MATCH REPORT: TOWN 4-0 PORT VALEHuddersfield Town produced a thoroughly professional display as they comfortably saw off League 1 Port Vale to confirm their place in Monday evening’s Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round draw.
Goals from Jack Payne (2), Kasey Palmer and Harry Bunn rounded off a solid day’s work for David Wagner’s side; one which saw the Head Coach make five changes to the starting XI. Isaiah Brown made his debut for the Terriers after completing his loan switch from Chelsea, whilst Joe Lolley made his first starting appearance since his injury which was picked up at Aston Villa back in August. Joel Coleman, Dean Whitehead and Kasey Palmer also featured from the off, seeing Nahki Wells, Aaron Mooy, Danny Ward and Harry Bunn drop to the bench. Elias Kachunga and Chris Löwe were selected to be rested for the tie and were left out of the squad.
The fluidity with which Town would improve on later in the proceedings was evident from the opening exchanges; the rejuvenated Joe Lolley put an early chance over the cross-bar, with Kasey Palmer very nearly capitalising on a defensive mishap; a sign that Town was switched on and hungry to ensure they advanced to the next stage of the competition.
The opening sequences of the first half saw the Blue and Whites retain the majority of possession, with Philip Billing and Dean Whitehead marshalling the midfield with relative comfort. Joel Coleman, making his second home start between the sticks, also looked comfortable early on collecting a series of high deliveries within the 18-yard box.
However, the Terriers had to be on hand defensively as Regino Cicilia broke through, only to be denied by an excellent covering block from the impressive Dean Whitehead.
The block would only lead ‘The Yorkshire Club’ to raise the intensity and the bombardment of the Valiants’ goal. Jak Alnwick came to Vale’s rescue numerous times mid-way through the period; Mark Hudson the first to see his goal-bound effort clawed away from Kasey Palmer’s corner, before the energetic Lolley stung the palms with a thunderous effort from 20 yards out.
The home side’s pressure finally paid off after a superb give and go on the edge of the box between Joe Lolley and Jack Payne. As a result, Payne expertly guided his effort past a resilient Alnwick in to the far corner to nudge the Terriers ahead.
The goal seemed to push David Wagner’s side further even more, with the crowd warming to the flowing moves and chances being carved out, with debutant Izzy Brown showing that he is more than capable of fitting in to the system.
Philip Billing’s long range effort nearly doubled the lead, before Kasey Palmer’s flash back across goal was cleared inches from the line. Palmer had a great chance to grab Town’s second moments before half-time, but, after a lovely headed touch to excel him past the Valiants’ back line, he somehow managed to see his effort end up amongst the travelling support after being one-on-one with Alnwick.
The second forty-five followed a similar pattern; once again, that man Palmer couldn’t find the net after great work from Vale centre-back Nathan Smith to divert the Chelsea loanee’s goal-bound attempt away from the line, before the same player was adjudged offside to ensure that Martin Cranie’s tap-in at the far post was disallowed.
The solid Jon Gorenc Stankovic, who was creative with the ball all afternoon, fed the lively Izzy Brown down the left wing with a superbly weighted through ball, before Brown waltzed inside to feed Palmer once more, who’s effort this time ended up in the Fantastic Media Stand. Brown should’ve had a debut goal for himself soon after, but rolled his shot inches wide of the back post after excellent work from substitute Harry Bunn on the right-hand side.
It felt like a sense of dejavu had occurred when Harry Bunn beat his marker once more, this time substitute Sam Hart, managing to divert a goal-bound effort away from the line.
It just didn’t seem to be Kasey Palmer’s day in front of goal; however, the front-man finally doubled the Terriers’ advantage with a delightful effort from 20 yards out, leaving Vale’s substitute ‘keeper with no chance after taking a deflection.
The floodgates well and truly opened from here on in. Harry Bunn added a third to the scoreline; Town’s winger twisted and turned his way into the box, beat his marker once more before producing a magnificent curling effort in to the far left corner; all this coming from a trademark Aaron Mooy through ball.
The icing on the cake was provided through Jack Payne’s second of the afternoon. After an impressive hard-working display from Tareiq Holmes-Dennis, the left back managed to work his way forward and slide an assist across the area to an unmarked Payne. who duly accepted the tap-in to cap off a superb victory and send the Terriers in to the draw for the next stage of the Emirates FA Cup.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Joel Coleman; Tareiq Holmes-Dennis, Jon Stanković, Mark Hudson (c), Martin Cranie; Dean Whitehead, Phil Billing (Aaron Mooy, 67’); Izzy Brown (Tommy Smith, 71’), Jack Payne, Joe Lolley (Harry Bunn, 57’); Kasey Palmer.
Danny Ward, Nahki Wells, Chris Schindler, Michael Hefele
Tweets by @htafcdotcom