Vale are back on home soil this weekend as they look to maintain their perfect record at Vale Park this season, as they welcome Newport County to Burslem in Sky Bet League Two action. All the information you need regarding the fixture can be found below…
Date: Saturday 1st September 2018
Competition: Sky Bet League Two
Venue: Vale Park
Referee: Martin Coy
Top goal scorer: Tom Pope and Luke Hannant (Two goals)
Port Vale will be confident heading into the league tie having not lost at home so far this season. A convincing 3-0 victory over Cambridge United and a resilient 1-0 win over Crawley Town ensured Vale’s perfect start at Vale Park and they will be hoping to continue in the same fashion against the Exiles this weekend.
This weekend’s game marks a potential debut for recent loan signing, Lewis Hardcastle, having completed his move from Blackburn Rovers on Thursday. The centre-midfielder is yet to make a senior appearance in his career having spent the majority of his time with Blackburn among the development squad. We could also see Ben Whitfield make his second debut for the club, having signed a permanent two-year deal with the Valiants this week. The boss has confirmed that both new signings will be in contention for Saturday.
Manny Oyeleke remains an injury doubt, having not featured for the Vale since he was pulled with a hamstring injury during the 1-0 win over Crawley Town at Vale Park. Tom Conlon is also unlikely to feature even though he has been taking part in full-training, as Aspin doesn’t want to rush him into the side.
Top goal scorer: Padraig Amond (Three goals)
Newport boast an impressive record so far this season, sitting fifth in the table. County have mustered up 10 points thus far, picking up three points against Notts County, Crewe and Grimsby Town as well as a draw with Exeter City.
Having rested a number of regular starters for their cup clash with Oxford United, Mike Flynn is expected to regress to a stronger line-up, with Joe Day, Josh Sheehan and Padraig Amond all expected to feature.
Matty Dolan and Mark Harris are both looking likely to return, having recovered from their muscle injuries, though Antoine Semenyo faces a late assessment to determine whether he’ll be fit following a head injury picked up during their defeat to Oxford United.
One to watch: Padraig Amond
Winger/forward whose career began in Ireland with Shamrock Rovers, where he made over 60 appearances. Whilst in Ireland, Amond has also represented Kildare County and Sligo Rovers before moving to Portugal with Pacos de Ferreira.
In 2011, the forward moved to England with Accrington Stanley, before representing Morecambe, Grimsby Town and Hartlepool United. Amond signed with Newport in 2017 and has almost made 50 appearances for the club.
The Irishman can score with both feet and has become infamous as a fox in the box – prolific from scoring within 18 yards.
Amond is currently County’s top goal scorer this season, scoring three goals in all competitions – netting past Crewe and twice against Cambridge United.
Neil Aspin: “Newport are a strong team, they’ve been very competitive since they avoided relegation. They were competitive last year, and they improved. I think the set-up is quite similar, but they’ve changed personnel. Unfortunately, you’re never going to get any games when you can bank on three points, it’s not like that. But I always think that even if we’re not picking up points away, in every game we have a chance of getting a result. I feel the same for Saturday.”
Mike Flynn: “They’ve signed some very good players. It’s tough, always tough going to Port Vale so it’s going to be a tough game – like every game is in League Two. It will be a battle and if we don’t win those battles or defend and attack right in both boxes then we’ll probably end up losing the football match. I’m looking for a reaction from my players and a bit more quality from what we showed on Tuesday.”
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.