How this place has missed those 22 men and that bag of air. Vale Park had lay dormant and deserted for 42 days; Port Vale hadn’t played anywhere for nearly a month.This was a cup tie to make up for lost time. To make Vale manger Darrell Clarke seem rather cynical, too.

All this third-round clash boiled down to, he had said, was ’11 men versus 11 men… with a bag of air (and) two goals.’Fortunately those blokes acquired more taste for colour and poetry.

No matter that for 45 minutes, Brentford controlled this tie at a canter.No matter that the Premier League side led through Marcus Forss. 

Brentford star Bryan Mbeumo scored a second-half hat-trick as his side cruised past Port Vale

Brentford star Bryan Mbeumo scored a second-half hat-trick as his side cruised past Port Vale

Brentford star Bryan Mbeumo scored a second-half hat-trick as his side cruised past Port Vale

Striker Marcus Forss put top-flight side Brentford ahead with a first-half cracker at Port Vale

Striker Marcus Forss put top-flight side Brentford ahead with a first-half cracker at Port Vale

Striker Marcus Forss put top-flight side Brentford ahead with a first-half cracker at Port Vale

Substitute Bryan Mbeumo doubled Brentford's advantage in the 66th minute

Substitute Bryan Mbeumo doubled Brentford's advantage in the 66th minute

Substitute Bryan Mbeumo doubled Brentford’s advantage in the 66th minute

MATCH FACTS

PORT VALE (3-4-1-2): Stone 6.5; Worrall 6.5; Cass 7, Martin 6, Smith 6.5, Gibbons 6 (Benning 59, 6.5); Garrity 6.5, Pett 6.5 (Walker 81, 6), Conlon 6; Wilson 6 (Harratt 54, 8), Amoo 6 (Politic 59, 7.5)

Subs not used: Covolan, Bailey, Jones, McDermott, Burgess

Goal: Harratt 70 

Manager: Darrell Clarke 7

BRENTFORD (3-5-2): Lossl 5.5; Ajer 6.5 (Roerslev 62, 6.5), Bech Sorensen 6.5; Pinnock 6; Stevens 6.5, Ghoddos 6 (Peart-Harris 82, 6), Bidstrup 8, Janelt 7 (Baptiste 71, 6.5); Thompson 6.5 (Toney 83, 6.5); Forss 7, Wissa 6 (Mbeumo 62, 8,5)

Subs not used: Fernandez, Norgaard, , Jansson, Young-Coombes

Goals: Forss 26, Mbeumo 66, 76, 87

Manager: Thomas Frank 7

Referee: Thomas Bramall

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Because something changed as night closed in. As League Two Port Vale made a mockery of the 62 places that separate these sides. As four goals and a flurry of drama was squeezed into a bonkers final half hour that threatened another famous upset in these parts.

After Vale went close at one end, Bryan Mbeumo looked to have killed the game with Brentford’s second. Instead all hell broke loose. Kian Harratt’s header gave Port Vale hope. Then David Worrall hit the post. 

Then Dennis Politic squandered an open goal. Then Mbeumo scored again and eventually Vale’s race was run. There was still time for the forward to complete a 21-minute hat-trick after Ivan Toney was brought down inside the area. And so Brentford reach round four, but not without a few bumps.

‘(First half) we didn’t give Port Vale a sniff,’ manager Thomas Frank said. ‘But we know this is the FA Cup… that spell, if they get to 2-2, anything can happen.’He added: ‘They really created that special FA Cup atmosphere… but in the end we, and especially Bryan Mbeumo, showed our quality.’

Frank stuck to his word, naming a strong side, and Brentford’s quality soon showed against a team for whom Covid cancellations meant a lazy Christmas.Forss thumped home from inside the area after the ball was put on a plate by the outstanding Mads Bidstrup and soon Brentford really should have been further ahead. 

Vitaly Janelt curled a shot over and then, on the stroke of half-time, Yoane Wissa’s shot hit the bar and Kristoffer Ajer’s rebound was saved. Vale’s half-time report read: zero goals, zero shots. But that soon changed. 

Mbeumo restored Brentford's two goal advantage in the 76th minute on Saturday

Mbeumo restored Brentford's two goal advantage in the 76th minute on Saturday

Mbeumo restored Brentford’s two goal advantage in the 76th minute on Saturday

Kian Harratt (right) gave the home side some hope with a diving header in the 76th minute

Kian Harratt (right) gave the home side some hope with a diving header in the 76th minute

Kian Harratt (right) gave the home side some hope with a diving header in the 76th minute

Soon Brentford grew frantic; soon Vale Park smelt blood.Shortly after the hour mark, a cross found Tom Pett, whose goalbound effort was brilliantly blocked by Mads Roerslev. That miss looked costly when Mbeumo raced through and gave Brentford breathing space.

But then 19-year-old Harratt – signed on loan from Huddersfield on Friday – headed home. Vale could have levelled had Worrall’s effort not struck the woodwork, or had Politic not fluffed his lines after beating Brentford keeper Jonas Lossl to a through ball. 

Instead it was left to Mbeumo to close the show. ‘We had a right good go – certainly at 2-1 we had them on the ropes,’ Clarke reflected. ‘But they showed their clinical finishing… I think that would have done us the world of good.’

Mbeumo completed his hat-trick from the spot after Ivan Toney was fouled inside the area

Mbeumo completed his hat-trick from the spot after Ivan Toney was fouled inside the area

Mbeumo completed his hat-trick from the spot after Ivan Toney was fouled inside the area

Port Vale's David Worrall (left) and Brentford's Dominic Thompson battle for the ball

Port Vale's David Worrall (left) and Brentford's Dominic Thompson battle for the ball

Port Vale’s David Worrall (left) and Brentford’s Dominic Thompson battle for the ball

Source: DailyMail Sports

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