Here’s our traditional pre-match feature for our second home league fixtures of the season – Notts County.
Manager: Micky Adams
Last match: 1-1 vs Oldham
Form guide: D-W-W-D
Manager: Shaun Derry
Last match: 2-1 vs Colchester
Form guide: W-L-L-D
Tom Pope: five goals for the season
It’s likely that Vale will be unchanged after the fine away performances against Doncaster and Oldham. Only Byron Moore is currently deemed unavailable for selection. It means that striker Tom Pope and Ben Williamson have a chance to continue their prolific partnership that has now contributed nine goals in four games.
Notts County are missing Cieron Keane and Nicky Wroe after both were sent off during the win over Colchester United. New signing Shaun Harrad may play.
Here’s our patented “finger in the air” possible starting XI:
Veseli – Duffy – McGivern – Dickinson (c)
Birchall – O’Connor – Lines – Marshall
Pope – Williamson
“When the wheels are in motion and you’re doing well, it’s very difficult to change the line-up. The players make it hard when they’re playing well week-in week-out and that’s credit to them at the moment…”
– Rob Page
Last time we met
The two sides last met back in April when Vale were on the wrong end of a 4-2 loss. An own-goal and a strike from Gavin Tomlin (right) had put Vale into a 25th minute 2-0 lead only for the Valiants to ship four goals in the last 65 minutes.
- Vale wins: 35
- County wins: 43
- Draws: 20
- Striker Tom Pope (right) has now scored in all four games this season – if he scores again he will set a new club record.
- Vale have won their last two home fixtures against County. Their last defeat was back in 2008.
- The fixtures between County and Vale have been high-scoring affairs recently. In the last three seasons, there have been an average of over four goals per game.
- Gavin Tomlin scored in both fixtures last season despite the striker only scoring five league goals that season.
- Striker Andy Jones did even better than Tomlin, scoring four times against County in one season in 1986-87 (more about that below).
They played for both…
So let’s get the obvious out of the way and mention veteran striker Lee Hughes who signed for the Valiants from County. The striker is still banging the goals in for Conference side Forest Green Rovers.
Some other players to appear for both sides include:
- Centre-half Liam Chilvers (right)
- Striker Gary Brazil
- Goalkeeper Steve Cherry
- Left-back Dan Jones
- Goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington
- Centre-half Krystian Pearce
- Midfielder Neil McKenzie
- Striker Kevin Bartlett
- Striker Luke Rodgers
1987: Vale meet County four times…
In the 1986-87 season, Port Vale played Notts County four times in league and cup competitions..
The two sides were drawn in the league cup and Vale took home a strong lead from the first leg by beating County 3-1 at Meadow Lane. Vale striker Andy Jones (pictured above) netted twice and strike partner Richard O’Kelly scored the other. In the second leg, Jones and O’Kelly were again on target along with Robbie Earle and winger Paul Smith.
In the league, Jones was on target once again in a 1-1 home draw while Jon Bowden scored as County recovered some pride with a 4-1 win at Meadow Lane.