The Adams Fam­ily rolls out their red car­pet

PORT VALE............7

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Simon Ferry

THE class of 1994 may have been in at­ten­dance but even Port Vale’s last pro­mo­tion-win­ners were left in the shade as Micky Adams’ mod­ern his­tory boys ran riot against Bur­ton.

It is al­most two decades since Vale last popped the cham­pagne corks at the end of a league sea­son but the Moët & Chan­don must be on ice af­ter their big­gest win in 50 years.

Bur­ton could have moved within a point of Vale had they won but a hat-trick from Lee Hughes, two from Ben Wil­liamson, one for Chris Bir­chall and Tom Pope’s 32nd goal of the sea­son left the Brew­ers’ au­to­matic pro­mo­tion bid in tat­ters.

It was the first time Hughes had man­aged a hat-trick since he put three past the same side in 2009 and for Adams the whole oc­ca­sion was a real demon­stra­tion of Vale’s po­ten­tial.

“The first goal was what Lee does best,” said Vale boss Adams. “He was in the right place. He might have got two penal­ties, but they’ve still got to be put away and he showed all his ex­pe­ri­ence.

“The per­for­mance was fu­elled by the sup­port­ers. When you see 11,000 fans in Vale Park like that it makes me re­alise why I came here.

“It was a spe­cial oc­ca­sion, but it’s still only three points.We picked up four points over Easter and coped with the pres­sure of games, but we’re not there yet and there is still work to do.”

Vale took the lead af­ter 12 min­utes when Hughes headed in Daniel Jones’ cross and his sec­ond ar­rived ten min­utes later from the spot af­ter he was fouled by Zan­der Di­a­mond.

By now Bur­ton were al­ready look­ing for the shel­ter of half-time but they were 3-0 down when it ar­rived af­ter Bir­chall curled in from the edge of the box.

The Brew­ers man­aged to hold out for five more min­utes af­ter the break be­fore Ian Sharps brought down Doug Loft and Hughes had his sec­ond from the spot and his third of the game.

Now it was just a ques­tion of how many and lead­ing scorer Pope was not about to miss out, grab­bing his fifth in three games on 55 min­utes.

Matthew Pater­son smashed the ball into the top cor­ner with 20 min­utes to go to give Bur­ton some­thing to take home but sub Wil­liamson got in on the act three min­utes later and had the fi­nal word.

“They were a lot bet­ter than us. They were strong and ran with more de­sire,” said Bur­ton boss Gary Rowett. “But that’s ten goals we've con­ceded in two games and we can’t keep de­fend­ing like that. It’s given our goal dif­fer­ence a mas­sive bat­ter­ing. So we’ve got to put it right. “I al­ways thought our two home games coming up against Wy­combe and Ply­mouth would de­fine our sea­son more than this game.

“But for 20 min­utes in the first half we were all over the shop and we made poor de­ci­sions on the ball.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

THIRD TIME LUCKY: Port Vale's Chris Bir­chall fires home his side’s third goal


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