Port Vale’s next match is a home fixture against League Two strugglers AFC Wimbledon. We take a brief look ahead to the action.
Man in charge
Vale coach Rob Page was the bookies’ favourite to replace Terry Brown, but the club opted for former Wimbledon player Neal Ardley instead. Ardley has been in charge for 14 games, winning 3, drawing 4 and losing 7. However, the side are currently in the middle of slump with no wins in their last seven matches.
Last time we met
Wimbledon completed the double over the Valiants with a 2-1 victory at Vale Park. Vale had taken the lead through Marc Richards (right) but the visitors hit back with strikes from Jack Midson and Luke Moore.
We naturally count encounters between Port Vale and Wimbledon. So… the two sides have met eleven times. Vale have won three times, Wimbledon have won nine and there has never been a draw!
Vale legend Robbie Earle is also one of Wimbledon’s favourite sons, while Wimbledon’s purchase of Gareth Ainsworth remains Vale’s record sale. Other players to appear for both sides include Dean Holdsworth, Wayne Gray, Andy Clarke, Aidan Newhouse and Brian Bithell.
Winger Jennison Myrie-Williams (right) is set to return to the Vale line-up at the expense of Rob Taylor. Otherwise, Vale are unlikely to make any further changes. Darren Murphy is not in contention as he recovers from injury.
Christian Jolley, who scored against Vale last season, has returned to Wimbledon after a prolific loan spell at Newport County, but he is sidelined with an ankle injury. But the Dons could be boosted by the signing of Steven Gregory. The midfielder recently finished a three month loan spell from Bournemouth, but he has now had his contract terminated and is expected to sign for the Dons on a permanent basis.
Top scorer Byron Harrison (back) is struggling to be involved and Charlie Strutton (knee) appears certain to be out. However, on-loan West Ham striker Paul McCallum is available again.
“I always say, when you play teams down the bottom, it’s never easy. People are expecting us to turn Wimbledon over, but I know they won’t play the same way they played last Saturday. They will come here looking for a point and if they leave Vale Park with a point on Saturday they will be more than happy.”
– Assistant manager Mark Grew
“We are away from home on a big pitch and they are not where they are by luck, just as we are near the bottom not by unfortunate circumstances. We need to try and turn it around and turn it into that classic cliché of a coupon buster. All we can do is have a really good go at it.”
– Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley