A dry and warmish night in Stoke didn't prove a problem for Stevenage as they moved into the third round of the FA Cup with a penalty shoot-out win over Port Vale - although that barely tells the story.

A sixth-minute goal from Ben Garrity had put Vale in front and he then doubled the home side's advantage 10 minutes into the second half.

Boro did improve greatly in the second period but a thunderous Harvey White shot with nine minutes remaining seemed like it would be their only reward.

However, with time almost up on the six added minutes at the ned of the 90, Kane Hemmings nipped into send the second round replay into extra-time.

Ryan Loft put Vale back into front with six minutes remaining but Nathan Thompson levelled five minutes later to leave it 3-3 and send it to penalties.

Taye Ashby-Hammond saved from Garrity to hand Boro the advantage but Luther James-Wildin sent the potential winner over the bar.

Ashby-Hammond though pull off another save to deny Loft and send Stevenage to Maidstone after a 4-3 success.

Alex MacDonald, Jordan Roberts, Aaron Pressley and Ben Thompson came in with Dan Sweeney, Jake Forster-Caskey, Nick Freeman and Hemmings the ones replaced.

The bench also featured two players returning from injuries - Nathan Thompson but more importantly, Harry Anderson.

There was a slight change in system too for Boro as they tried to find something different to defeat Vale after two draws at the Lamex.

It didn't work though and the hosts had already threatened to rip Boro open down their right when they took the lead.

Jordan Roberts was in the process of switching across to the Boro left when he couldn't cut out a cross-field ball to Gavin Massey.

The wide man had already been a danger and this time he had plenty of time to slide a ball into the six-yard box for Garrity to tap home.

And for a good spell after that, it seemed to be a matter of when and not if Vale got a second.

Tom Sang mistimed his jump otherwise he probably would have scored from a corner and then when he and Ethan Chislett combined over on the right, the latter sent a low cross through a ruck of bodies without any getting a touch.

Alfie Devine then fired low down Taye Ashby-Hammond's throat and the keeper had to push a Funso Ojo shot behind after the full-back led a quick counter.

Stevenage did finally figure out a workable system later in the half but oddly, their best chances came during Vale's ascendancy.

Carl Piergianni header was cleared off the line, Ben Thompson put a low shot wide of the near post and then a Dan Butler cross danced through the six-yard box without anyone getting a touch.

Despite the better end to the half, you still felt a change in either personnel or system or both was needed to bring Stevenage back into it.

Steve Evans, serving the first of a two-match touchline ban, felt so too and made a double change at the break, bringing on brothers Louis and Nathan Thompson for Harrison Neal and Pressley.

The home side also made a change, surprisingly taking off the dangerous Massey and bringing on Conor Grant.

The introduction of the Thompson boys put Stevenage on the front foot and when Louis left a foot in on goalkeeper Connor Ripley, earning the Boro man a yellow card, the evening suddenly felt a whole lot more like a cup tie.

The atmosphere really took off five minutes later though as Vale doubled their lead.

Again Boro were caught out horribly on their left and when Ashby-Hammond came out to try and block, the pull back gave Garrity a simple chance to find the gap between recovering defenders and the empty net.

Another double Boro sub soon followed and they did manage to create a spell of pressure, Jamie Reid and Ben Thompson both having shots blocked.

The latter was soon replaced with White the final throw of the dice for Evans but despite fairly constant possession from Boro, and good field position at times, they were unable to find a breakthrough.

That was until White strode forward with nine minutes remaining and rifled a shot from 25 yards high to the keeper's right.

The goal sent waves of panic around Vale Park and you always felt that Boro would get one big chance to level.

It looked to have come in the second minute of the six added on.

Butler supplied the cross that missed Hemmings but found Luther James-Wildin unmarked at the back post.

But it came at him quickly and although he got something on it, he couldn't prod it into the gaping gap at Ripley's near post.

However, with mere seconds remaining, a ball over the top put Hemmings in and he got there ahead of Ripley, lifting it over him and into the empty net.

The whistle to signal the end of the 90 brought boos from the home crowd, with one of their supporters commenting rather loudly that "this manager had got to go, he's cost us this tie".

They still had extra-time to sort it out but despite one effort early on that flew well over, it was Stevenage who turned the screw as the first period of extra time went on.

Hemmings had the big chance for Boro in that half, diving full length but only getting the slightest of touches to another inviting cross.

The second period almost opened with Ashby-Hammond gifting Port Vale the lead again, poor control turning him towards his own goal and then the clearance being charged down.

Garrity then went down as he battled for the rebound but he was booked for diving.

Not long after James-Wildin had another glorious chance at the back post but again he couldn't get it on target, although this time he was under a lot of pressure.

There looked to be a cruel sting in the tail for Stevenage as one of their former loanees stuck what seemed the crucial blow.

Loft was in far too much space on the edge of the Boro box and although the block did get to the ball, it looped and over Ashby-Hammond.

But with one minute left, a blocked Hemmings shot eventually led to James-Wildin crossing low through the legs of a defender.

Nathan Thompson was there to flick it home.

That sent the tie to penalties and all that fun and games.

The magic of the cup eh?

Match details

Stevenage: Ashby-Hammond, James-Wildin, Butler, Piergianni, MacDonald (Freeman 60), Roberts (Hemmings 60), Vancooten, Reid, Pressley (N.Thompson 46), Neal (L.Thompson 46), B.Thompson (White 67).

Sub (not used): Hegyi, Sweeney, List, Anderson.

Goals: White 81, Hemmings 90+6, N.Thompson 119

Booked: L.Thompson 50


Port Vale: Ripley, Sang, Smith, Garrity, Chislett (Loft 83), Devine (Iacovitti 63), Ojo, Lowe, Arblaster (Walters 63), Massey (Grant 46, Lomax 91), Debrah.

Subs (not used): Leutwiler, Balmer, Ikpeazu, Diepa.

Goals: Garrity 6, 55, Loft 114

Booked: Iacovitti 69, Ripley 90, Garrity 106


HT: Port Vale 1 Stevenage 0

Added time: 9

Referee: Tom Nield (Barnsley)

Attendance: 2,073 (including 77 from Stevenage)