It was an awful trip to Swindon Town at the weekend but can the Valiants bounce back with a home win over Exeter City at Vale Park? Here’s our preview…
The injury to Nathan Smith (pictured right) suffered in the first-half of the loss to Swindon Town has left Vale short of cover in central defence. Shaun Brisley came on for Smith on Saturday and it is likely that he will partner Leon Legge on Tuesday evening. Striker Tom Pope is available again after his latest ban for Twitter comments (sigh) and he could well replace Mark Cullen upfront. Another possible change could be Tom Conlon starting ahead of Will Atkinson in central midfield. Nathan Smith, Jake Taylor, Adam Crookes and Manny Oyeleke will all miss the game.
“All we can do is learn from this game , it’s no use sulking and getting down about it, we’ve got to learn from it and then on Tuesday we’ve got to perform. As we know at home we’ve got a great record hopefully we can go back there and do better than what we’ve done today…”
Port Vale manager John Askey (pictured right) pulls no punches
The Valiants were beaten 2-0 at St James Park earlier in the season. The last match at Vale Park took place last season and ended 1-1 with Idris Kanu (pictured right) scoring a dramatic late equaliser for Neil Aspin’s side. The Valiants lead the overall head-to-head with twenty one wins to Exeter’s nineteen and there have been eleven draws. However, at home Vale have lost three of the last four games to be played in Burslem.
Vale’s recent form is L-W-L-W-L so there could be a lucky omen in there… A draw on Saturday ended Exeter’s run of five straight wins. Their recent away record is formidable with four wins in their last five League Two away games.
Managed by former defender Matt Taylor, Exeter sit in second place in the table. Their leading scorer is Ryan Bowman with ten League goals while veteran midfielder Nicky Law has seven to his name. Jonny Maxted has been the keeper in recent games while veteran Dean Moxey is a familiar name in the defensive ranks.
This game may come too soon for Port Vale midfielder Manny Oyeleke (pictured right) who is making his latest comeback from injury. Oyeleke played for the Grecians between 2015 and 2016 making eight appearances during an injury-hit spell. Other players to appear for both sides in recent years include forward Donovan Wilson plus defenders Richard Duffy and George Pilkington.
March 1939 was a somewhat controversial month for Port Vale. The local media reported supporters turning on the players after a run of three losses and manager Tom Morgan (pictured left) resigned as manager. However, Vale turned their form around with a dramatic 3-2 win over Exeter City. Vale’s goalscorers were Tom Nolan, Arthur Moreland and Arthur Masters in front of a crowd of 6,240.