Vale take on League One leaders Tranmere Rovers here at Vale Park this evening in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy (kick off 7.15pm), in a reversal of last season’s first round tie, which was played at Prenton Park.
Tranmere Rovers are no strangers to Vale Park, having played here as recently as Saturday 11th August when the two sides met in a pre-season friendly.
That game finished all square, as did the previous meeting between the two clubs; ironically in the very competition they face each other this evening.
The score in that match, played at the end of August at Prenton Park last season, ended at 1-1 after ninety minutes, but Vale went out on penalties.
The lasting memory from that game, however, was the horrific injury suffered by Vale’s Lewis Haldane in what can only be described as a freak accident.
Jumping for the ball on the halfway line, close to the dug-outs, Lewis landed awkwardly and it was immediately obvious that the injury was very serious.
Twelve months on and Lewis is still out of the game, though hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel and he could perhaps feature in some capacity in the next couple of months.
Both Vale and Tranmere have done well in this competition in the past and each of the two managers will hope to progress to the latter stages this season too – with a Wembley spot at stake, there is the potential for a great day out for players and supporters alike.
Rovers have started the season off on a high, beating Leyton Orient 3-1 at home, Carlisle United 3-0 away, earning a point in a 1-1 draw away to Shrewsbury Town and thumping Colchester united 4-0 at Prenton Park at the weekend.
Vale boss Micky Adams has already stated he will treat this competition seriously and he is expected to put out a strong side for the game.