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Should the League 2 season be suspended?


Come on Town!
Come on Town!

Grimsby v Port Vale Preview

By: Sam Kinnaird
Date: 17/04/2009

AFTER the dramatic events of the Easter weekend Town go into the final three games of the season knowing their fate is very much in their own hands. A win over Port Vale would go a long way to securing Town's safety, especially as Bournemouth play Chester at the same time.

Home > 2008-2009 Season > Previews > Port Vale (h)

The Opposition


Port Vale, one of the few English clubs not to be named after a geographical location were founded in 1876 in Burslem, Staffordshire. A period of financial woe and debts of around £1.5 million just after the turn of the millennium led to the club being taken over by a consortium representing the fans, known was Valiant 2001. This settled matters for a small period of time until they went back into administration in 2003 and narrowly avoided relegation having incurred the wrath of the football league and a 10 point penalty. The 2003-5 season saw Vale miss out on the League One play-offs on goal difference after Swindon and Hartlepool played out a final day draw which saw them both finish safely in 5th and 6th. The 2004-5 season saw the team struggle to put the play-off heartbreak behind them and they finished 17th in the table, only 5 points above the drop zone. 2005-6 saw Port Vale bring back the giant killing of old to the long-suffering home fans where they made it to the 4th round of the FA Cup before falling to Aston Villa, a team they held at Villa Park for nearly an hour of the game. The following season was the tale of 2 strikers, as Akpo Sodje and Leon Constantine scored an incredible 42 goals between them in the league, but Vale faded away from the top 6 and eventually languished in 12th. This cost manager Martin Foyle his job and he was replaced by non-league supremo Lee Sinnott who had led Farsley Celtic to three promotions in four seasons and on the brink of the football league. He was unable to lift a depleted squad and Vale finished in 23rd position in League One meaning relegation to English football’s basement division. Vale sold 6400 season tickets for this season in League Two in anticipation of a promotion push back to League One. It hasn't materialised and Sinnott was replaced by Lee Glover in October, fans have voiced their concerns at the way the club is being run and at the time of writing vale are 8 points clear of safety with 3 games remaining, one would suspect that they will be safe however.

This Season

Port Vale’s squad does not look like one that should be fighting for its football league lives at the bottom of the table, with a set of strikers that would be pushing for starts at most clubs in the division. Striker and captain Marc Richards was signed from Barnsley in 2007 and has 11 goals in the league this season. His partner, Louis Dodds is also a feared forward at this level. Youngsters Jamie Lawrie and Kyle Perry are also pushing for starts. Goalkeeper Joe Anyon came through Vale’s youth system and has made over 100 appearances between the sticks for the Valiants but is out for the rest of the season through injury, young keeper Chris Martin will deputise. Defender Sam Stockley is one of few with plenty of experience in a young team, the right-back signed from Wycombe ion the summer of 2008. Midfielder Paul Edwards was signed from Oldham Athletic in 2007 and has become a mainstay in Vale’s midfield along with young David Howland. Another product of the club’s successful youth system is winger Simon Richman who was contributed 5 goals so far this season.

Key Player

Striker/Winger Louis Dodds sent the whole of last season on loan at Lincoln City from Leicester where he learnt his trade at this level. He scored 9 goals last season but was released at the end of the season where Vale snapped him up on a two-year contract. His partnership with Marc Richards has produced 20 goals so far this season, which may prove decisive come the end of the season. Dodds scored over 60 goals in 3 seasons for Leicester reserves and was described by the management as the ‘most natural finisher at the club’ ahead of the likes of Matty Fryatt, Steve Howard and Paul DIckov. Dodds’ pace and finishing ability has brought him goals wherever he has played and he will be the main threat to Town’s defence on Saturday.

Recent Form

TownPort Vale
WNotts Co(a)2-0
Currently 22nd in League Two.
Currently 19th in League Two.

Top Scorers

TownPort Vale

Team News

TownPort Vale

  • Chris Llewellyn and James Hunt are both available after being rested on Monday and Mike Newell has to decide who gets the nod.

  • Jean-Paul Kalala is out for the rest of the season.
  • Port Vale team news to follow...
  • Squads

    TownPort Vale
    2DFRobbie Stockdale
    4DFRyan Bennett
    5DFMatthew Heywood (c)
    6MFPeter Sweeney
    7MFPeter Till
    8MFPaul Bolland
    9MFAdam Proudlock
    10MFChris Llewellyn
    11MFDanny Boshell
    12DFJamie Clarke
    14MFJames Hunt
    15DFMatthew Bird
    16MFJean-Paul Kalala
    17MFNick Hegarty
    18MFPeter Bore
    19FWDanny North
    20FWAndy Taylor
    21DFJoe Widdowson
    22FWNathan Jar man
    23MFGrant Normington
    24FWBarry Conlon
    25MFRob Atkinson
    26FWJean-Louis Akpa Akpro
    27MFMickael Buscher
    28GKLeigh Overton
    32FWAdrian Forbes
    33GKWayne Henderson
    34GKJonathan Lund

    1GKJoe Anyon
    2DFSam Stockley
    3MFRob Taylor
    4MFAnthony Griffith
    5DFJohn McCombe
    6DFLuke Prosser
    8MFDavid Howland
    9FWMarc Richards (captain)
    10MFPaul Marshall (on loan from Manchester City)
    11MFPaul Edwards
    12GKChris Martin
    14FWLouis Dodds
    15MFScott Brown
    16FWKyle Perry
    17FWSteve Thompson
    18FWDanny Glover
    19MFSimon Richman
    20MFRoss Davidson
    21FWJamie Lawrie
    22FWDanny Edwards
    23MFLuke Chapman
    24DFLee Collins
    26MFDave Brammer
    27DFGareth Owen
    29MFPaul Dixon
    32GKDaniel Lloyd-Weston

    Head to Head

    Town have the edge overall but have lost the last three games.

    P 82 W35D16L31F140A126

    Port Vale Head-to-Head (35th on The Opposition Ladder)

    Last Meeting

    Port Vale 2 Grimsby 1 (Sat 06th Dec 2008)

    Town failed to make the most of their chances.



    The Fishy Prediction

    Port Vale will want to make themselves mathematically safe this weekend but Town need the points more, and might just sneak it.

    Mariners 2-1 Port Vale

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