Vale hit magnificent seven

Lee Hughes fired a hat-trick to tighten Port Vale's grip on a top-three finish in League Two with a stunning 7-1 demolition of Burton.

Last Updated: 05/04/13 at 22:24

Lee Hughes: Scored a hat-trick in Vale's thumping win

Lee Hughes: Scored a hat-trick in Vale's thumping win

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The veteran striker struck twice from the penalty spot after opening rampant Vale's account with a firm header.

Chris Birchall curled in a third and the Football League's leading scorer Tom Pope swelled his tally to 32 for the season with the fifth, before substitute Ben Williamson scored twice late on as fifth-placed Burton were sent packing in front of a 10,978 crowd at Vale Park.

The Brewers were wilting as early as the 12th minute when Hughes polished off a Daniel Jones' cross.

Then when he was impeded by Zander Diamond, the frontman sent Stuart Tomlinson the wrong way from 12 yards, before Birchall struck with a stunning effort from the edge of the box.

Hughes completed his hat-trick with a second penalty five minutes after half-time, awarded for a trip on Birchall by Alex MacDonald.

Vale added to the rout with Pope rounding Tomlinson to slide in a fifth soon after.

And while Albion substitute Matt Paterson reduced the arrears with a long-range effort, Williamson latched on to Pope's flick-on and drove past Tomlinson before heading in Chris Shuker's free-kick to bring up the seventh in the final minute.

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Position Team P GD PTS
1 Bury 9 9 20
2 Burton Alb 9 3 19
3 Wycombe 9 6 18
4 Southend 9 4 17
5 Morecambe 9 4 16
6 Shrewsbury 9 5 15
7 Cheltenham 9 2 15
8 Mansfield 9 0 15
9 Northamptn 9 4 14
10 AFC W'don 9 3 14
11 Portsmouth 9 2 14
12 Plymouth 9 4 13
13 Luton Town 9 -1 12
14 Cambridge Utd 9 3 11
15 Stevenage 9 -3 11
16 Newport 9 -2 10
17 Accrington 9 -6 10
18 Tranmere 9 -1 9
19 York City 9 -2 9
20 Exeter 9 -4 9
21 Dag + Red 9 -6 8
22 Oxford Utd 9 -2 7
23 Hartlepool 9 -9 7
24 Carlisle 9 -13 3

Updated Sat, 20 Sep 2014

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