Vale Victorious In Final EFL Trophy Group Stage
A brace from youngster Lewis Reilly on his full debut was not enough for Crewe Alexandra to get anything out of their final EFL Trophy game of the season at Vale Park last night.
Manager David Artell made 7 changes for the game from Saturday's victorious FA Cup team by reinstating Ben Garratt in goal, Eddie Nolan, Sam Stubbs and Zoumana Bakayago joined captain Michael Raynes in the back 4, Charlie Kirk replaced Saturday's winning goalscorer Callum Ainley in midfield whilst Chris Porter and Reilly started up front.
The opening chance of the game happened in the 4th minute as James Gibbons took advantage of Kirk's lapse in concentration to get in behind the Crewe Alex left squaring the ball for Chris Regis, who signed for the Vale earlier in the day, who opened his account for the Valiants. If that wasn't bad enough, it quickly became 2-0 to the hosts as Anton Forrester curled an effort from the edge of the box into Garratt's top corner.
Crewe's first opportunity came on the quarter-hour as Kirk found Porter who shot straight at Ryan Boot before Cristian Montano shot wide from just outside the box. Reilly scored his first in senior football on the half-hour as Cooper found on the 6-yard line.
With Vale bringing on Billy Reeves for Mike Calveley at half-time, he almost made an instant impact as his pass found Stobbs who shot straight at Garratt before Porter had an effort that bobbled wide. Substitute Dan Turner found Forrester less than a minute after coming on with the striker flying over.
With 20 minutes of the half gone, former Alex academy graduate Adam Yates crossed in from the left which was headed in by Reeves, scoring his first Vale goal. Porter hit the bar with 20 minutes to go before Reilly added his second of the game from the resulting corner after that was cleared to Kirk, his shot deflecting into the path of the 19 year-old who finished into the bottom corner. As Crewe went looking for an equaliser, Vale scored a forth goal on the break with Montano scoring under Garratt in the 90th minute.
Crewe: Garratt; Nolan, Stubbs, Raynes (c), Bakayago; Cooper (Ainley 61), Lowery, Walker, Kirk; Reilly, Porter
Port Vale: Boot; Gibbons, Smith (c), Gunning, Yates; Tonge, Calveley (Reeves 46), Regis (Turner 62); Stobbs, Forrester (de Freitas 90), Montano