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Port Vale manager sent off after touchline scuffle | objects thrown at McKirdy

Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke was sent off after a touchline scuffle while objects were thrown by fans at Swindon’s Harry McKirdy.

The League Two playoff final is now confirmed as a second club advances through to the exciting Wembley occasion later this month.

Thursday night’s came live from at Vale Park for the second leg of Port Vale v Swindon Town with the visitors in the driving seat following their 2-1 win in the first leg on Sunday.

Swindon’s top scorer Harry McKirdy netted twice – taking his season tally to 23 goals – but James Wilson kept his side in with what could prove to be a crucial goal for Port Vale seven minutes from time.

Whoever came out on top after tonight would face Nigel Clough’s Mansfield in the final at Wembley on Saturday the 28th of May, after they beat Northampton Town on aggregate 3-1 on Wednesday night. Here’s how the second leg at Port Vale played out…

Swindon were being put under early pressure and had barely been able to get out of their own half within the first five minutes.

Incredible, incredible stuff from James Wilson.

He watched a cushioned header drop into his path, but somehow failed to turn the ball over the line from no more than two yards out!

Mal Benning appeared to put his hands in an unnatural position when Mandela Egbo sent in a cross from the right and hit him, but the officials weren’t interested.

Swindon’s aggregate lead was then wiped out on the 8th minute.

Moments after that decision that went against the visitors, they conceded the opener when David Worrall got a second chance after his cross hit Mandela Egbo.

He then squared for James Wilson, who made up for his error to slot home at the far post. Majority of the 11,669 in attendance jumping for joy.

In the 18th minute, Kian Harratt gave away a cheap free-kick on the nearside touchline, which David Worrall then whipped into the box.

Vale’s Ben Garrity got the first contact unmarked, but looped a header up into the air and wide of the left-hand post.

Moments later, Vale should have another when centre-back Nathan Smith turned into a striker for a moment, lost two men on the turn and hit a wonderful shot off the right-hand upright with Lewis Ward beaten.

Swindon continued to be forced back into their own half by Port Vale’s high press.

Goalkeeper Lewis Ward received the ball under pressure and smashed the ball out of play, much to the delight of the home fans who knew Swindon were showing weaknesses in this game.

A brave came from Vale’s Nathan Smith who charged down a shot from Swindon’s Louie Barry.

Swindon’s defence was pulled apart with Kian Harratt delivering a lovely ball across the box that Ellis Iandolo managed to put behind before James Wilson could pounce.

Harry McKirdy laid the ball off to Mandela Egbo on the right, who hit an early cross that Aidan Stone managed to hold with ease, before the half time whistle blew 10 minutes later with the game settling down.


Steve Hale (Ex-Swindon goalkeeping coach on BBC Radio Wiltshire): “Swindon haven’t really tested Aidan Stone in the Port Vale goal.

“In the first stages of the game Vale were all over them like a rash. Swindon have come more into the game but they haven’t managed to create a telling chance in front of goal.”

Adam Yates (Former Vale defender on BBC Radio Stoke): “I’ve not seen a start like that from Vale for a long time. Swindon were shell-shocked and couldn’t get out of their half.

“Swindon grew into the game and look like they have the quality to hurt us if we take too many risks, but it’s been all Vale in that half.”

Phil Sproson (Former Port Vale captain on BBC Radio Stoke): “It’s whether Port Vale can keep the momentum going in that second half. They could have possibly had another goal but they are definitely back in this tie.”


Some last-ditch defending nearly five minutes in sees David Worrall time his tackle to perfection, denying Louie Barry the ball over on the far side of the pitch.

Then a nice curling delivery was produced from Ellis Iandolo on the right into Josh Davison, who loopped a header over the bar.

Danny Gabbidon: “Ben Garner’s team talk seems to have worked – Swindon have come out with a lot more intensity.”

Adam Yates: “There’s going to be a period in this game when Swindon are going to be on top and Vale then need to stand up and defend.”

Swindon started to see to see a lot more of the ball, with Josh Davison making good movements up front. However nothing tested Aidan Stone.

