It’s a trip to the West Country on Tuesday night as Vale take on Bristol Rovers in a mid-week League Two clash. Here is our quick guide to our next opponents.
Man in charge
After a gap of sixteen years, John Ward is in his second spell as Bristol Rovers manager. Ward, who reportedly lost out to Micky Adams for the Vale’s manager’s job in 2009 has been in charge for 15 games in his second spell – winning eight, drawing three and losing four. Overall, Ward’s record at Rovers is 73 wins, 45 draws and 52 losses.
Last time we met
It was a party atmosphere at Vale Park as Paul Wildes’ takeover was confirmed alongside the unveiling of the Roy Sproson statue. The players did their bit on the pitch too – Tom Pope scored a hat-trick and Ben Williamson netted another as Vale won 4-0 in front of a crowd of 4,177.
Vale are comfortably in front with 27 wins to Rovers’ 18. There have been 18 draws.
Vale won on their last visit to the Memorial Ground – goals from Marc Richards, Doug Loft and Sean Rigg securing a 3-0 victory.
Lewis Haldane will be leading the teams onto the pitch tonight. His career sadly came to an end this season when he failed to recover from a double leg break.
Haldane was signed from Bristol Rovers in 2009 and made 50+25 appearances, scoring four times for the Valiants.
The popular winger will be handed a testimonial match by Bristol Rovers in the summer while Vale will be hosting a benefit night for the 27 year-old.
OVF would like to wish Lewis all the very best for the future.
Clayton McDonald is on loan at Rovers but he will be ineligible to play in tonight’s game.
Sean Rigg and the aforementioned Lewis Haldane were both signed from Rovers in recent years. Other players to appear for both sides include Bob Newton, Peter Beadle, Liam Burns, Dominic Blizzard, Michael Husbands, Justin Richards, Kevin Gall, Gareth Taylor, Lee Matthews, Callum Willock, Tony Sealy, Tim Parkin, Nicky Platnauer, Bob Newton, Billy Beats, Arthur Rowley, Arthur Prince.
Doug Loft is still suspended while Dan Jones has been ruled out through injury. Midfielder Ryan Burge is set to return after injury while Chris Birchall’s impressive cameo may earn him a starting spot.
The hosts are set to be without Joe Anyinsah with Fabian Broghammer set to fill-in. Ellis Harrison is pushing for a recall.
“I’ve no negative thoughts about trying to nick a point at Bristol to steady the ship. We’ll be bold and try to win the game like we always do.”
– Micky Adams
“They are a good side even though their manager will be ruing the opportunities he missed out on in terms of getting results and complaining that his team aren’t doing it. Good teams bounce back and that’s what I’m looking for from my team and that’s what I expect from Port Vale so if both teams bounce back we can expect a good game.”
– John Ward