Port Vale travel to the Banks’s Stadium as we take on Walsall in our final fixture before Christmas. With the game just a day away, we look back on two classic encounters we have played out against the Saddlers.
League One, Banks’s Stadium, Saturday 30th November 2013: Walsall 0-2 Port Vale
Vale hadn’t won a league game at Walsall for 66 years but had won their previous two away games so were in confident mood ahead of this League One clash at the Banks’s Stadium.
Vale opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Adam Yates went down the right before sending over a low cross that leading scorer Tom Pope drove past Richard O’Donnell and into the net for his eighth goal of the season.
Walsall went close when former Vale striker Romaine Sawyers had a shot deflected wide before Vale thought they had scored again just before half time when Chris Lines had the ball in the back of the net but it was disallowed for a foul on Andy Butler.
Vale made sure of the points in the 66th minute with a long throw by Carl Dickinson that landed at the feet of Gavin Tomlin before he swivelled and fired the ball into the roof of the net.
Ashley Hemmings had a couple of shots saved by Sam Johnson as Walsall tried to get back into the game to no avail.
Walsall – O’Donnell, J.Chambers, A.Taylor, A.Chambers, Downing, Butler, Lalkovic (Hemmings 63), Mantom, Westcarr, Sawyers (Hewitt 81), Baxendale (Gray 71).
Subs not used - Purkiss, Featherstone, Lewis, Benning.
Port Vale - Johnson, Yates, Robertson, Duffy, Dickinson, Birchall, Lines, Griffith, Myrie-Williams, Tomlin (Dodds 87), Pope.
Subs not used – Shuker, Hughes, Williamson, Chilvers, R.Taylor, Boot.
League One, Banks’s Stadium, Saturday 14th February 2015: Walsall 0-1 Port Vale
Vale were 16th in the table after only taking one point from four games before our short trip to Vale Park in February 2015.
Romaine Sawyers had a shot saved by Chris Neal and Ben Williamson was denied at the other end by Richard O’Donnell.
Walsall thought they had earned a penalty in the 23rd minute when Ryan Inniss tangled with Jordy Hiwula but the referee waved play on and five minutes later Vale were ahead.
Carl Dickinson curled over a cross from the left and Tom Pope did what he does best and headed it past O’Donnell.
Sawyers then hit the post and then Neal saved well from Jordan Cook as Walsall hit back.
After the break Pope had a header saved and Byron Moore had a shot also saved as Vale pressed but in the end one goal proved to be enough.
Walsall – O’Donnell, Purkiss, Downing, J.O’Connor, Taylor, Baxendale (Grimes 55), Cain (Murphy 80), Sawyers, Chambers, Cook, Hiwula-Mayifuila (Henry 74).
Sub not used – MacGillivray, Preston, Flanagan, Kinsella.
Port Vale – Neal, Veseli, Robertson, Inniss, Dickinson, Moore, O’Connor, Brown (Lines 46), Marshall (Birchall 90), Williamson (O’Sullivan 84), Pope.
Subs not used - Yates, McGivern, Luer, Johnson.