Port Vale host top of the table Lincoln City this afternoon as Neil Aspin’s side look to get back to winning ways at Vale Park. For more information regarding the tie, be sure to give our detailed match preview a read, below.
Date: Saturday 13th October 2018
Competition: Sky Bet League Two
Venue: Vale Park
Referee: Brett Huxtable
Top Scorer: Tom Pope (4 goals)
Neil Aspin has always outlined that the league is his priority, so the Vale boss will be keen to get back to winnings ways this afternoon following Vale’s impressive performance in the Checkatrade Trophy against Burton Albion.
A goal from Ricky Miller was enough to secure the Valiants their first win in the cup competition, as the forward netted for the first time since the opening day of the League Two season. The heavily rotated squad certainly impressed during the week, as the likes of Theo Vassell and Idris Kanu were handed their full debuts for the club.
Aspin has confirmed that the Lincoln tie comes too soon in the recovery of Manny Oyeleke, Scott Quigley and Cristian Montano as the group are all set to miss out. James Gibbons is also a doubt for the fixture.
Ben Whitfield and Tom Pope will both face late fitness tests to determine whether the pair are fit to play having picked up respective knocks over the last few weeks.
Top Scorer: John Akinde (5 goals)
The Imps have impressed so far this season as they currently sit four points clear at the top of the table. Danny Cowley head into the tie off the back of two straight wins in all competitions, as they look to make it three this afternoon at Vale Park.
Lincoln will be looking for revenge from the last time the Imps visited Vale Park as Neil Aspin’s side hampered their race for promotion with a 1-0 home win thanks to an Antony Kay header. The win was significant for the Valiants as the crucial three points all but secured safety for the Burslem outfit.
Danny Cowley made considerable changes for their Checkatrade Trophy tie with local rivals Scunthorpe United, where the Imps came out the victors following a penalty shoot-out. The Lincoln boss made 10 changes for the cup tie and the likes of Josh Vickers, Michael Bostwick, Michael O’Connor, Lee Frecklington and John Akinde are all expected to return for this afternoon’s league fixture.
One to watch: Lee Frecklington
Centre-midfielder who wears the number eight for the Imps. Frecklington’s career began with Lincoln City back in 2003 though following a number of loan spells away from the club, the midfielder eventually signed for Peterborough United in 2009.
Frecklington went onto make close to 100 appearances for The Posh before leaving for Rotherham United in 2013. The experienced midfilelder quickly became a fan’s favourite with The Millers and stayed with Rotherham for over five years.
The 33-year-old returned to The Imps in January 2018 before being names at the club’s captain in August. The midfielder has made five goal contributions so far this season, netting three times and assisting twice.
Neil Aspin: "You expect a difficult game against a very strong team, a team that you need to be on your toes for from the first whistle. You need to make sure you compete well and defend well. If you get chances you need be to clinical because you don't get a lot of chances against them. They're a team where if you are going to get any joy, you've got to get everything right.”
Danny Cowley: “I think they have done very well when they have scored the first goal. I think every game where they scored the first goal they have won. We know that in all football the first goal is always very important. But I think we have showed time and time again that if we conceded first we have got enough resolve and enough resilience to get back into the game.”
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.