As Rob Page’s role is confirmed, here’s our guide to his first opponents as the permanent Port Vale manager
Manager: Rob Page
Last match: 3-0 vs Orient
Form guide: W-D-L-W-L
Manager: Tony Humes
Last match: 2-2 vs Swindon
Form guide: D-W-D-W-D
Carl Dickinson: suspended for this game
Much debate will focus on how the defence fares in the absence of captain Carl Dickinson who is suspended. Vale arguably looked a different side when Remie Streete was brought into the centre of defence and Ryan McGivern moved to left-back. It would be no surprise if Vale kept that back four in place especially as it helped to keep the club’s first clean sheet of the season.
Upfront, another high profile Valiants, Tom Pope, will be missing. The key question is whether the impressive Dany N’Guessan is fit enough to start the game. If not, Jordan Slew may partner Saturday’s goalscorer Ben Williamson.
Home side Colchester will be missing suspended midfielder Alex Gilbey.
Possible Vale starting XI:
Yates – Duffy – Streete – McGivern
Marshall – Lines – O’Connor – Birchall
Slew – Williamson
“I think we have just scratched the surface on how we go about our performances, it’s all there for everyone to see what we want to do going forward as a football club and as a team but the hard work starts now…”
– Rob Page
Last time we met
Doug Loft: scored Vale’s last goals against Colchester
The Valiants won 2-0 at home back in February thanks to two goals from skipper Doug Loft. In the game at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester won 1-0 thanks to a Gavin Massey goal.
- Vale wins: 18
- Orient wins: 21
- Draws: 12
Micky Cummins: netted against the U’s
Vale’s last win at Colchester was back in 2004 when the Valiants recorded an impressive 4-1 away victory. On the scoresheet were Steve Brooker, Micky Cummins, Marc Bridge-Wilkinson and for good measure, there was also a Colchester own-goal!
That game in 2004 came at the end of a high-scoring run of games between the two sides. In March 2003, Colchester beat Vale 4-1 at home, then in August 2003, the Valiants edged a thriller 4-3 at Vale Park and the 4-1 away win over the U’s came seven months later. Phew!
Vale certainly have a history of topsy-turvy games against Colchester. In the 1984-85 season, Vale lost the away fixture 2-3 and won the home fixture 3-2. The winner was a rare Robbie Earle penalty.
They played for both…
Liam Chilvers (seen celebrating promotion) played for both sides
Players to appear for both sides include:
- Winger Ashley Vincent
- Striker Bobby Gough
- Defender Liam Chilvers
- Full-back David Raine
- Inside-forward Arthur Longbottom
- Defender Sagi Burton
- Defender Ray Harford
Stan Steele: scored in Vale’s first win over Colchester
The clubs’ first competitive fixture was during the 1950-51 season after Colchester had been elected to the Football League. Unusually, both fixtures took place in the last three weeks of the season and honours ended even.
In the game at Vale Park, on the 16th April, it ended 1-1 in front of 8,520 fans with Stan Palk scoring for the Vale. In the return fixture, on the 5th May, it also ended 1-1 with Len Barber scoring for Vale.
Indeed, Vale had to wait seven games for their first win. It happened on 22nd March 1958 with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Stan Steele and Jack Wilkinson.