Port Vale face a tough task as they take on in-form Lincoln City at Vale Park…
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Manager Neil Aspin fumed after the 2-1 defeat to Crawley last week with a rare tirade about the refereeing performance. The manager felt that the award of a penalty against Nathan Smith was particularly soft.
Vale will be hoping for a better display by the officials on Saturday.
However, the side face a tough task against an in-form Lincoln City side who are chasing promotion.
What will the Vale look like?
Vale are set to be without loanee Kyle Howkins and Cristian Montano (pictured right).
While Charlie Raglan is set to fill in for Howkins, Montano’s absence at left-back will give the Valiants a headache. Joe Davis filled in on Saturday but he is not a naturally left-sided player and Vale will certainly miss Montano’s pace and attacking threat. Another option for Vale would be to play the returning veteran Danny Pugh in the left-back spot.
Elsewhere, Anton Forrester pushed for a first-team recall with all four goals in the reserves win this week.
“We know this is a difficult test, anybody who faces Lincoln is going to have a difficult game.
“We know they’ll always be up for the game, we know they’re going to be disciplined and organised, and they’ll fight to the finish.
“We’ll have to be at our best, everyone will need to play well, you need them to carry out the job, but equally, we need to get the decisions in our favour…”
Vale manager Neil Aspin
39 year-old Cowley has hit the headlines in recent years due to Lincoln’s recent success. He took charge of the Imps in 2016 and led them to the Football League in his first season in charge. That campaign also included a memorable cup run. This season he added the Football League Trophy to his tally.
He has been in charge for 111 games with an impressive 58% win ratio.
Stats and facts
- Port Vale wins: 31
- Port Vale losses: 31
- Draws: 22
Last time we…
A rare Danny Pugh (pictured right) effort was in vain as Port Vale crashed to a 3-1 loss earlier this season.
However, the last time the two sides met at Vale Park it ended in a 2-1 win to the Valiants thanks to goals from striker Marc Richards and midfielder Doug Loft. Vale have won their last two home fixtures against the Imps.
Played for both…
Defender Neal Eardley could have been lining up for the Valiants for this fixture. The experienced defender had a trial spell in the summer but was not signed by then manager Michael Brown.