Swindon Town v Port Vale preview: it’s a trip to one of the Valiants’ least favourite grounds – here ‘s our preview…
Details: Swindon Town v Port Vale, League Two
Where and when: County Ground stadium, Saturday 11th September, 3pmTICKET INFO FROM PORT VALE HERE PORT VALE FIXTURES LEAGUE TWO TABLE PORT VALE SQUAD PROFILES
What happened last time we played them?
Well, what do you think? We lost, of course. The last meeting was back in January 2020 when we travelled and obtained our customary away defeat – on that occasion it was 3-0. The home game was at least a better affair with Vale winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Jake Taylor and Scott Burgess. However, the side’s record for away trips is a sorry read. Vale have lost eight and drawn two of the last ten visits. Those visits include 6-0, 5-2 and 5-0 defeats. The last away win at Swindon came back in 2005 when Micky Bell and Chris Cornes scored in a 2-1 win.
What’s our overall record?
Well, its not great:
- 31 Port Vale wins
- 35 losses
- 20 draws
What’s the Port Vale team news?
Hmmm, where to start? A poor home loss against Rochdale wasn’t helped by some half-time tactical changes by manager Darrell Clarke. So will he stick with the opening eleven or make changes? The latter is likely especially as David Worrall (pictured) looks to be a doubt. If he’s unfit, he could opt for James Gibbons as wingback or bring in David Amoo or Dennis Politic on the wing. Tom Conlon made his return in that Rochdale game and the club will be hoping he suffered no adverse effects. Otherwise, Mal Benning’s place could potentially come under threat. Dan Jones could posssibly move across with Ryan Johnson coming into the backline. One near certain starter is striker Jamie Proctor who took his tally to five with his brace on Saturday.
Vale’s season so far…
It was a disappointing start of the season for the Valiants as they lost 1-0 to Northampton Town. It was only compounded by Lucas Covolan’s red card on his full debut. In their second match, the Valiants were held at home by Tranmere Rovers. The Valiants haven’t scored in the League yet but they did manage to in the League Cup where they lost 2-1 to Sunderland. In their third League game they were held 0-0 by Carlisle Utd at Vale Park and they picked up yet another draw on Saturday after a 1-1 result at Stevenage. The winless streak was ended on Saturday with a fine 2-0 away win against leaders Forest Green Rovers. In midweek, Vale lost an entertaining 3-2 game with Bolton and recorded another five goal thriller by losing at home to Rochdale.
What about the opponents?
It was a traumatic summer for Swindon with the protracted sale of the club prompting manager John McGreal to leave and the club having just a handful of players registered at one point. However, with the takeover by Clem Morfuni completed just before the season begins, the club were able to strengthen. Jayden Mitchell-Lawson their ranks and have enjoyed a strong start to the season. The Robins sit in fourth place after three League wins. A host of summer signings include Welsh International George Williams, Reading midfielder Ryan East, Worthing midfielder Ricky Aguiar, Derby midfielder Jayden Mitchell-Lawson and Ipswich loanee Tyreece Simpson. A total of thirteen permanent signings and four loan deals were completed during the transfer window.
Man in charge: Ben Garner
Clubs managed: Bristol Rovers, Swindon Town
Appointed: July 2021
Games in charge: 8
Win ratio: 50%
Any Vale connections?
Oh yes, there’s one which stands out. Harry McKirdy definitely divided opinion at Vale Park and the rumour mill was often in overdrive about what the player was supposedly up to. In terms of playing time, McKirdy’s single season with the club was a disappointing affair. He was a late signing after Vale were forced to act by the surprise exit of Rhys Browne and McKirdy never really nailed down a starting place under John Askey. He showed glimpses of his potential with two goals in two Football League Trophy games but was an increasingly isolated figure as he was deregistered from the League squad. He earned a reprieve under Askey’s successor Darrell Clarke but it wasn’t enough to earn a new contract in the summer. His spell at Swindon has started well with six appearances and one goal so far…
Aside from McKirdy, former Port Vale player of the year Anthony Grant signed a new deal with the Robins in the summer. He’s unlikely to play as he’s been away on International duty having earned a call-up for the Jamaican team for the latest round of International matches.
Vintage Vale Connection
Centre-half Tim Parkin joined Port Vale for £60,000 from Swindon Town in December 1989. A reliable backup to the renowned Glover-Aspin partnership, the six foot Parkin added some aerial power and experience when the Port Vale defence required it. He stayed for three seasons making 52 appearances and scoring once before leaving on a free transfer to Darlington.
His spell at Swindon lasted four years and spanned 144 appearances and eight goals. He won promotion with Town in 1987 and was also named as the clubs player of the year in 1988.
The club were founded as Swindon AFC in 1879, they were renamed Spartans the next year, before finally settling on the name Swindon Town in 1883. They were elected into the Football League in 1920. They won the League Cup in 1969 and in 1993 they were promoted to the top-flight but were relegated at the end of their solitary season.
- Most appearances: John Trollope (889)
- Most goals: Harry Morris (229)
- Record League win: 9-1 vs Luton Town
- Record League defeat: 0-8 vs Loughborough
From the archives…
Some photos from a Vale defeat (of course) in 2019…
Were you paying attention?
A quick quiz on the opponents – answers at the bottom of the page…
- When did Vale last win away at Swindon?
- Who is the current Swindon Town manager?
- In which year were the club founded?
- How much did defender Tim Parkin cost Port Vale?
Quiz answers below:
- Ben Garner