It’s the JPT competition next for the Valiants and here’s our brief guide to Tuesday evening’s opponents.
Manager: Rob Page (interim)
Last match: 0-1 vs Fleetwood
Form guide: L-D-W-L-L
Manager: Simon Grayson
Last match: 4-2 vs Colchester
Form guide: W-W-W-D-L
Ryan McGivern: misses the match
Vale will not be facing former striker Jordan Hugill, who has been ruled out of action until the New Year. The home side. Meanwhile, Scott Wiseman, Alan Browne, Will Hayhurst and Callum Robinson are all on International duty.
Rob Page has commented that he won’t be making too many changes but he will have at least two enforced on his hands. Ryan McGivern is on International duty and with former Preston man Chris Robertson seemingly out of favour, it looks like Stephane Zubar will make his full debut. Meanwhile, it looks like a straight swop upfront with Ben Williamson in for the suspended Jordan Slew. It remains to be seen what (if any) other changes will be made so our predicted starting eleven is a work of much guesswork…
Yates – Duffy – Zubar – Dickinson (c)
Dodds – Lines – O’Connor – Marshall
Pope – Williamson
“We want to win every game we play in. Everyone is talking about changes but for me it is about keeping the continuity and the slight progress we have seen in the last few games…”
– Rob Page
Last time we met
Gavin Tomlin: scored against Preston
The Valiants came out worst after a five goal thriller back in January. The home side had gone 3-0 up before goals from Jordan Hugill and Gavin Tomlin set up a frantic finale. The match at Vale Park back in November 2013 ended in a 2-0 loss for the Vale with Joe Garner scoring both of North End’s goals.
Vale’s last win at Deepdale was way back in 1992 and here’s the highlights courtesy of the OVF YouTube channel:
- Vale wins: 17
- Preston wins: 22
- Draws: 11
Ben Williamson: a half-century of starts
Should he start upfront, this game will mark Ben Williamson’s 50th career start. The striker has mainly been used as a substitute throughout his career with 49 starts and 90 sub appearances.
Vale enjoyed a six match unbeaten run over Preston stretching from March 1988 until December 1992.
Striker Joe Garner scored four goals in two games against Vale last season.
There have been a number of high-scoring games between the two sides. In 1926, the game ended 4-4; in 1929 Preston thrashed Vale 7-1 while Vale recorded a 4-1 away win in 1931.
They played for both…
Jordan Hugill: misses out on a game against his former club
Vale will miss catching up with striker Jordan Hugill as the forward is injured. It’s fair to say that Hugill did not depart Vale Park on the best of terms. Many fans felt that he owed some loyalty to the club after he was plucked from non-league obscurity and developed into a raw but potentially prolific forward.
Chris Robertson: appears likely to be on the bench for Vale
Another player who is set to miss out is defender Chris Robertson who appears to be out of favour at Vale right now. The centre-half was signed from Preston in 2013 after a one-year spell at Deepdale. Goalkeeper Chris Neal also began his career at Preston, making a solitary appearance before moving to Shrewsbury Town.
Other players to appear for both clubs include:
- Winger Gareth Ainsworth
- Midfielder Ian Bogie
- Striker Darren Beckford
- Defender Liam Chilvers
- Striker Akpo Sodje
- Winger Oshor Williams
- Striker Dave Hibbert
- Goalkeeper Barry Siddall
1926: an eight goal thriller
Wilf Kirkham (centre) : on target for Vale against Preston
In September 1926, the Valiants played Preston North End at Deepdale in front of an 18,960 crowd. The supporters were certainly entertained as the match ended in a thrilling 4-4 draw.
The Vale goalscorers were Jack Maddock (a penalty), Jack Lowe, Tom Page and all-time record goalscorer Wilf Kirkham.
Vale won the fixture at the Old Recreation Ground in April 1927 thanks to goals from Harry Anstiss and Billy Briscoe while Kirkham finished the season with 41 goals in all competitions including four hat-tricks.