s victory over Yeovil with James Gibbons coming in for Leon Legge. The visitors made four changes from the side that won at Carlisle with no senior players making the squad.
Vale started brightly and nearly scored within the opening two minutes. Pope did well holding up the ball for Hannant but the winger curled his effort inches past the post.
Valiant hero and supporter Pope opened the scoring, in front of nearly 8,000 at Vale Park on the sixth minute, heading home emphatically from Montano’s pinpoint cross after starting the move with a flicked header on the half-way line.
Stoke u21’s looked nervous against Vale and struggled to create any clear cut chances and it was the hosts that controlled the game. Gibbons, who was looking solid at the back, looked the likeliest to add a second. A corner was punched out to the defender whose deflected strike fell kindly in the keeper’s grasp.
Montano turned finisher five minutes before the interval. Theo Vassell cut inside from the left firing towards goal. Jakob Haugaard could only parry it out as far as the Colombian who slid the ball under the keeper from six yards. Two minutes later he added a second to put the game out of sight for the League 2 outfit.
Manny Oyeleke was found on the edge of the Stoke area and he coolly threaded an inch perfect pass to Montano who made no mistake one on one with the keeper.
Daniel Jarvis had Stoke’s first real opportunity of the first half in added time firing a free kick looking for the top corner but Scott Brown was on hand to claw the ball away.
The young Potters improved in the second half but Hannant put the game beyond doubt. Pope unselfishly fed the tireless winger who fired into the bottom corner on the 67th minute.
The experience of Vale was enough to see the game out with the game out and advance into the last 16.
Port Vale: Brown, Gibbons, Montano 41/43 (Dodds, 59), Kay, Oyeleke, Pope 6, Hannant 67 (Kanu, 71), Rawlinson, Smith, Vassell, Conlon (Miller, 82)
Unused Subs: Hornby, Joyce, Whitfield, Hardcastle
Stoke City: Haugaard, Tymon (Niakate, 45), Campbell, Verlinden, Sorenson, Shenton, Collins, Waddington (Dunwoody, 58), Jarvis (Pemberton, 85), Thandi, Wara
Unused Subs: Gyollai, Kyeremateng, Stanton, Twyford