Lee's hat trick of the trade; Port Vale 0 West Brom 3.
Ray Harford's side never looked like easy winners in the first half. But all that was transformed by three excellent second-half goals by the young striker signed last year from Kidderminster Harriers.
Vale had been very much in the game and had missed three good chances in the opening half hour.
But Albion could also have scored in a goalless first half. Carbon had a fine header blocked on the line by Vale keeper Musselwhite.
Bortolazzi, an experienced attacking midfielder making his full debut for West Brom, had a fine game and was the outstanding player in their defence.
Hughes was set up for his opening goal by Quinn and swivelled on the edge of the Vale box and beat Musselwhite easily.
He struck again in deadly fashion after a dreadful mix-up in the home defence to leave Albion very much in the driving seat.
A long ball from Mardon set up the chance and Burns, who came on as a sub, gave Hughes the chance by failing to clear.
Three minutes later a shot from Quinn was pushed out. Hughes hit the crossbar, then nodded the rebound past poor Musselwhite.
#Hughes said afterwards: "It's my first ever hat-trick and it's just unbelievable.
"When I scored the first it gave me a lot of confidence and I knew then I'd get some more. I can't wait for next week to come."
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|Publication:||The People (London, England)|
|Date:||Aug 23, 1998|
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