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SKIPPER Marc Richards completed a stunning second-half turnaround as Port Vale march on in the FA Cup.

Richards curled home a brilliant stoppage-time free-kick to dump League One strugglers Huddersfield out of the competition.

But for much of the game a Vale victory had seemed a remote possibility.

Vale were outplayed for large periods and, unbelievably, three goals in the last 11 minutes turned the result on its head.

Huddersfield, who sacked boss Stan Ternent this week, were seeking a reaction and dominated the first half.

Despite that, Vale went ahead as Huddersfield's defensive frailties were laid bare, not for the first time during this topsyturvy game.

Huddersfield defender Joe Skarz failed to look up before playing the ball back to his keeper. Louis Dodds nipped in and rounded Matt Glennon before firing home with Vale's first shot on target.

But after Vale keeper Joe Anyon pulled off another couple of stops, the home side were level on the stroke of half-time. Roberts beat two defenders and crossed for Michael Collins to smash in.

Ian Craney made it 2-1 to Huddersfield in the 51st minute when he went round John Mc-Combe to score.

Roberts and Jevons had further chances and it looked all over when Robbie Williams headed in a corner just past the hour to make it 3-1.

Vale then turned it round in stunning fashion. Huddersfield blundered again when Andy Butler tried to dribble out of defence and gave the ball to David Howland who found a superb chip into the top corner.

Dodds claimed his second with five minutes remaining after Lee Collins' long ball caught out the Huddersfield defence.

The 1,033 Vale fans in the ground were happy with a replay but Huddersfield committed defensive suicide again when Jim Goodwin handled on the edge of the box.

Richards stepped up - in the second minute of added time - and bent his free-kick around the wall.

Vale boss Dean Glover said: "How on earth did we win that?

We were never in the game.

"When the second and third goals went in I thought that was it. I imagine our fans left at 3-1 and I was ready to join them on the bus. We dug in and stole it at the death."

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN: Glennon, N Clarke, Skarz, Butler, Holdsworth, Craney, Goodwin, M Collins, Williams, Roberts, Jevons (Cadamarteri 88). Subs not used: Kamara, Lucketti, Smithies, Beckett, Broadbent, Berrett.

PORT VALE: Anyon, Griffith, McCombe, L Collins, McCrory (Stockley 67), Dodds, Richman (Davidson 59), Brammer, Howland, P Edwards (Glover 59), Richards. Subs not used: Martin, Thompson, Lawrie, D Edwards.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Nov 9, 2008
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