Can Port Vale ease the pressure by beating the Gills? Here’s our guide to the action…
In the picture: Leaving it late…
The story behind our choice of image we’ve chosen to lead the article with…
The 2014-15 away game was galling for Gills fans as Vale scored their second last-gasp goal of the season. Following on from Colin Daniel’s last-minute winner in the home fixture, it was veteran Michael Brown who rescued a point for the Vale. Brown, now watching from the sidelines as Vale’s interim manager will be hoping for similar luck on Saturday.
The two sides
- Manager: Michael Brown (caretaker)
- Last match: 0-3 vs Peterborough Utd
- Top scorer: Alex Jones (10)
- Manager: Adrian Pennock
- Last match: 2-2 vs Bradford
- Top scorer: Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (10)
11th February 2017
“They are strong, athletic and tough and they are not going to just roll over. We are at home and we have to make this place a fortress. We are playing well and I am really looking forward to it and looking for that first win…”
Gillingham manager Adrian Pennock
The Valiants will hope to welcome experienced winger Jerome Thomas back after he recovered from illness. Otherwise, it is expected to be a similar line-up to the team that played Peterborough which will mean Sam Foley continuing in midfield after his recovery from surgery.
Former Valiant Billy Knott will not line-up against his former club after he moved to Lincoln City on loan.
Last time we met…
The sides met in September and it ended in a Port Vale win thanks to late goals from Remie Streete and Alex Jones.
Port Vale wins: 18
Port Vale losses: 15
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In recent years both Doug Loft and Ben Williamson have played for both clubs but let’s look a little further back… Central defender Gary West signed for Gillingham for £50,000 in 1987. In the 1988-89 season Vale were suddenly rocked by the loss of both centre-halves Phil Sproson and Bob Hazell to injury. Flush with cash from the Spurs cup run and desperate to continue their promotion run, Vale famously splashed a club record £200,000 on Dean Glover. But Glover was a playmaker and a slight figure, Vale still needed another signing…
John Rudge opted to pay £70,000 for West, his six foot two inch frame and no-nonsense style complementing Glover’s elegance and ball-play. West played fourteen games including the three play-off games that eventually saw Vale promoted.
He struggled with injuries in his second Vale season and was loaned back to Gillingham for a brief spell. In 1991, he joined Lincoln City for £25,000 but many Vale fans won’t care that West made less than 20 appearances and resulted in a £45,000 loss – it was more important that he got Vale over the finishing line and into the second flight for the first time in thirty years…
Vale stats: 17 games | 1 goal
- Midfielder Billy Knott
- Midfielder Doug Loft
- Forward Ben Williamson
- Striker Gary Mulligan
- Midfielder Mel Machin
- Half-back Bert Carberry
- Midfielder Jeff Johnson
Did you know…
- Port Vale are undefeated in their last two trips to Priestfield
- The two sides first met in 1950 when it ended in a 1-1 draw
- Syd Peppitt scored Vale’s first goal against Gillingham