As our brief guide reveals – the good news for Vale fans is that the Valiants have NEVER lost at home to opponents Rochdale. Here’s our two minute guide to Tuesday’s game…
Portsmouth fan Scott McLachlan will be at the game as part of his charity walk visiting all 92 league grounds. If you want to support Scott’s efforts, you can donate to his charity Prostate Cancer UK via this link: http://www.justgiving.com/Walkthe92
Man in charge
John Coleman is best remembered for a twelve year stint at Accrington Stanley and was highly regarded for his ability to produce good sides on limited budgets. He moved to Rochdale in January 2012 but was unable to stop the side being relegated to League Two. His record at Rochdale is ten wins, fifteen losses and thirteen draws.
Men to watch
Former Crewe striker Dele Adebola is still proving a goal threat at the age of 37. He’s scored five goals this season from fourteen league starts. Bobby Grant is another dangerman having nettted six times in ten starts since a loan move from Scunthorpe. The 22 year-old is well-known to manager John Coleman having started his career at Accrington.
Last time we met
The two sides met in August 2010 in a JPT clash. The Valiants triumphed 2-1 thanks to goals apiece for the Richards “twins” – Marc scored the opener and strike partner Justin the second.
It’s very much in Vale’s favour. Rochdale have won seven, Vale have won twenty and there have been twenty one draws.
At home it’s even better with Vale NEVER losing to Rochdale when hosting the match. There have been some pretty big victories for the Vale over the years – 4-0 in 1983, 5-1 in 1979, 4-1 in 1970, 5-0 in 1967, 6-0 in 1953, 5-2 in 1952 and 4-1 in 1938.
Gareth Griffiths was another of John Rudge’s “non-league bargains” when he signed from Rhyl for a mere £1,000 in 1993. He rapidly became one of the club’s hottest prospects with some composed and classy performances in central defence. But like fellow defender Michael Walsh, Griffiths’ Vale career would be one of unfulfilled promise due to an awful injury record. Hampered by groin and hernia injuries, he was restricted to just 116 appearances in five years.
He duly signed for ambitious Wigan Athletic alongside fellow Valiant Andy Porter in 1998 and in 2001 he joined Rochdale. He managed to avoid injury for much of his five year spell at Spotland and even netted a hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Scarborough in the LDV Vans Trophy.
After his retirement from the game, Griffiths moved into financial planning for sports stars and is also involved in sports media services.
Louis Dodds and Chris Shuker both had loan spells at Rochdale and may face their former club.
Other players to appear for both sides include Marc Richards (loan spell at Rochdale), Alf Bellis, Kevin Pilkington, Jimmy Greenoff, Harry Anstiss, Paul Marshall, Dean Stokes, Ernie Moss, Chris Pearce, Neil Brisco, Arthur McGarry, Bob Mountford (RIP), Darrell Clarke (holder of the shortest Vale first team career – one minute), Jeff Smith, Will Atkinson, Les Lawrence, Sean McClare, Terry Owen, Syd Goodfellow, Peter Farrell, Winston White, Albert Pearson, Jon Bowden, Ian Griffiths, Jack Prince, Tony Lacey, Gerry Keenan, Steve Taylor, Arnold Bliss, Tom Page, David Carrick and Andy Higgins,
Rob Taylor has recovered from the knock he sustained against Forest Green, but skipper Doug Loft is favourite to be named as left-back after recovering from injury. Ben Williamson is pushing for a start upfront after scoring after coming on from the bench once again. John McCombe, Gareth Owen and Richard Duffy are all out so Clayton McDonald and Joe Davis are likely to be the central defensive partnership.
Rochdale striker Bobby Grant is expected to shake off a knock from the weekend but Ray Putterill has not yet fully recovered from a groin injury.
“We went to Rotherham and Gillingham who were both flying high and won so we’ve got nothing to fear.”
– John Coleman
“We are getting goals from all areas, we’re not relying on goals from Tom Pope, as we proved on Saturday, and we will continue in the same vein.”
– Micky Adams