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Preview: Port Vale (a)

12 October 2018

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Lincoln City travel to Port Vale this Saturday as they return to SkyBet League Two action following Tuesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy penalty win over local rivals, Scunthorpe United.

The Imps came from behind to secure a draw after 90 minutes thanks to Harry Anderson’s 84th minute equaliser. Ryan Colclough had opened the scoring for Scunthorpe earlier in the second half. However, City claimed an extra point, winning on penalties. 

James Wilson saw red in the 90th minute after receiving his second yellow for pulling back a member of the opposition. 

City scored their first three penalties with Sam Slocombe saving The Iron’s first from Lee Novak. Matthew Lund blasted Scunthorpe’s third spot-kick over the bar leaving Bruno Andrade with the opportunity to win it for City, however his penalty hit the cross bar.

With the Imps converting their first three in the shootout and United scoring just one of their opening three, Stephen Humphrys’ miss gave City the win and an extra point in the Checkatrade Trophy Northern Group H standings.


Recent Form

Port Vale have not picked up three points in their last three league games after losing two and drawing one. Their last win came against Crewe Alexandra on the 22nd September with Leon Legge scoring the only goal of the game.

The Valiants suffered defeat in their last game losing 2-0 to Grimsby Town at Blundell Park. Wes Thomas opened the scoring after just one minute for the Mariners before JJ Hooper added a second eight minutes into the second half.

On Tuesday, Port Vale faced SkyBet League One opposition in the Checkatrade Trophy as they hosted Nigel Clough’s Burton Albion. Neil Aspin’s Port Vale picked up their first win of the competition this season thanks to Ricky Miller’s 65th minute goal.

Last league six games: WWDLL

League position: 16th  

Player comments

Former Lincoln City loanee, Louis Dodds spoke to Vale’s website about giving his manager food for thought as the side travel to Sincil Bank this weekend: "We want the manager to have a little question mark in his head saying should I play him, but if we play and don’t do well it makes his decision easy at the weekend.

"We want to make his decision as hard as possible and hopefully we all get some minutes. I've being doing a lot on the training ground but I've not been getting the minutes on the pitch so hopefully it's posed a thought for the manager in that he might start me or get some minutes off the bench.

"It was nice to blow the cobwebs out and hopefully something I can build on."

The 32-year-old arrived at Sincil Bank on loan from Leicester City in July 2007, winning the Imps’ goal of the season award for a long-range strike against Wycombe Wanderers. 

Dodds expressed his delight for striker, Ricky Miller who scored his second goal of the season on Tuesday: "I'm delighted for Ricky. He's taken a lot of flak from the fans and himself really, he beats himself up when he doesn't score and hopefully that relaxes him a little bit more in front of goal. Like you said it was a nice through ball and he's done well to finish so well played Ricky.

"He's not one of those where in training or in a game where he's not going to have a shot, he's still going to do that he just needed one to go in off his backside or something. It was a great finish so hopefully that snowballs into three, four, five goals."

Previous Meetings

The last time the two sides met was earlier this season when the Imps travelled to Vale Park in the Carabao Cup. City beat the Valiants 4-0 in the first round with goals from Jason Shackell, Matt Green, Michael O’Connor and John Akinde.

Last season both sides picked up three points winning their home fixture in the SkyBet League Two. Port Vale won 1-0 in April, with City coming out as 3-1 winners in the November 2017 clash.

One to Watch – Tom Pope

Club captain Tom Pope is in his third spell at Vale Park having previously played for the club between 2011 and 2015, initially arriving on loan from Rotherham United.

Pope scored 33 goals as he was awarded League Two Player of the Year in 2012/13 after helping the club secure promotion to League One. On top of this, the Stoke born forward won Port Vale’s Player of the Year consecutively in 2013 and 2014. 

In June 2015, the striker signed for Bury on a free transfer, putting the end to a four-year spell with his boyhood club, Port Vale. He scored seven goals in 43 appearances for the Shakers during the 2015/16 campaign. 

Pope re-signed for Port Vale in May 2017, he picked up the League Two Player of the Month award in October 2017. The former Crewe Alexandra striker was appointed club captain at Vale Park in December 2017 and awarded Port Vale’s Player of the Year for a third time at the end of the 2017/18 campaign.

This season the 33-year-old has scored four league goals in 12 appearances, also registering one assist, making him the club’s top scorer.

Pope currently manages Sunday League side, Sneyd FC alongside Anthony Malbon having previous worked with Adam Yates as his assistant. Pope guided Sneyd to the Potteries and District Premier Division title as well as helping them reach the final of the Sentinel Sunday Cup during the 2012–13 season.

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