Will Rob Page opt to stick with a winning side? Here’s our rough guide to the game against Doncaster Rovers…
Manager: Rob Page
Last match: 1-0 vs Walsall
Form guide: W-L-D-L-L
Manager: Paul Dickov
Last match: 2-1 vs Crewe
Form guide: W-W-W-L-D
Chris Lines: could he be recalled?
Rob Page must be tempted to stick with the same side that defeated Walsall. However, Michael Brown had to be subbed during the win and his participation is doubtful. If Brown fails to make it, then Chris Lines, loanee Tommy O’Sullivan or possibly even fit again Louis Dodds will all come into contention.
Here’s our patented “finger in the air” possible starting XI:
Veseli – Inniss – Robertson – Dickinson (c)
Moore – O’Connor – Lines – Marshall
Pope – Williamson
“He [Dickov] has had some great additions into the team… so we’ll be up against a tougher test
– Rob Page
Last time we met
Carl Dickinson: last player to score for Vale against Doncaster
The Valiants recorded an excellent 3-1 away win earlier in the season. The Vale goals came from Ben Williamson, Tom Pope and skipper Carl Dickinson.
- Vale wins: 20
- Doncaster wins: 20
- Draws: 8
Did you know?
Tom Pope: set for 150th league game?
- This game could mark the 150th league game of Tom Pope’s career since joining the club on a permanent basis. Pope also boasts 13 league starts while on loan with Vale.
- As the stats show, it’s dead even historically with both teams recording twenty wins.
- The Vale have a poor recent home record against Doncaster having lost the last two times the sides met at Vale Park.
- However, over the years there have been some thumping Vale home wins over Rovers. In 1988, Vale hit five goals (see the match report below) while they have also hit four goals on three seperate occasions.
They played for both…
Striker Billy Paynter (above) enjoyed an eventful spell at Rovers. Paynter provided the assist for Doncaster’s memorable last-gasp win over Brentford in 2013 which secured promotion to the Championship. Paynter started his career with the Valiants, progressing through the junior ranks to make his debut aged just 16.
Meanwhile, former Vale manager Brian Horton is currently Paul Dickov’s assistant-manager.
Other players to appear for both sides include:
- Former Vale winger Steve Harper made 65 Doncaster appearances in the mid-90’s.
- Former Vale loanee James O’Connor (right) spent six years with Rovers.
- Midfielder Ryan Burge made one appearance for Doncaster in 2011.
- Striker Steve Brooker had an injury-ravaged spell with Rovers, making just two starts in two years.
- Midfielder Anthony Griffith turned professional with Doncaster.
Here’s the match report from Vale’s 1988 5-0 victory.