Port Vale v Grimsby Town preview: how will the Valiants fare under caretaker manager Danny Pugh? We’ll find out on Saturday…
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Teams: Port Vale v Grimsby Town
Competition: League Two
Venue: Vale Park stadium
Kick-off: Saturday 9th January, 3pm
It’s now three draws and three losses in their last six League games for the Valiants. The team will hopefully be desperate to put on a better show than Mansfield and net a very welcome three points. Visitors Grimsby are doing marginally better with a win, a draw and four losses in their last six games.
Port Vale team news:
Where to begin? You could probably change the entire side after the loss to Mansfield Town. Vale will be forced into at least one change as Leon Legge will be suspended. However, hopefully Tom Conlon (pictured) will be back after a period of self isolation and subs Cristian Montano, Tom Pope and David Worrall will also expect to be involved. It’s anyone’s guess as to what side caretaker Danny Pugh will put out, so we’ve gone for a guesswork 4-4-2 formation below.
Possible Starting XI:
Brown – Mills, Smith, Brisley, Montano – Worrall, Conlon, Joyce, Hurst – Pope, Rodney
One to watch:
The old warhorse Tom Pope has been linked with a move to Scunthorpe United but we reckon he won’t leave Vale Park voluntarily. In fact it could be argued that Pope’s experience and combative approach are exactly what Vale want as they attempt to arrest their decline.
Opposition players to watch:
One to watch:
Teenager Mathew Pollock has established himself in the starting eleven this season. The 19 year-old progressed through the junior ranks and has found the target four times from twenty two appearances this season. He’s the son of former midfielder Jamie Pollock.
Towering defender Luke Waterfall will be well-known to Vale fans after spells for Lincoln and Shrewsbury
Well-travelled forward Matt Green has had spells with Lincoln City and Mansfield Town.
Experienced 35 year-old winger Filipe Morais is a recent addition.
Keeper James McKeown is also the skipper of the side.
46 year-old Paul Hurst has returned for a second spell in charge of Grimsby. Hurst was originally appointed (initially in a join role with Rob Scott) in 2011 and led the club back to the Football League. Hurst has a trophy-laden career as a manager. He won promotion with both Boston United and Ilkeston and has also been runner-up in the FA Trophy and the Football League Trophy. He’s only been in charge for one game in his second spell but his first spell produced a win ratio of 49.5%.
Danny is in charge until further notice and I so would expect that to include Saturday. We haven’t put a time limit on it. We don’t need to, we have confidence in him, he has done it before and he has the support of everyone at the club…
CEO Colin Garlick explains the immediate post-Askey era
Defender Zak Mills could face a side where he spent a two year spell between 2016 and 2018. The right-back made sixty six appearances during his time at Grimsby. The 28 year-old defender joined the Valiants in the summer.
Played for both:
Other players who featured for both sides are:
Forward JJ Hooper (pictured) had a two year stay at Grimsby between 2017 and 2019.
Winger Rhys Browne also had a brief spell at Grimsby during the 2016-17 season.
Another winger Sam Kelly has also played for both sides. He spent a year with Grimsby after leaving Vale Park.
And looking further back… forward Richard O’Kelly who finished his playing career at Grimsby.
Last time we met:
Despite the truncated season, the two sides only met once last season. It was a chastening game for the Valiants who lost 5-2. An own-goal and Nathan Smith (pictured) were on target for the visitors. The Vale also lost the last time the two sides met at Vale Park – that time the score was 1-0 to Grimsby. The Valiants’ last home win came back in 2009 when it finished 4-0 thanks to goals from Louis Dodds, Tommy Fraser, Gareth Owen and Lee Collins.
Overall record: 33 Port Vale wins | 41 Port Vale losses | 18 draws
From the archives…
How could we not include this memorable goal by legend Neil Aspin? It was the match winner in a 1-0 Port Vale victory back in April 1996. It is undoubtedly the best strike out of Aspin’s huge tally of three goals for the Valiants.
How to watch:
Finally, let’s deal with watching this behind closed doors game. It will be available to watch on the iFollow service. Here’s how to watch it…
Q: Do I have to set up the account/buy the pass on the day of the match?
A: No, you can set up your iFollow account and/or buy your match pass in advance if it is easier. All you need to do then is log onto iFollow on the day of the match go to this page and there will be an option at the bottom to watch live video.
Q: Can I watch it down the pub?
A: No, it’s illegal to show iFollow streams in public so they would be breaking the law. The service is for private use only.
Q: Can I watch it on the TV screen?
A: The iFollow service is available via an app or a browser. Probably the simplest way to watch it on the TV screen is to watch the stream on a browser and connect your computer to your TV via a HDMI lead. The video and audio should then show on your screen.
Q: What about the programme?
A: Ahead of the game Port Vale will also be sending all season ticket holders a link to a complimentary digital copy of our new-look matchday programme! If you do not receive your digital copy by 1pm on Saturday, then please contact us on the numbers provided above. Additionally, if you wish to collect a physical copy of the programme ahead of kick off – please contact the club shop.
Q: What commentary will be provided?
A: Usually commentary from both teams (home and away) is provided. In Vale’s case it is usually the BBC Radio Stoke commentary team. When the match starts, click on the cog on the bottom RH corner to select home or away commentary.
Q: Does Port Vale make money from iFollow?
A: Yes and in these days of behind closed door matches, the revenue from iFollow can be vital. Clubs like Vale earn around 80% of the cost of an iFollow ticket regardless of whether the game is played home or away.
Q: What about if I still have an issue?
A: If you are experiencing problems with iFollow should contact EFL iFollow by telephone – 0207 8264577 (three hours before kick-off and running until three hours after matches finish) or by email – iFollow@efl.com (staffed from 8am to 7pm every day).
Need more information? We have a dedicated forum thread with help and advice right here. There’s also a guide on setting up an iFollow account while here is a guide for season ticket holders redeeming a code