Port Vale started the campaign with a victory at Crawley but it’s been largely downhill from that point.
The Valiants have picked up just four points from their opening eight games and have netted just six times. 19 year old striker Dan Turner is accountable for half of those strikes and his emergence has been one of the few positives in an under-whelming opening start to the season.
Port Vale have sunk to the foot of the League Two table following a disastrous run of form throughout August and September which saw them lose four consecutive matches without finding the back of the net. Manager Michael Brown paid the price for his side’s lack of firepower and was sacked shortly after the 1-1 draw at home to Forest Green.
The former Leeds midfielder struggled in the dugout and failed to prevent the Valiants dropping into the fourth tier. However, one of the few positives during his tumultuous stewardship was the emergence of Dan Turner. The young forward had been on loan at Kidgrove Athletic and Worcester City but upon returning to his parent club he has been given a chance to impress at Vale Park.
Turner has scored three times this season and has the best minutes-to-goals ratio in the division with one every 86 minutes beating the likes of Adebayo Akinfenwa and Exeter’s Reuben Reid. Considering he hasn’t played a full ninety minutes yet this campaign, his record is admirable. Turner’s goal put his side in control against League Two newcomers Forest Green on September 16th but Vale were unable to hold on against their fellow strugglers and were pegged back late on.
He has a natural eye for goal and his attitude has been praised by fans and team-mates alike. Shrewsbury midfielder Louis Dodds described Turner as ‘one for the future’ and later added that the youngster was a ‘very clever player’. Many fans have been quick to declare Turner as the future of Port Vale but he is still finding his feet in the Football League and he shouldn’t be required to take the entire goal-scoring burden this season.
Port Vale opened the season with a 3-1 victory away at Crawley and gave Leeds United a scare in the Carabao Cup before eventually losing 4-1 courtesy of brilliance of Elland Road clubs new signing Samuel Saiz. The Yorkshire outfit have made a sensational start to the season and sit top of the second tier. As a result of their impressive run of the form, they’ve been priced at 2/1 in the Championship betting markets for promotion to Premier League but Vale managed to compete with them for the majority of the 90 minutes. They created a few chances and played with spirit and determination but haven’t been able to recreate that type of performance since.
Dan Turner’s recent performances and eye for goal have been one of the few positives to be gleamed from the opening eight matches and fans are looking forward to following his progress over the next couple of seasons. Whoever takes over from Michael Brown will have a terrific finisher on their hands but must utilise the 19 year-old carefully as they aim to guide the Valiants up the League Two table.