A yellow card was handed out to Ellis Iandolo for a frustrated push on David Worrall in the 56th minute.

A sweeping ball out to Kian Harratt on the left, but Mathieu Baudry defended well to dispossess him, before another player was booked. A poor challenge from Tom Pett on a rampaging Jonny Williams.

Harry Charsley came on for Port Vale, replacing Jack Taylor.

An optimistic effort from Mal Benning who shouted for a corner to be left for him, only to send the ball over the bar.

Then a glorious chance for Mathieu Baudry, swivelling to connect with a corner from the right, leant back and fired a ball just over.

Nearly 20 minutes left of the second half, Jonny Williams found half a yard, turned and scuffed a shot wide of the left-hand post. They’re knocking on the Vale door.

Steve Hale (Ex-Swindon goalkeeping coach on BBC Radio Wiltshire): “Swindon are starting to dominate the ball and Port Vale are playing on the counter-attack.

“I did ask at the start of the game how long Port Vale could keep that intensity up for and perhaps the Vale legs are starting to tire.

“And now Swindon’s passing game is starting to come out perhaps that will make it even harder for them.”

Port Vale came so close to doubling their lead again as James Wilson saw a shot blocked by Louis Reed and he then fires over the rebound.

Leeds loanee Ryan Edmondson came on for Port Vale, replacing Kian Harratt.

75th minute and Mandela Egbo should have done better as he went forward and also shot wide.

Tom Pett dug out a shot from distance that Jonny Williams bravely stood in the way of.

Ben Gladwin was subbed on for Swindon, replacing Louie Barry, who struggled to get into the game.

There were hearts in mouths for Port Vale fans in the 84th minute, as a wicked cross from the left was chested towards goal by Mal Benning. Aidan Stone was on hand to hold.

Then a great leap from Nathan Smith saw him connect with a cross and headed just a yard or so wide.

The game had to go to extra time and boy did it all kick off.

There was a brief pause due to a little bit of argy-bargy on the touchline. It looked as though Vale boss Darrell Clarke was in among it there.

Vale boss Darrell Clarke was sent off. Looking back at the replay, he stopped the ballboy giving the ball back to Swindon skipper Dion Conroy, with the pair then squaring up to one another.

Then Harry McKirdy had missiles thrown at him from the Vale fans behind the goal. He didn’t react, just shrugged his shoulders and alerted the referee.

The Swindon medical team came on to examine Ellis Iandolo, who seemed in real pain after catching his leg after a coming-together with Ryan Edmondson on the touchline.

Iandolo was back on the field shortly afterwards with four minutes added on in the first half of extra time.

Iandolo went on a wonderful solo run through the middle of the park and then took aim, with his shot charged down by a crowd.

Jonny Williams makes way for Swindon, with Jake O’Brien on in his place.

James Wilson had a chance at goal, but his shot didn’t move up and down quick enough before flying behind.

An incredible tackle was produced Port Vale’s Connor Hall, who timed his challenge to perfection to dispossess Josh Davison right on the edge of the box.

Then Vale keeper Aidan Stone was rolling around on the deck after being clattered by Josh Davison from a corner.

Harry McKirdy was booked for suggesting the referee needs an eye test. And then extra time finished, with the games going to penalties.

Port Vale 1-0 Swindon
SCORED! Port Vale take the first penalty, with James Wilson lashing straight down the middle!

Port Vale 1-1 Swindon
SCORED! Payne smashes it through Stone, who got a touch!

Port Vale 1-1 Swindon
SAVED! David Worrall has been outstanding tonight, but his spot-kick is poor and batted away by Lewis Ward!

Port Vale 1-2 Swindon
SCORED! Gladwin rolls it in and Swindon have the advantage!

Port Vale 1-2 Swindon
SAVED! Second half substitute Ryan Edmondson takes a lengthy run-up, strikes towards the bottom corner… where Lewis Ward is on hand to hold!

Port Vale 1-2 Swindon
MISSED! Awful penalty from McKirdy against his old club – smashed over the bar!

Port Vale 2-2 Swindon
SCORED! No mistake from Harry Charsley, who tucks away Port Vale’s first penalty in three.

