It’s Vale first match in the beautifully named Leasing.com Trophy as they take on a team well-known to manager John Askey.
Vale will be boosted by a hard fought win over Cambridge United on Saturday. Defender Nathan Smith (right) was delighted with a clean sheet after the five goal hammering by Grimsby the previous weekend, while manager John Askey singled out two of the team for particular praise. You can watch highlights of that win over Cambridge here.
This tournament is normally a chance for the Valiants to ring the changes and give some fringe players an outing. With that in mind the likes of goalkeeper Jonny Maddison (right), Kieran Kennedy, Callum Evans, Scott Burgess and Mark Cullen could all be potential starters for the Valiants. The strength of the Vale’s starting eleven will give a good indication of how seriously they will be treating the competition this season.
Remarkably this is the third season in a row that the Valiants have been drawn against Shrewsbury in the Football League Trophy. In 2018, the two teams drew 1-1 (with Tom Pope scoring for Vale) before the Valiants triumphed 4-3 on penalties. In 2017, Vale took a first minute lead through Cristian Montano (right) before losing 2-1.
It will be an interesting Football League Trophy for manager John Askey as he faces two of his former clubs in the group stages. Askey is well-known for spells with Macclesfield Town but he also had a less successful spell with the Shrews. Askey was in charge for 21 games, winning just five times. Defender Kieran Kennedy, (pictured right) yet to play a first-team game this season could potentially make his Vale debut against his former club.
Further back in time, players to appear for both sides include goalkeeper Chris Neal, forward Louis Dodds, midfielder Anthony Grant, defender Ryan McGiven, midfielder Doug Loft and striker AJ Leitch-Smith.
Our home form is vital to us, the players are enjoying playing at home, you can see that and they’re giving everything they can, we’re trying to play the right way. The league’s the most important, but we’ll be wanting to win on Tuesday and you never know, you get a bit of a run and all of a sudden you can be in the quarter-finals or the semi-finals…
Port Vale manager John Askey (right)
There have been a fair few reverses over the years so we’re going back to the 1961-62 season. In the first fixture, Norman Low’s Port Vale side had suffered a poor 4-2 away defeat on the opening day of the season. In the return fixture on the 16th December they got revenge with a 4-1 home win. Ralph Hunt was the hero with a hat-trick while Brian Jackson (right) got the other goal.