We look ahead to the League Two clash of the day as Vale play host to leaders Gillingham. Here’s our brief guide to Vale’s opponents.
The man in charge
Martin Allen tends to divide opinion among lower league fans. Some see him as a supreme motivator,a ‘Mr Fix-It’ to be parachuted in and revive clubs, whilst others see him as a self-publicising irritant.
Martin Allen tends to divide opinion among lower league fans. Some see him as a supreme motivator,a ‘Mr Fix-It’ to be parachuted in and revive clubs, whilst others see him as a self-publicising irritant. He’s had his ups (cup giantkillings at Brentford) and downs (a well-publicised nightclub incident while at Cheltenham). However, there’s no doubt he’s been a huge initial success at Gillingham where he has overseen seven league wins already this season.
The man to watch
Danny Kedwell caused something of a stir when weeks after his goals steered AFC Wimbledon into the Football League, he promptly moved to Kent. He finished last season with 14 goals for the Gills and after being appointed skipper in the summer he has been on target eight times already this campaign.
Last time we met
The Valiants won 2-1 at Vale Park back in February thanks to late strikes from Sean Rigg (pictured) and Marc Richards. Gillingham had taken the lead through Gary Whelpdale.
Vale manager Micky Adams received his playing break after he was released by boyhood idols Sheffield United. During a four year stay in Kent, Adams made 92 league appearances and subsequently secured a move to top-flight club Coventry for £85,000.
Other players to appear for both clubs include defenders Tony Butler, Gary West and Brian McGlinchey; midfielders Simon Osborn and Jeff Johnson plus strikers Gary Mulligan (pictured) and Peter Beadle.
The Valiants could once again line-up unchanged for the ninth game in a row after the resounding 5-2 win over Fleetwood. Captain Doug Loft did require stiches in a shin injury but has declared himself fit to play.
Charlie Lee, Bradley Dack, Myles Weston and Jack Payne will all miss Gillingham’s top of the table clash. The Gills have brought in Nottingham Forest forward Robbie Findlay on loan while youth teamer Mahlon Romeo has been added to the squad.
“They’re top of the table and a confident unit who’ve got good players and a system that suits them. The manager will force them forward and they look a decent side who are a real threat to us. But if we beat them we go top, so it’s all to play for.”
– Micky Adams
“Port Vale have a good manager, a good team, and good players. We’ll freshen the team up and maybe look even stronger.”
– Martin Allen
There may be divided loyalties in the Adams family on Saturday as Micky Adams’ daughter still lives in Gillingham and is a season ticket holder at the Kent club.