Two minute guide to: Bristol Rovers

Two minute guide to: Bristol Rovers

Ahead of this evening’s game with Bristol Rovers, we take a brief look at Vale’s next League Two opponents.

Any other business?

Just the small matter of the expected completion of Paul Wildes’ takeover of the club. After the unveiling of the long-awaited Roy Sproson statue on Saturday, the party mood could continue off the pitch if Wildes’ deal gets the Football League seal of approval ahead of the game. We can only hope that the players rise to the challenge and put on a better display than their weekend draw with York.

Man in charge

Mark McGhee took over in January 2012 and has been in charge for 40 games, winning 12, drawing 11 and losing 17. However, Rovers are having a poor run of things at the moment having lost five of the last six games.

Last time we met

Back in April, Vale defeated Rovers 1-0 thanks to a Marc Richards’ goal on 23 minutes with Bristol Rovers’ Tom Parkes shown red on 39 minutes.

Eleven of that game’s sixteen man Vale squad are still at the club this season.

Overall record

Vale are comfortably in front with 26 wins to Rovers’ 18. There have been 18 draws.

However, the visitors last won at Vale Park back in 1991 – a run of six games unbeaten at home for the Valiants.

Featured connection

Bob Newton’s career at Bristol Rovers may just be a footnote (he played his last eight league games of his career for Rovers in 1987) but he will be fondly remembered as a cult hero at Vale.

His barnstorming 22 goal tally during the 1982-1983 season proved to be crucial as John McGrath’s side gained promotion and his departure the following season probably played a large part in Vale’s relegation.

You can read our interview with Bob Newton here –

Other connections

Sean Rigg and Lewis Haldane were both signed from Rovers in recent years.

Other players to appear for both sides include Peter Beadle, Liam Burns, Dominic Blizzard, Michael Husbands, Justin Richards, Kevin Gall, Gareth Taylor, Lee Matthews (right), Callum Willock, Tony Sealy, Tim Parkin, Nicky Platnauer, Bob Newton, Billy Beats, Arthur Rowley, Arthur Prince.

Team news

Vale will be boosted by the return of Ashley Vincent from suspension. Saturday’s game also came too soon for skipper Doug Loft, but he may be involved on Tuesday evening.

Bristol Rovers striker David Clarkson is a doubt with an ankle problem. Garry Kenneth and Eliot Richards will also be missing through suspension.

Pre-match quotes

“We might well have to be patient. I think Bristol will come here looking for a draw like a lot of teams have. So we have to cut out the lapses at the back and keep our concentration.”
– Mark Grew

“There’s no reason we shouldn’t go there and have a go. They are at home and will look our recent results and see it as an opportunity to get three points.”
– Mark McGhee

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