Port Vale are back at home this weekend as they welcome Northampton Town to Burslem for a Sky Bet League Two fixture, and you can read all of the relevant information regarding the match-up, below…
Date: Saturday 15th September 2018
Competition: Sky Bet League Two
Venue: Vale Park
Referee: Thomas Bramall
Top Goal Scorer: Tom Pope (four goals)
Port Vale will be looking to build on their first away point of the season they picked up at Forest Green Rovers last weekend, as they welcome Dean Austin’s Northampton Town to Vale Park. A singular Tom Pope goal was enough to secure the point away at The New Lawn and Neil Aspin will be hopeful his side can replicate their home form from earlier this season in order to gain all three points.
The last time the two sides met at Vale Park was in a League One fixture back in 2016, though goals from Ryan Taylor and Rigino Cicilia were not enough to claim all three points, as Northampton ran out 3-2 winners.
Having missed out last week through injury, Neil Aspin has confirmed centre-back Leon Legge will be in with a chance of returning, though the tie comes too early for Cristian Montano who is yet to train following his injury a few weeks back.
Tom Conlon and Manny Oyeleke will also be up for selection as the pair returned to full fitness to feature against Forest Green Rovers last weekend.
Top Goal Scorer: Kevin van Veen (four goals)
The Cobblers have struggled during the opening encounters this season, picking up just one win so far against Colchester United away at the Colchester Community Stadium. Northampton will be looking to end a run of three games without a win this weekend.
Sitting in 20th place in the table, just three places behind Vale, Dean Austin’s side can leap-frog the Valiants with a win this weekend at Vale Park.
Dean Austin will have to fare without 23-year-old striker Junior Morais as the forward has been ruled out for up to two months with a torn hamstring. Daniel Powell and Shaun McWilliams are also likely to miss out with respective hamstring and foot injuries.
One to watch: Sam Hoskins
25-year-old attacking midfielder who began his career with Southampton after graduating through the youth system. Hoskins signed his first professional contract with the Saints in 2011.
Struggling to force a way into the first-team, Hoskins enjoyed three loan spells whilst down south with Preston North end, Rotherham United and Stevenage, though eventually left the now Premier League outfit for Yeovil town in 2013.
Hoskins signed for Northampton in 2015 and is creeping up on 100 league appearances for The Cobblers, scoring 11 goals. The midfielder is a constant threat going forward but is also very capable on the defensive side of things. The former Southampton man could be key to gaining three points for his side this weekend.
Neil Aspin: “We have to keep the level of performance up and you will expect if we can perform well then results will follow. It's important we don't disappoint the home support by not playing well. We want to get a win obviously, but I think we need to put in a good performance as well.
"Last week we played against a team who are unbeaten on the back of a couple of results and I thought we more than matched them. I don't treat Northampton any different to FGR, I know for a fact they should have more points than they have. They've dominated teams but not got results, they're a better team than the position in the table would imply."
Dean Austin: “I was disappointed, frustrated and angry after Cheltenham but now I’m ready and hungry to go again. There are no more excuses; we need to stand up as one and its payback time. We’ve dominated the ball in near on every game but when you do that you need to make sure that your concentration and focus is absolute.
“Port Vale will be tough, and Tom Pope is obviously a threat but first and foremost we have to compete. We need to stand up and fight and if we do that and compete I know we have the players to cause teams problems. I know we will have another good following on Saturday and I want to send those supporters home happy like after the game at Colchester.”
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.