Exeter City v Port Vale preview: can the Valiants build on their opening day win over Fleetwood?
Venue: St James Park stadium | Date: 6th August 2022, 3pm | Competition: League One
Predict the score
Darrell Clarke sprang a minor surprise with the inclusion of seventeen year-old Tommy McDermott in his starting line-up but the youngster didn’t look out of place on his senior debut. He’s likely to keep his place.
Striker James Wilson is again expected to miss out. Summer signing Gavin Massey is also expected to be out as he needs match fitness but but captain Tom Conlon made a welcome return to action on Saturday and is expected to be on the bench again
As for the opponents… there was much discussion about the Vale’s cagey approach to the transfer window but Exeter have been even more cautious. Their main acquisition is goalkeeper Jamal Blackman, who was rumoured to be a Vale target at one stage. They have also added Southampton midfielder Kegs Chauke on a season-long loan.
However, Blackman wasn’t fit enough to start Exeter’s opening draw with Lincoln City so veteran Scott Brown, well known to Vale fans, started in goal.
Man in charge
After three years in charge, Matt Taylor expertly guided Exeter to promotion last season. The former defender has been in charge for over 200 games with a near 44% win ratio.
I get it can be a frustrating period for the supporters. Everyone wants to see new signings but there is a process we go through to try to make sure the right signings come in at the right time. It is the first time where you go to the end of one season at the end of May and are kicking off again on July 30. It has been different for match minutes. But the lads played an 11-month season. I looked at our friendly against Dundee United and we looked fit and sharp…
Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke
Port Vale have only made five or six signings so their outfield players haven’t changed too much. We don’t expect too many changes in their style or shape but you can never predict too much – they might make more signings before Saturday or pick up injuries. But we have to look the same way we did particularly in the first half last weekend. We’re at home, for a number of seasons our home form has given us strength for a number of seasons and we’re very hard to beat at home – that’s how we want to start the game at the weekend…
Exeter City manager Matt Taylor
This game could be the 550th senior game for winger David Worrall – with 205 of them coming in Vale colours.
There’s still a couple of Vale summer signings yet to make their senior debuts in Derek Agyakwa, Thierry Small and Gavin Massey.
Meanwhile, Mal Benning made his 350th appearance during the win over Fleetwood Town.
As we’ve already mentioned, there could be a very familiar figure in the Exeter City goal with former Vale goalkeeper Scott Brown set to step in if Jamal Blackman is not fit to play. It will be Brown’s home debut for Exeter against a club for whom he made almost 150 appearances. However, Exeter oldboy Aaron Martin won’t be facing his former club as he departed in the summer to move to hometown club Eastleigh.
Face from the past
Chris Banks retired from his role as Port Vale physio this summer – but during his playing days he represented both clubs. Banks progressed through the junior ranks to make 87 appearances for the Valiants and then moved to Exeter in 1988 where he made fifty appearances.
Through the years…
The two sides first met in a competitive fixture in 1938 when it ended in a 3-1 win for the Valiants. Vale have a decent recent record at St James Park having won their last two games – including that dramatic win last season…
Last time at St James Park…
James Wilson scored the winner as the Valiants managed to secure a play-off spot in the final game of the season.
25 Port Vale wins | 12 draws | 19 Port Vale losses
From the archives
Some photos from that dramatic final game of the season in 2022:
A brief history of…
Exeter City were founded in 1901 and played their games at St James Park, the stadium which they still play at till this day. They were invited to join the Third Division in 1920. They lost their Football League status in 2003 before returning in 2008.
Were you paying attention?
Our traditional quiz on our Exeter City v Port Vale preview:
- Who is the current Exeter City manager?
- What was the score the last time the two teams met?
- Which former Port Vale goalie may start for Exeter?
- In what year did Exeter rejoin the Football League?
Answers below (no cheating)…
- Matt Taylor
- Exeter City 0-1 Port Vale
- Scott Brown