As Vale prepare to take on Chesterfield and a host of former Valiants, here’s our brief guide to our latest opponents.
Manager: Micky Adams
Last match: 2-3 vs Cardiff
Form guide: L-L-D-W-W
Manager: Paul Cook
Last match: 0-0 vs Fleetwood
Form guide: D-L-W-D-W
Carl Dickinson: One of a handful of players almost certain to start
Manager Micky Adams made a host of changes for the Cardiff game and has also brought in Jordan Slew on loan. So, all that means – the team line-up is pretty much anyone’s guess. We’d expect the likes of Carl Dickinson, Ryan McGivern, Michael O’Connor and Tom Pope to all start – but after that, it’s pretty much anyone’s guess.
Visitors Chesterfield will be missing former Vale midfielder Jay O’Shea while Gary Roberts is also a doubt. Romuald Boco and Dan Gardner will also miss out through injury.
Here’s our patented “finger in the air” possible Vale starting XI:
Yates – Duffy – McGivern – Dickinson (c)
Marshall – O’Connor – Lines – Daniel
Pope – Williamson
“We’ve got an important game on Saturday and we want to get back to winning ways. We’ve now lost our last two but I think we’re not too far away from being a decent side. If we can put it all together in one game we’ll be OK…”
– Micky Adams
Last time we met
Darren Purse: on target for the Valiants
Darren Purse (above) and Tom Pope were both on target as Vale drew 2-2 back in April 2013.
- Vale wins: 31
- Chesterfield wins: 38
- Draws: 22
If Vale get it right, their meetings with Chesterfield can be goalfests. In 2010, Marc Richards scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 away win. In 2003, Marc Boyd scored twice in a 5-2 win. Micky Cummins and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson both scored braces in a 4-1 win in 2002. However, those who were there won’t forget wonder goals from Robbie Earle, Ray Walker and (in particular) Ron Futcher in a 1988 5-0 win.
The video features on OVF’s YouTube channel and you can see those strikes again by pressing play:
They played for both…
Sam Morsy: set to return to Vale Park
OK, we have a gut feeling that this could be a long section… Chesterfield’s current squad contains a fair sprinkling of former Valiants including:
- Midfielder Sam Morsy, a former young player of the year
- Defender Dan Jones, (right) who left Vale in controversial circumstances
- Former loanee Jay O’Shea, a Jim Gannon signing
- Former youth team graduate Charlie Raglan, who the Spireites signed from FC United
- Another former loanee Ritchie Humphreys, a veteran at 36
In recent years, Chesterfield have also boasted the likes of:
- Striker Marc Richards (right)
- Midfielder Sam Togwell
- Midfielder Danny Whitaker
- Striker Craig Davies
- Defender Clayton McDonald
- Midfielder Paul Harsley
Looking back a bit further we also have the likes of:
- Striker Bob Newton
- Utility man John Ridley
- Striker Ernie Moss
- Full-back Colin Tartt
- Striker (loose term) Martin Henderson
Littlewood hits six…
Prolific striker Stewart Littlewood (right) had two spells with the Valiants but is best remembered for his part in Vale’s record home victory.
Littlewood was suffering from injuries so his start to the 1932-33 season was a slow one with just two goals in his first six appearances. However, he was to completely turn that form around on Saturday 24th August 1932.
Vale took on Chesterfield at the Old Recreation ground and at the end of the match, Littlewood had found the back of the net six times in a 9-1 Vale win (Wilf Kirlham (2) and Bob Morton were the other scorers).
The match set two club records – Vale’s record league win and the highest individual tally of goals in a game. Ironically, the injury-prone Littlewood was to only make a handful more appearances that season – scoring just once more. He left the club at the end of the season but his goalscoring record remains unbeaten.