Darrell Clarke was full of praise for his hat-trick hero James Wilson as Port Vale progressed in the FA Cup with a 5-1 win against Accrington.
Wilson hit the only goal of the first half and netted two more for his first senior hat-trick after Stanley’s Colby Bishop was dismissed.
Though Ethan Hamilton hit one for Stanley, Lewis Cass and George Lloyd scored late goals for Vale to send their Sky Bet League One visitors tumbling out of the cup.
And Clarke paid tribute to his striker’s efforts, saying: “He’s a great lad, a model pro and he’s been at some big clubs.
“He’s enjoying his football, that was the remit for him when he came here – to enjoy his football and to work hard for the team, which he’s done on every occasion. We know he has that ability to score goals, and we’ve seen what attributes he brings to the squad.
“I’m delighted to get into the next round, scoring five goals is a bonus.”
Accrington boss John Coleman bemoaned his luck following the heavy defeat by a side from the division below, insisting Bishop’s dismissal was a crucial moment.
“If you’d have said to me after half an hour we were going to lose that game 5-1 I wouldn’t have believed you, things like that happen in football though,” said Coleman.
“They got their tails up and a lot of things went in their favour today.
“The game hinged on their player kicking our player, our player pushing him off and the linesman choosing to only see one thing.
“At 1-0 we were very much in the game, we had more possession in the first half but if you don’t take your chances and you go to sleep and gift them a goal you’re chasing the game.”
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