Championship side Brighton eased into the fifth round of the FA Cup for the third time in four seasons with a professional victory over League One promotion-hopefuls Port Vale.

Rohan Ince's hooked finish put the visitors ahead but Chris Robertson headed in from six yards to level.

An attempted Solly March cross restored Brighton's lead before the break.

And Jonathan Obika ran through to round goalkeeper Chris Neal and seal the win with 12 minutes remaining.

The victory was thoroughly deserved, despite the Seagulls opting to field a much-changed side in rainy conditions that seemed ideal for a Cup shock.

Identical records

Brighton and Port Vale both have identical records in their respective divisions, having played 26 games and accumulated 39 points

March's lucky strike seemed to end the home side's hopes and Brighton were barely troubled after the interval.

The visitors started strongly with Lewis Dunk shooting narrowly wide after a purposeful run and March testing Neal with a fierce strike.

Brighton were dominating possession and deservedly took the lead in the 27th minute when Ince coolly shot home when a clever corner routine allowed him to find space in the box.

Vale responded after 11-goal striker Tom Pope narrowly missed out on getting on the end of a teasing cross as Robertson headed in from close range.

There was still time for the Seagulls to regain the lead before the interval and, although it was arguably deserved, they got lucky with the equaliser.

March tried to send in a cross but miscued his attempted centre and the ball floated into the top corner.

Brighton had several chances to make the game safe after the half-time break.

March tested Neal with a decent strike seconds into the second half and the home keeper then made a superb save from Jake Caskey's dipping long-range effort.

Neal also made a brilliant diving stop to deny Kemy Agustien, tipping the midfielder's fizzing low strike onto the post.

Doug Loft did have a decent strike that went just wide for Vale, but Obika added a third for the Seagulls when he calmly beat Neal and tapped the ball into an empty net.

Inigo Calderon was forced to clear off the line after a goalmouth scrambled but apart from that one scare, Brighton eased home to take their place in Sunday's fifth-round draw.

Brighton assistant head coach Nathan Jones told BBC Sussex:

"We are very pleased with the attitude and very pleased with the performance more than anything.

"It was a monsoon when we started warming up and we thought it would affect the pitch and the downpours would put the game into jeopardy. It was difficult but it made for a good cup tie.

"We believe in the players we have and they're in the squad for a reason. We are proud of our youngsters and all of them scored today and that's very pleasing."

Port Vale manager Micky Adams:

"Brighton showed their quality and adapted to the game well, but conceding two goals from set-pieces has cost us dear.

"I'm particularly proud of my players because they gave everything they had didn't give up at any stage.

"It was a very good cup tie in difficult conditions, but we've just come up short against a very good side.

"The FA Cup doesn't owe us anything because this is the first time this club has got to the fourth round for eight seasons."

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (5)

Port Vale

  • 01 Neal
  • 20 Grimmer Booked
  • 14 Taylor (Yates - 45' )
  • 18 Lines
  • 04 Robertson
  • 17 Davis
  • 09 Myrie-Williams Booked (Williamson - 66' )
  • 21 Griffith
  • 10 Tomlin (Hugill - 75' )
  • 11 Pope
  • 07 Loft

Substitutes

  • 02 Yates
  • 08 Dodds
  • 12 Johnson
  • 15 Shuker
  • 19 Williamson
  • 26 Birchall
  • 39 Hugill

Brighton & Hove Albion

  • 01 Brezovan
  • 14 Calderón
  • 15 Chicksen
  • 38 Ince Booked
  • 05 Dunk Booked
  • 20 Upson
  • 27 March (Lua Lua - 81' )
  • 18 Forster-Caskey
  • 22 Obika Booked
  • 10 Agustien (Andrews - 70' )
  • 11 Orlandi Booked

Substitutes

  • 02 Bruno
  • 03 Greer
  • 04 Andrews
  • 16 Ankergren
  • 17 Ward
  • 19 Ulloa
  • 25 Lua Lua
Ref: Paul Tierney
Att: 7,293

Match Stats

Shots

6 13

On target

1 8

Corners

8 12

Fouls

7 8

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Port Vale 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 3.

90:00 +3:57 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Port Vale 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 3.

90:00 +3:03 Booking

Booking Jack Grimmer (Port Vale) is shown the yellow card.

