Can John Askey’s Port Vale side win on Boxing Day against Graham Coughlin’s Mansfield Town team? Read our match preview…
It’s likely that Port Vale will stick to the same starting line-up that began the home game against Cheltenham Town which means that Tom Pope (right) will continue upfront. David Worrall is likely to retain his place after returning from injury although he faces competition from Rhys Browne. Injured duo Manny Oyeleke and Adam Crookes remain sidelined until the New Year.
The two sides have already met twice this season with both fixtures ending in a 2-2 draw. The League clash took part in September with striker Mark Cullen (pictured right) and defender Nathan Smith on target for the Valiants. More recently, the two sides met in the Football League Trophy with winger Rhys Browne and midfielder Jake Taylor scoring for Vale. The Valiants went on to win the resulting penalty shootout 4-2.
Vale’s last win at Mansfield came three fixtures ago back in 2003. The Valiants won 1-0 that day thanks to a strike from veteran midfielder John Durnin. Overall, the two sides have met 53 times with Port Vale winning 22 and Mansfield winning 16.
Former Bristol Rovers boss Graham Coughlin has just taken over as Mansfield Town manager. Coughlin has a squad of well-known lower league players including forward Nicky Maynard, midfielder Neal Bishop and defender Hayden White. The dangerman is arguably Danny Rose who has netted forty goals in 150 Town appearances.
There are two former Vale players in the Mansfield ranks in former loanees defender Krystian Pearce and striker Craig Davies (pictured right). Meanwhile, Vale utility man Will Atkinson could line up against a side for whom he made 71 appearances during a two year spell. Other players to appear for both sides in recent years include George Pilkington, John McCombe, Tyler Walker and Kyle Howkins.
“It’s such an important time that the players have got to realise that this is a really important time for everybody and they’ve got to do things right…”
Port Vale manager John Askey
Port Vale won a thrilling five goal encounter back in April 1987. The Valiants triumphed 3-2 in front of a crowd of 2,625. The Vale scorers that day were Darren Beckford, Andy Jones and midfielder Paul Maguire (pictured right). You can read a bit more about Maguire in our Cult Hero feature right here