As the annual Boxing Day fixture fast approaches, we take a look back at the last five Boxing Day games involving the Valiants.
In recent years, this particular fixture has been kind to Vale who have won four of the last five, with the other result being a defeat at the hands of Coventry City last year.
The previous four results have ended up with Vale being victorious, all with a 2-1 score line.
In last years Boxing Day meeting, Vale visited Coventry City and were 10 minutes from earning a hard-fought point to take away from the festive fixture, however, James Maddison popped up to put the light blues in front who held out for the win.
In 2014, Port Vale were victorious over Sheffield United who saw Chris Basham sent off late in the first half. Ben Williamson opened the scoring midway through the first half, but 10-man United fought back and were rewarded when Jamal Campbell-Ryce equalised 10 minutes into the second half. Vale needed a hero, and up-stepped Dany N’Guessan, literally, as Vale were awarded a penalty 10 minutes from time. N’Guessan converted to score one of only two goals for him that season, and to claim the points for Port Vale.
The fixture in 2013 was a tale of two penalties for Vale. Notts County were the visitors on the day, and they fell behind half way through the first half as Jennison Myrie-Williams scored from the penalty spot. Notts County ended the first half on top, as shown by Ronan Murray grabbing an equaliser minutes before the break. County’s hard work was undone eleven minutes from time, when Vale were awarded another penalty. Up stepped Gavin Tomlin to follow in Myrie-Williams’ footsteps, as he converted to earn Vale three points. Coincidentally, the Notts County team included Jamal Campbell-Ryce, who would visit Vale Park and lose to the same score line only for a different club the same time the following year.
Boxing Day in 2012 was less eventful as the following two years. Vale went on to win 2-1 yet again as they travelled to Rotherham United. Fan favourites Louis Dodds and Tom Pope gave Vale a two-goal advantage going into the final 25 minutes, before Kieran Agard grabbed a goal back for the Millers to set up a tense final 10 minutes for the travelling Valiants.
The fixture back in 2011 saw a six-minute comeback from Vale to escape from Hereford with all three points. Vale went behind 10 minutes into the second half thanks to Tom Barkhuizen. It took Adam Yates to break the Bulls’ defence as he scored one of his four Vale goals to draw level. Six minutes later Vale were awarded a penalty, and up stepped Marc Richards to put the Valiants ahead who held on to take all three points from the fixture.
This fixture has been kind to Vale over recent years, with Vale winning 12 out of a possible 15 points, and Vale will be looking to take all three points at home this year against the traveling Walsall.