We look ahead to Port Vale’s first league match of the season and the visit of Barnet to Burslem.
Last time we met
Vale were defeated 1-2 at Vale Park back in March. Marc Richards opened the scoring for the Valiants but goals from Ben May and Adam Yiadom secured an away win for the visitors.
The two sides have met ten times with Vale winning four, Barnet winning three and three draws.
Man in charge
Former Gillingham coach Mark Robson took over in the summer. His first match in charge was a 5-1 loss to Birmingham City in the Capital One cup
Man to watch
Well-travelled forward Jon Nurse gave Barnet a shock lead in their cup match against Birmingham. Now 31 years of age, Nurse has played over 250 games for Stevenage, Woking and Dagenham. He moved to Barnet in the summer.
Former Vale skipper Tommy Fraser (pictured) made 64 appearances for the Valiants, many of them as captain, after he became Micky Adams’ first signing in 2009. When Jim Gannon was made manager, Fraser was swiftly out of the door and joined Barnet, making 21 appearances for them. He was released in 2011 and currently plays for Ryman League side Whitehawk alongside his brother James.
Other players to appear for both sides include Exodus Geoghaghan, Sam Stockley, Sagi Burton, Peter Beadle, Gary Brazil and Andy Clarke.
Vale will be lining up in a new, temporary black and white kit to replace the neon pink affair the team wore in the Capital One cup. Otherwise, it’s been a relative quiet few days for the Valiants as fans still await news of any takeover bids from the four parties apparently interested in the club.
“If we give them time and space, they’ll enjoy coming here again, and we can’t afford that. They relied a lot on Izale McLeod to score goals last season but they haven’t got that this year. They have Jon Nurse up front and others that can hurt you.” – Micky Adams
“It won’t be an easy game. I watched them play at the weekend and they are a good side. They try to play and pass it and obviously Micky Adams is an extremely good manager.” – Mark Robson
Clayton McDonald (pictured) is expected to replace Joe Davis at the back, while Chris Shuker and Ryan Burge will battle it out for a midfield spot. Gareth Owen could be fit enough to make the matchday squad. Chris Neal and Ashley Vincent could both make their full league debuts for the club.
Barnet could recall Mark Byrne after he missed the midweek Capital One Cup loss at Birmingham City. Barry Fuller could make his debut after joining the club from Gillingham while boss Mark Robson has no new injuries after the trip to St Andrew’s.
The club’s current crest was designed in the 1950s and contains the green hill of High Barnet and the red rose, white rose and crossed swords representing the 1471 Battle of Barnet, a pivotal battle in the Wars of the Roses.