We preview Walsall, Port Vale’s first cup opponents of the new season, with our now-traditional OVF two minute guide…
A reminder: the club have confirmed that kick-off is at 19:45 NOT 19:30pm as reported in some newspapers.
Vale have announced that they have a near-enough fully fit squad – with Dan Jones (pictured right) picking up a thumb injury against Brentford, he should be fit to play if required. Joe Davis and Rob Taylor are the only absentees.
However, there has been a hint that Vale may make changes.
If so, it could mean Lee Hughes and Kaid Mohammed, subs on Saturday, may come into contention.
Walsall’s Andy Taylor, who missed Saturday’s game through injury, is expected to recover in time to be under consideration for the game.
Possible Vale XI:
Yates – Robertson – Dickinson – Loft
Myrie-Williams – Griffith – Lines – Mohammed
Hughes – Pope
“Daniel Jones jarred his thumb so that’s not a problem and everybody else has trained, so I can’t see any problems, but we won’t be naming the side just yet. We will be having a little think about it in the next few hours and so the lads don’t know the side for tomorrow night yet.”
– Port Vale assistant manager Mark Grew (right)
“They beat Tranmere 3-1 on Saturday, we have got to take it in our stride, it doesn’t matter what team they put out we will concentrate on ourselves and worry about what we want to do and where we want to go.”
– Vale defender Chris Robertson
It promises to be a really good game. They’ll have the momentum with them following promotion and will be looking to build on their result against a fancied Brentford side at the weekend.”
– Walsall manager Dean Smith
Sam Johnstone will not forget last season’s JPT tie against Walsall in a hurry. Making his debut, Johnstone saved three spot-kicks in the penalty shootout and then scored the winner himself.
- Vale wins: 19
- Brentford wins: 37
- Draws: 25
Last time we…
Defeated Walsall at Vale Park was back in 2005. The Valiants won 3-2 with the goals coming from Gary Mulligan, Chris Cornes and current player Chris Birchall.
Facing their former employers
Walsall manager Dean Smith is a former Vale player, having appeared for the Valiants in 2011. His Vale career consisted of 15 appearances and one goal.
His assistant will be Richard O’Kelly who also enjoyed a spell at Vale Park. O’Kelly, who was plagued by injury during his time at Vale managed four goals in 28 appearances between 1986 and 1988.
Meanwhile, Walsall have a former Valiant in their squad – Romaine Sawyers – one of “Gentleman” Jim Gannon’s signings, agreed to move to the Saddlers in the summer.
Other players to appear for both sides include:
Dean Smith, Marc Laird, Paul Marshall, Stefan Moore, Simon Osborn, Michael Husbands, Brett Angell, Darren Beckford, Colin Gibson, Adrian Littlejohn, Dave Barnett, Nicky Cross, Jonny Brain, Bobby Gough, Roy Cross, Keith Ball, John Woodward, Gary Ford, Steve Cherry, Danny Sonner, Ally Brown, Tony Richards, Trevor Wood, Rhys Weston and Hector Sam.
Vale end 24 years of hurt!
One of Vale’s most satisfying results of the 1980’s came on the 27th September 1986. Walsall had put together an incredible 26 game unbeaten run against the Vale – a run that stretched back to 1964!
Things were looking ominous for the 1986 cup tie as striker Richard O’Kelly was forced out of the game. Midfielder Jon Bowden played out of position in attack, but proved to be the hero as he scored a goal and won a penalty in a 4-1 victory for Vale. The Vale’s other goals came from Andy Jones (2) and Robbie Earle.
Since then, results between the two sides have been a more even affair with Walsall winning seven to Vale’s five.