Vale And Out

Last updated : 30 December 2012 By @blades_mad1889

Sheffield United had seen off Bolton Wanderers (3-1) in the third round and were rewarded with a trip to Port Vale in the next round. United were twelfth in the First Division whilst Vale were twelfth in the Third Division, still no doubt the hosts would have been in a spirited mood and enjoying the prospect hosting of a top flight club in the cup.

United did have to fight desperately in the cup fight and were in real danger of being eliminated after Grainger had taken the lead for the home side early doors. They were 'more than a match' for the visitors in the first half, they were more dominate upfront and sturdier at the back and squashed United's advances to Pace smashing the bar with his header and a near miss by Hodgson. After half an hour the Blades were incapacitated with Keith Kettleborough becoming a passenger on the wing after picking up an injury.

Vale had gone ahead after five minutes when Grainger's swerved shot found the goal from the edge of the penalty area; Vale came close after Pace had hit the bar with Edwards failing to capitalize from close range, Grainger too missing an open goal from close range as the Vale could have easily found themselves in a three goal lead whilst at the other end Hancock did well to save Hodgson's well taken effort.

Rain poured heavily in the second half and mist began to flood the pitch, making conditions difficult, United continued to press but the Vale defence acted accordingly to mop any advances; Len Allchurch netted from the penalty spot in 65th minute to draw the scores level after he had been brought down by Sproson. Vale wasted opportunities after regularly outpaced the United back line but it was the Blades who won this tie and the winner was scored by Pace who converted after Hancock parried away Hodgson's effort.

The Blades eventually went out in round five at Southampton by a single goal three days later.