Port Vale 2-3 Swindon
SCORED! Slow, straight run-up from Reed, who sends Stone the wrong way and rolls it in the corner!

Port Vale 3-3 Swindon
SCORED! Tom Pett has to score to keep Port Vale alive… and he does by firing into the top left corner!

Port Vale 3-3 Swindon
MISSED! Stone saves Port Vale, parrying away Davison’s tame penalty!

Port Vale 4-3 Swindon
SCORED! Sudden death it is. Advantage Port Vale, as Ben Garrity smashes in with aplomb!

Port Vale 4-4 Swindon
SCORED! Captain Conroy dispatches it into the top left corner!

Port Vale 5-4 Swindon
SCORED! James Gibbons sweeps home a fifth for Port Vale and heaps the pressure back on Swindon once more…

Port Vale 5-5 Swindon
SCORES! Egbo puts it down the middle, but Stone dived and it’s level again!

Port Vale 6-5 Swindon
SCORED! Outstanding penalty from Mal Benning, who fires across Lewis Ward and into the left-hand side of the net.

Port Vale 6-5 Swindon
MISSED! Port Vale are going to Wembley for the first time in 26 years as Iandolo blazes over!

Port Vale will face Mansfield in the League Two play-off final at Wembley on Saturday 28 May, with a place in League Two on offer.

Danny Gabbidon on Sky Sports Football: “Unsavoury scenes here, with some Port Vale fans trying to goad the Swindon players.”

Bottles were also aimed at Swindon fans.

Port Vale manager sent off after touchline scuffle, objects thrown at McKirdy

Adam Yates: “The players deserved a massive pat on the back for the desire they have shown. They’ve found a way to nullify Swindon and they’ve managed to get through after a penalty shoot-out.

“After a number of years of really tough times, it’s a massive relief that the football club have given themselves one last game to try to get promoted to League One.”

Twitter users reacted with the Port Vale manager sent off after touchline scuffle and objects thrown at McKirdy…

@JamieD_STFC: Darrell Clarke’s a cunt pass it on

@robertobkup: Darrell Clarke obviously just wanted to make it all about him

@swindonrich: What a fucking cunt Darrell Clarke is.

@Railwayman1995: Pathetic from Darrell Clarke that, deservedly sent off

@JordanClarkk1: Darrell Clarke, what an embarrassing

@mjb993_: What the fuck was he honestly trying to achieve there 😂 utterly pointless.

@RobboSWA: I want Vale to win, but Darrell Clarke is a proper odd fella isn’t he? Bellend

@cozby97: Darrell Clarke suits vale perfectly. Absolute weapon getting himself sent off 🤣

@Sammybrfc: Poor from him to be fair

@DaveIcke: Embarrassing!!!!

@dylheaton1: Harry McKirdy giving it the big’un and then putting his penalty in Hanley Bus Station.

@jraistrick56: If I was a Swindon fan I’d be absolutely raging at Mckirdy, guys given it all big on social media all season then missed the crucial penalty and was stood laughing about it. Ego of a premier league player with the ability of a league 2 player #BCAFC

@jrichardson1196: Harry Mckirdy you little weasel you’ve made my fucken night 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

@AG232423: Just my personal opinion but McKirdy laughing genuinely could just be his way of dealing with the disappointment of missing his pen. We all deal with things differently and it doesn’t mean he didn’t give a toss!

@bhafcnozzaa: Disgusting from port vale fans trying to hurt Mckirdy and all others… genuinely awful

@Chris_CA2: At the end of the day if Mckirdy acted the way he does in any other profession he would of had his head volleyed clean off on day two.

@Tommy_Bostock: Seeing McKirdy sky a penalty was brilliant. Karma for the way he’s tried to wind fans up all season.

@Tants_88: Some dickhead #PVFC fans going to jail in the morning. You’ve won, why the need to run on and assault people even if it is Mckirdy!

@tomcoley49: Strange of the Port Vale fans to dedicate so much time to singing sarcastic songs about Harry McKirdy rather than celebrating getting Wembley.

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