We take a look ahead to Port Vale’s home match against Bristol City with another of our brief guides to the opposition…
Left-back Dan Jones came through a reserve game without any ill effects but as he is short of match fitness and Vale are on a good run, he is unlikely to be risked.
Impressive recent form by Chris Birchall and Ben Williamson means they are likely to keep their places ahead of Jennison Myrie-Williams and Louis Dodds.
And finally, there’s no change in the dugout with Rob Page looking to continue his 100% record as stand-in manager while Micky Adams recovers from his hip operation.
Likely Vale XI:
Yates, Robertson, Chilvers, Dickinson
Birchall, Griffith, Lines, Loft
Visitors Bristol City are waiting on the fitness of Aden Flint, once linked with a move to Vale, who is nursing a knee problem. Veteran Louis Carey, former Vale loanee James O’Connor, Jordan Wynter and Neil Kilkenny are all expected to miss the game.
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“If you look at their strength in depth and their squad then that’s why we know we are going to be in for a tough game. For whatever reason, they haven’t had a win, but we have to make sure that doesn’t happen on Saturday. To give us the best chance of doing that, we have to approach it as we did the game at Tranmere. Bristol City have some fantastic players and we have to be ready for that and to give them the respect they deserve.”
– Rob Page
“We have to prevent a repeat of that situation where we concede soft goals and find ourselves fighting an uphill battle. We`re fine going forward and we’ve only failed to score a goal in one game. My concern is at the other end of the pitch and defending and, when we get that right, we will be okay.”
– Sean O’Driscoll
Last time we met:
The two sides last met at Ashton Gate back in 2006. A crazy eight minute scoring spree settled the game. Jeff Smith (above) gave Vale the lead on 68 minutes only for former Valiant Steve Brooker to equalise a minute later. Scott Murray then scored the winner on 76 minutes to make the final score Bristol City 2-1 Port Vale.
The Vale team that day was: Goodlad, Abbey, Fortune, Pilkington, Miles, Gardner, Hulbert, Harsley, Whitaker, Smith, Sodje
- Vale wins: 31
- Bristol City wins: 37
- Draws: 16
Last time we…
…defeated Bristol City at home was back in 2004 when Vale secured a 3-0 win thanks to goals from debutant Craig James (pictured right), Steve Brooker and Ian Armstrong.
Facing their former club
Jennison Myrie-Williams began his career at Bristol City back in 2005. He made 19 starts (plus 16 sub appearances) scoring twice. Myrie-Williams was also sent out on loan five times and eventually handed a free transfer in 2009.
Meanwhile, City defender James O’Connor spent a spell on loan with Vale in 2004 but following his release by Aston Villa, he opted to join Bournemouth in prefernece to Vale. However, O’Connor is currently injured and unlikely to feature in this game.
Vale also have one or two players sure to earn some stick from the City fans. Chris Lines began his career at rivals Bristol Rovers, while Dan Jones has spent a spell on loan at Rovers.
Other players to appear both sides include:
- Steve Brooker
- Robin Hulbert
- Clayton Fortune (right)
- Tony Dinning
- Scott Brown
- Gary Hamson
- Calvin Andrew
- Tony Butler
- Marc Goodfellow
- Lee Matthews
- Mike Stowell
- Lawrie Pearson
- Tony Rougier
- Peter Beadle
- Russell Bromage
Two unicorns, a boat and a castle…
The club’s crest is a simplified version of the crest of the city of Bristol. Well, as the club are “Bristol City” it’s to be expected, right? So, what does it all mean?
Well the castle and the boat are symbols of Bristol’s status as an important port and the two unicorns apparently symbolise virtue.
The top of the crest just looks like a yellow and green squiggle on the club’s crest but it’s clearer on the city coat of arms. It consists of scales (symbolising justice) and a serpent (symbolising wisdom).
It was all obvious, really, wasn’t it?
Nearly there for loyal Louis…
Defender Louis Carey is now just THREE appearances away from breaking John Atyeo’s appearance record for City.
Ayteo made 645 appearances for City from 1951 to 1966, scoring an incredible 351 goals. He was never booked or sent-off. He also made six appearances for England, scoring five goals – and all whilst remaining a semi-professional; working as a quantity surveyor and a mathematics teacher.
Carey’s career has been less star-studded. A City fan, he progressed through the junior ranks to make his debut in 1995. Nine years later, he rejected a new contract to join Coventry City. But he failed to settle in the Midlands and six months later he was back at Ashton Gate. He’s remained there until now and at the age of 36 he has made 643 appearances.
He’s been out injured but is now nearing fitness and is expected to break Atyeo’s record this season. However, Carey insists his first priority is to help the club. After signing a new contract this summer he told BBC Radio Bristol: “We didn’t want people to think I was re-signing just to get the record. At the moment I’m focused on pre-season and keeping myself fit. If the appearances come, then happy days.”