90:00 +3:00

Jonathan Obika (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +2:59

Foul by Jack Grimmer (Port Vale).

86:06

Foul by Anthony Griffith (Port Vale).

86:06

Jonathan Obika (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

85:20

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by Adam Chicksen.

83:00

Attempt missed. Keith Andrews (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

82:22

Foul by Anthony Griffith (Port Vale).

82:22

Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

81:41

Hand ball by Jordan Hugill (Port Vale).

80:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Kazenga Lua Lua replaces Solly March.

78:51

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by Íñigo Calderón.

78:35

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by Íñigo Calderón.

77:50 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Port Vale 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 3. Jonathan Obika (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Rohan Ince.

77:00

Jack Grimmer (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

76:58

Foul by Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion).

76:18

Attempt saved. Jonathan Obika (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

74:59 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Port Vale. Jordan Hugill replaces Gavin Tomlin.

73:10

Foul by Tom Pope (Port Vale).

73:10

Adam Chicksen (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:19 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Keith Andrews replaces Kemy Agustien.

68:04

Anthony Griffith (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:04

Foul by Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion).

67:33

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by Adam Chicksen.

66:26

Attempt missed. Joe Davis (Port Vale) header from the centre of the box is too high.

65:53 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Port Vale. Ben Williamson replaces Jennison Myrie-Williams.

64:58 Booking

Booking Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card.

64:54

Doug Loft (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

64:54

Foul by Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion).

64:08

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Chris Robertson.

63:38

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Jack Grimmer.

62:18

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by Íñigo Calderón.

59:09

Attempt missed. Jennison Myrie-Williams (Port Vale) header from the right side of the box misses to the right.

57:01

Attempt missed. Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

56:29

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Chris Neal.

56:16

Attempt saved. Matthew Upson (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

55:37

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Jack Grimmer.

50:21

Attempt missed. Doug Loft (Port Vale) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

48:58

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by Matthew Upson.

46:45 Booking

Booking Jennison Myrie-Williams (Port Vale) is shown the yellow card.

46:40

Foul by Jennison Myrie-Williams (Port Vale).

46:40

Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:01

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Chris Neal.

45:43

Attempt saved. Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

45:00

Second Half begins Port Vale 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Port Vale. Adam Yates replaces Robert Taylor.

45:00 +3:15 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Port Vale 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.

45:00 +2:33

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Jack Grimmer.

45:00 +1:59

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Jack Grimmer.

45:00 +1:27

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Doug Loft.

42:34 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Port Vale 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 2. Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Andrea Orlandi with a cross.

42:01

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Robert Taylor.

41:23

Hand ball by Jennison Myrie-Williams (Port Vale).

40:05

Attempt missed. Chris Lines (Port Vale) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

39:31

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by Adam Chicksen.

37:34

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Robert Taylor.

35:28 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Port Vale 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 1. Chris Robertson (Port Vale) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Chris Lines with a cross.

34:56

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by Adam Chicksen.

34:21

Attempt blocked. Gavin Tomlin (Port Vale) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

31:09

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Chris Robertson.

27:39 Booking

Booking Jonathan Obika (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card.

27:30

Joe Davis (Port Vale) wins a free kick on the right wing.

27:30

Foul by Jonathan Obika (Brighton and Hove Albion).

26:25 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Port Vale 0, Brighton and Hove Albion 1. Rohan Ince (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Andrea Orlandi with a cross.

26:02

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Jack Grimmer.

22:24 Booking

Booking Andrea Orlandi (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card.

22:00

Jennison Myrie-Williams (Port Vale) wins a free kick on the right wing.

21:30

Foul by Andrea Orlandi (Brighton and Hove Albion).

20:42

Attempt saved. Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

17:54

Attempt missed. Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

16:41

Attempt missed. Andrea Orlandi (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

15:06 Booking

Booking Rohan Ince (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card.

14:44

Jennison Myrie-Williams (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

14:44

Foul by Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton and Hove Albion).

13:51

Attempt missed. Rohan Ince (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

12:45

Gavin Tomlin (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

12:45

Foul by Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion).

10:01

Attempt saved. Jonathan Obika (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

1:21

Joe Davis (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

1:21

Foul by Jonathan Obika (Brighton and Hove Albion).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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