Can Port Vale repeat their FA Cup triumph against Cheltenham with a win at Vale Park on Saturday afternoon? Read our match preview…
The Valiants will have a huge boost after arguably the player of the season – David Worrall (pictured right) – is set to return after his three match suspension. Worrall’s return gives manager John Askey options on the flanks with one of Rhys Browne or David Amoo likely to step aside for Worrall. Vale will be further boosted by the return of Shaun Brisley to the bench offering defensive cover. Visitors Cheltenham will be missing dangerous frontman Reuben Reid.
The two sides memorably last met in the FA Cup earlier this season when Tom Pope (pictured right) scored a quickfire hat-trick to set up Vale’s trip to Manchester City in the third round. The Valiants are unbeaten in their last three League home games against the Robins. The overall record stands at six Vale wins, seven Vale defeats and six draws.
Managed by Michael Duff, Cheltenham sit just above the Valiants in the League Two table and reached this round by defeating neighbours Swindon Town in a replay. Scott Flinders is the regular goalkeeper while midfielder Ben Tozer will be known to many Valiants. The experienced Luke Varney is another familiar face upfront. Varney is joint top-scorer with Ryan Broom.
Scott Brown will be returning to a club where he spent nine years and made almost 300 senior appearances. Facing him could be Charlie Raglan who had two spells at the Valiants.
Other players to appear for both sides in recent years include Tyrone Barnett, Ryan Inniss, Ashley Vincent and Kaid Mohamed.
“I’m wary because obviously the last few results haven’t been what we’ve wanted so that’s my focus, I haven’t thought about Man City, all I’m thinking about is Cheltenham tomorrow. We’d been playing well up until Scunthorpe, then we had one or two injuries, suspensions maybe that’s played a little part in it, I was disappointed with the Walsall game more than anything. If we can get three points it puts us back in a decent position and that’s what we need, we need to perform well at home and get the crowd behind us again…”
Port Vale manager John Askey
The 2013 game between the two sides was a five goal thriller with the Valiants triumphing 3-2. Tom Pope (pictured right) was the Vale hero with a hat-trick while future Vale player Kaid Mohamed scored for the visitors.