Port make the trip to Mansfield this afternoon as they face David Flitcroft’s Stags in Sky Bet League Two action. You can find all of the key information regarding the away tie, below.
Fixture: Mansfield Town vs Port Vale
Venue: Field Mill
Competition: Sky Bet League Two
Top Scorer: Tom Pope (8 goals)
The Valiants will be looking to kick on from last Tuesday’s impressive 2-1 win over Walsall in the Checkatrade Trophy. The win secured Vale a home tie in the next round of the cup against Stoke City Under 21’s.
Goals from Scott Quigley and Danny Pugh ensured The Valiants progress through the group stages with a perfect three wins out of three, having overcome Burton Albion and Middlesbrough Under 21’s as well as The Saddlers.
Vale will now be looking to maintain their current league form against Mansfield, having now gone four games unbeaten heading into this afternoon’s game. Two wins and two draws in their last four games have Neil Aspin’s side sitting 13th place in the league table, just seven points off the promotion places.
The boss will be expected to make wholesale changes following the midweek fixture, as Manny Oyeleke and Cristian Montano could be set to start their first league tie since the beginning of October.
Top Scorer: Tyler Walker (11 goals)
The Stags have been in brilliant form of late having not lost in 13 games in all competitions. Tuesday night’s 3-2 win over Scunthorpe United, in which Timi Elsnik scored a late winner, pushed on their impressive run of results.
Flitcroft’s side now sit in seventh place in the league, with six wins, 10 draws and just the one loss on the board. The Stags only loss of the season came against Exeter City back in September, when they were beaten 2-1 on the day – they are yet to be beaten following this game.
Alex MacDonals and David Mirfin are expected to miss out as both continue to recover from knee injuries - Otis Khan will also be unavailable for the league fixture. Matt Preston, Krystian Pearce and Mal Benning are all expected to return having been left out for Tuesday’s nights cup calash with Scunthorpe.
One to watch – CJ Hamilton
Six-foot-two winger who wears the number 22 for The Stags. Hamilton’s career began with Sheffield United where he would graduate through the academy to sign his first professional contract at Bramall Lane.
In search of first-team football, Hamilton joined Halifax Town at the beginning of the 2015/16 season where he would work under current Port Vale manager, Neil Aspin. He went onto score three goals in six appearances for his temporary club.
Later that year, he followed Aspin to Gateshead for a brief loan, and went onto make 25 appearances for the boss’ former side. Hamilton joined The Stags in 2016 and is now a firm fans favourite at The Field Mill.
Neil Aspin - "I've watched Mansfield play and I've looked at the players that they have, and they're a team I expect to challenge at the top end of the table. What I expect from us is that we go there and give them a really good game. Whoever comes out on top is going to have to work exceptionally hard to get a result. We're not going there to sit back. We have to be disciplined in our defending, but we must carry a threat going forward as well, so we will be looking to do that."
Mal Benning - “I’m anticipating a physical battle up front [on Saturday]. From playing them last year at home, they’re not a bad team. It’s going to be tough for us. But if we’re on our job on the day we’ll get the three points.”
Follow The Vale will be providing full 90 minute commentary from the match, whilst the Port Vale Twitter and Facebook feeds will be providing live updates for the entirety.
There will also be build-up to the game with the official Snapchat and Instagram accounts: officialpvfc.
Reaction will be available on the official website post-match, as well as on YouTube, iFollow and social media.