STAFFORD Rangers’ last chance of silverware this season disappeared in a Staffs Senior Cup quarter final penalty shoot-out against Port Vale on Monday.
The Boro took on a Vale development team with an almost equally young side, one that saw no fewer than four members of the Marston Road club’s youth squad involved at some point.
One of them, Alex Curtis started again and netted his second goal in as many games, giving Rangers the lead after just 14 minutes.
A good delivery from Dan Cope lead to Michael Berkeley getting in a header that former Rangers loanee keeper Sam Johnson pushed away, and Curtis snapped up the rebound.
Young Brocton keeper Adam Whitehouse, who stepped in after Jon Brain’s surprise departure, kept Vale at bay in the second half, before the visitors forced an equaliser through Ryan Lloyd with just over ten minutes left.
It remained a stalemate at the end of extra-time, before Vale took the tie 3-2 on penalties to set up a semi-final clash at home to Newcastle Town.
The second period saw Rangers boss Graham Heathcote give three other youth team members, Tom Vaughan, Alex Hannan and Jack Edwards their first taste of senior football and all emerged with credit.