Port Vale reach EFL Cup quarters for first time

Port Vale reached the Carabao Cup quarter-finals for the first time in their history by beating Mansfield.

On-loan Tottenham striker Alfie Devine’s fine solo goal ensured the League One side edged past their League Two hosts.

The defeat ended the Stags’ 20-match unbeaten run, which dated back to the end of last season.

By contrast, Vale had taken two points from their last eight league games, scoring just four goals in that run.

Vale’s only previous visit to round four saw them lose at Tottenham Hotspur in extra time in 2006, while Mansfield did make the last eight of the League Cup in 1975 but lost 4-2 at Manchester City.

The visitors’ Ollie Arblaster had a long-range drive saved by Stags keeper Christy Pym early on before Davis Keillor-Dunn was thwarted by a timely block from Jesse Debrah as he bore down on Connor Ripley’s goal at the other end.

The Valiants came close on 14 minutes when Arblaster found Tom Sang who whipped in a cross from the right, but Funso Ojo could not keep his header down at the far post.

Arblaster came even closer when he thudded the outside of the post from close range after another dangerous Sang cross from the flank.

Ripley superbly saved an instinctive Keillor-Dunn volley from Louis Reed’s centre but Vale came close again when Uche Ikpeazu spun his man and crossed for Ben Garrity who was crowded out at the crucial moment.

The decisive moment arrived five minutes after the turnaround when 19-year-old Devine pounced on a loose ball in midfield and drove through before firing in a shot from well outside the box,which skidded off the surface and beat Pym into the bottom corner.

Pym produced a fine stop to deny James Plant a Vale second on the hour after some neat approach play from the visitors while Ripley saved well to deny Mansfield sub Rhys Oates a leveller late on.

Mansfield manager Nigel Clough told BBC Radio Nottingham:

“I didn’t think we were too good in the first half. That’s probably the worst we’ve played in quite some time, we did well to get in 0-0 at half-time – it was a relief.

“They were a yard sharper, they are League One players not League Two players and it looked like it at times, the calmness on the ball.

“We never really got to grips with them in the first half – though we had three or four situations, but we couldn’t score.

“I thought the second half was much more even – we started the second half well and the goal came a little against the run of play. We thought we could have a go at them in the second half and we did.”

Port Vale boss Andy Crosby told BBC Radio Five Live:

It’s a great achievement for the whole club. From the owners, who have invested so much time and effort into the club to try and drag it from where it was, because it was in a really bad place when they took over.

“It’s also a great reward for a group of players who are learning as we’re going along. Tonight’s performance was probably as well as we have played – I thought we were really incisive with the ball.

“We knew it was a massive challenge, we came in not full of confidence, they were full of confidence. The rewards were huge, for both teams, for one of us to get to the last eight and create history was immense.

“We’ve been saying since we beat Fleetwood in round one that the potential reward is to get one of the big boys. I think it would be remiss of me as a League One manager to say who I’d want to play out of six Premier League teams. We’ll see what the draw gives us – it’s a game for us to look forward to.”

Line-ups

Mansfield

Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 1Pym
  • 9Bowery
  • 14FlintBooked at 70mins
  • 24Brunt
  • 11MacDonaldSubstituted forMcLaughlinat 83′minutes
  • 15Lewis
  • 25ReedSubstituted forCargillat 90′minutes
  • 8O ClarkeSubstituted forBoatengat 59′minutes
  • 10MarisSubstituted forGaleat 59′minutes
  • 40Keillor-Dunn
  • 26SwanSubstituted forOatesat 59′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Johnson
  • 3McLaughlin
  • 6Cargill
  • 12Gale
  • 13Flinders
  • 18Oates
  • 19Cooper
  • 22Williams
  • 44Boateng

Port Vale

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Ripley
  • 27DebrahSubstituted forCassat 90+1′minutes
  • 16Lowe
  • 6SmithBooked at 66mins
  • 4Sang
  • 18Arblaster
  • 14Ojo
  • 11Devine
  • 21Plant
  • 12IkpeazuSubstituted forLoftat 63′minutes
  • 8Garrity

Substitutes

  • 2Cass
  • 9Loft
  • 13Leutwiler
  • 19Massey
  • 20Conlon
  • 23Shorrock
  • 24Walters
  • 25Dipepa
  • 44Thomas
Referee:
Thomas Bramall
Attendance:
7,432

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