Port Vale moved out of the Sky Bet League One drop zone thanks to a goalless draw at Wigan.

The home side came close to scoring with their first attack, as Matt Smith’s shot took a huge deflection off Thelo Aasgaard, completely wrong-footing Connor Ripley, only for the ball to sail inches past a post.

Former Wigan man Gavin Massey then had a great chance to mark his return to the DW Stadium with a goal, only to be thwarted by England Under-21 stopper Sam Tickle.

Smith’s deliveries were causing concern for Ripley, who had to act smartly to take the ball off Aasgaard’s feet, before tipping another cross round a post.

Martial Godo hit a post as Wigan pushed further, with substitute Charlie Kelman unable to force home the rebound.

But Vale finished the stronger and almost nicked it in the closing stages.

Tom Sang headed wide from an unmarked position, before Tickle parried out a deflected shot from James Plant, and did even better to divert the rebound from Baylee Dipepa past a post.

Relegation-threatened Port Vale picked up a point in an uninspiring goalless draw at Leyton Orient whose play-off hopes received a massive dent.

Although the home side were on the front foot for the majority of the first half, they were unable to get past keeper Connor Ripley.

It was the visitors who spurned the best two chances of a drab and goalless first half.

From a set-piece, Funso Ojo cleared the crossbar with a close-range header and then James Wilson blazed over when he met a superb cross from one-time Orient forward Gavin Massey.

Four minutes after the break, Orient keeper Sol Brynn protected his clean sheet when he beat out a fierce shot from Alex Mighten.

Orient’s best chance fell to substitute Ruel Sotiriou when he latched onto a through ball with 12 minutes remaining and raced clear of the opposition defence before delivering a powerful shot that crashed against the bar before rebounding to safety.

The Valiants have now played 13 matches without tasting victory while Orient failed to find the net for the third successive match.

Middlesbrough cruised into the Carabao Cup semi-finals after breezing past Port Vale 3-0.

Jonny Howson, Morgan Rogers and Matt Crooks fired the 2004 winners in to the last four with a comfortable win at Vale Park.

Boro had not made a major domestic semi-final since losing to West Ham in the last four of the FA Cup in 2006.

Vale’s big night – their first League Cup quarter-final – was ruined by the incisive and efficient visitors within 23 minutes.

Gavin Massey missed the hosts’ best chance but Boro boss Michael Carrick, a two-time winner with Manchester United, ultimately navigated a tricky tie with ease given their injury problems.

So depleted were the visitors that Carrick named four substitutes without a senior appearance, including 17-year-old Law McCabe, but it was the experienced Howson who fired them ahead after 11 minutes.

Boro had threatened through the middle and the midfielder was able to easily find space. With defenders giving him time, the 35-year-old needed no second invitation and his 25-yard shot clipped Jason Lowe to loop over Connor Ripley.

Missing 10 players due to injury and resting Rav van den Berg, with an eye on their bid to stay in touch with the Championship’s play-off pack, the visitors had a platform.

Ethan Chislett curled an early free kick over and plucky Vale – 15th in League One – had nothing to lose, only for a second Boro goal after 23 minutes to seal the game.

Again, it was a simple build up with Sam Silvera winning the ball on the right and he kept his composure to pick out Rogers on the edge of the box.

The former Manchester City forward was left completely unmarked to stroke a fine low finish into the corner – his fourth goal of the competition.

Yet, far from shrinking, Vale kept going and should have pulled a goal back three minutes later only for a stretching Massey to lift over from close range.

Boro should have been out of sight just before the break when Crooks shot over but it was just a warning as the midfielder struck eight minutes into the second half when he barged his way through and drilled into the bottom corner.

Worse was to follow for the hosts when Oliver Arblaster was carried off with a serious leg injury just before the hour.

It sucked the life out Vale and, from then, Boro were happy to see the game out and Ripley denied Calum Kavanagh a debut goal when the visitors threatened a late fourth.

Andy Crosby was delighted with his Port Vale side as they secured a second-round tie at Stevenage with a 2-0 victory over Burton in their FA Cup first-round replay.

Gavin Massey set Vale on their way, with a poacher’s finish continuing some good form from the winger.

Substitute Lewis Cass grabbed the second goal with eight minutes remaining, providing an impact from the bench that Crosby was looking for.

“I thought we were excellent tonight from start to finish,” Crosby said. “Both with and without the ball we controlled the game how we want to play and we also handled the physical power of Burton and the way they try and play.

“You have to compete and win second balls, get blocks in and I don’t think they had a shot on target tonight.

“I thought Gavin was excellent. He was really good at Wrexham last week with a really impactful 45 minutes and you look at the make-up of the squad tonight and we are only as good as our senior players and they were all excellent tonight.

“It was a great finish from Lewis. I knew the group would need the likes of Lewis and I told him we were going to need his quality from the bench.

“I was really pleased with the clean sheet too tonight and we achieved our aim of getting through to the second round.”

Burton boss Dino Maamria bemoaned his side’s luck in a tight game of fine margins, reflecting on his team’s disallowed goal at Vale Park that resulted in the replay.

He said: “It’s a marginal game. The first is marginal to being offside, I think.

“Cole Stockton missed being onside by an inch. We scored a legit goal in the first game but it was disallowed for offside.”

Maamria hailed Vale striker Uche Ikpeazu for the way he led the line and caused the Burton defence problems.

“I thought we started the game really well then they got on top a little bit,” Maamria added. “I thought the player that made the difference in the game was Ikpeazu.

“I thought we pressed really well from the front but once they got it up to him he was able to do what he wanted to do. He was unplayable tonight and the difference between the two teams.

“You need to score when you are on top and that first goal came at the wrong time for us. Overall, Port Vale deserved their win tonight. For us it was tough to take but I think the international break is coming at the right time for us to get our best player, Sam Hughes, back.”

Goals in each half from Gavin Massey and substitute Lewis Cass saw Port Vale through to the second round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 replay win over Staffordshire rivals Burton.

Massey finally broke the deadlock in the 31st minute after Burton keeper Max Crocombe had made a double save from Uche Ikpeazu and Tom Sang. The winger reacted quickest to the loose ball to leave the Albion stopper with no chance and put Vale in charge of the game.

The visitors had to weather plenty of early pressure from the Brewers but crucially did not concede, allowing them to grow into the game and begin to dominate.

The goal was a reward for Vale’s attacking after Ikpeazu had missed a sitter on the rebound after Rhys Walters has forced another good save, and Ethan Chislett squandered a good chance on the stroke of half-time, firing wastefully wide.

Cole Stockton was denied an equaliser by the flag of the assistant early in the second half as Albion sought parity but Vale finally made sure of victory when Cass converted Sang’s low cross with eight minutes remaining to set up a meeting with fellow League One side Stevenage.

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