Weather permitting, Port Vale’s next match is an away fixture against League Two strugglers AFC Wimbledon in front of the TV cameras. 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 18 games, winning 5, drawing 5 and losing 8.
Last time we met
With the home game earlier this season being postponed, the last encounter took place last season. 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! However, Wimbledon’s home record is pretty poor and they are without a win in their last seven home matches.
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.
New signing Daniel Jones comes into contention for this game. Jones could replace Adam Yates in the left-back position. Otherwise,Vale could well be largely unchanged from the side that defeated Gillingham, so that would mean that new signings Lee Hughes and Darren Purse will start for the second time in Vale colours.
However, Rob Taylor, John McCombe and Louis Dodds are all injury doubts.
Rashid Yussuff has boosted Neal Ardley’s midfield options by returning to full training but Will Antwi (hip) faces a late fitness test and Curtis Osano (calf) is also doubtful. Paul McCallum, who extended his loan spell from West Ham, is in contention for a place upfront.
“There will be a live TV audience so once again it’s a chance to showcase ourselves as a football club and as a team. It’s a chance for the players to showcase themselves as individuals and we are looking forward to the game.”
– Micky Adams
“If everyone does put so much effort into getting it on, then we have to make sure that we put on a better performance than we did last time. Hopefully, we can carry some momentum from our last three games into this match. It is live on Sky and we are playing against the side at the top of the table so hopefully that will bring the best out of us.”
– Neal Ardley
Let’s hope that Wimbledon forward Jack Midson remembers to turn up on the right day. As OVF reported earlier this month the Dons star was confused over why the game had been switched to a Thursday… until the official Wimbledon Twitter feed reminded him that the game was live on TV!