It’s been quite a week for Vale’s young forward Harry Benns who is out on loan at Stafford Rangers.
The 18 year old scored from the edge of the box last Saturday in Stafford’s 2-1 win at Grimsby Borough in the FA Cup first qualifying round. His shot from the edge of the area completed a comeback for Rangers who had gone behind early but levelled through former Vale striker Kyle Perry.
Better was to come from Benns on Tuesday when he was named sponsors’ man of the match in Stafford’s 3-1 win at home to Witton Albion.
His all-round performance included an assist for the third goal when he won the ball, beat two men and sent through an inch perfect pass for Lewis Banks to score.
Benns was the only from Vale’s youth side to be offered a professional deal last summer. The Valiants, who picked him up from Manchester City, have high hopes for the skilful forward who was a regular for the reserves last season and made his first-team debut at Cambridge on the final day of the season.
The youngster looks at home in the number 10 role but can also play wide.
Vale boss Neil Aspin spoke this week to Rangers manager Steve Burr who said he was pleased with the youngster’s progress.
SO , what has been encouraging Neil Aspin and where did he feel the Valiants still have room for improvement after last week’s 1-1 draw at Forest Green?
The manager gave this assessment as he looks forward to this weekend’s game at home to Northampton: “I thought we mixed our play up better on Saturday. I thought we kept the ball better. You are going to go long sometimes to Tom Pope but I felt we passed it better.
“We got our full backs into the game, in midfield we had a better shape and I thought in general our play was good.
“For the first 15 minutes we started better than we have done in away games and we were very unfortunate to go behind. So, I would say yes there were some pleasing aspects. The disappointing thing was we conceded off a free kick, but I think with the goals we have conceded off free kicks, it’s the player who has scored has not been unmarked.
“We have had people who are there picking him up, it has just been poor marking and we haven’t competed well enough or we have lost the flight of the ball. So, that was disappointing, because we should have been in front and we were behind.
“But in general, because we had to make a couple of changes as well, I think the performance was good and we have to continue that into Saturday’s game.”
VALE’S reserves return to action on Wednesday when they are at home to Notts County (1pm). We’ll confirm as soon as we know whether the game is on the main pitch or the Bycars training pitches. The Valiants, who won the Central League last season, kicked off their title defence with a 2-1 win at Morecambe on Tuesday thanks to goals from youth team midfielder Jack Wakefield and Scott Quigley.
THE VALE youngsters are in action away to Abbey Hulton in the Staffs Senior Cup on Monday. Kick off is 7.45pm.