The Valiants have the chance to get their fourth win on the spin in the league and carry on their form from Saturday’s Papa John’s Trophy win over the Liverpool under-21’s as they host Tranmere Rovers. With the game just a day away, we look back on two classic matches that the Vale have played against The Rovers.
League One, Vale Park, Saturday 22nd March 2014: Port Vale 3-2 Tranmere Rovers
The Vale made a fast start to the fixture and took a third-minute lead through Tom Pope's 15th goal of the season, after Adam Yates' right-wing cross was headed on by Ben Williamson and Pope had the freedom of the six-yard box to fire a right-foot shot past Owain Fon Williams.
Tranmere struggled the opening stages, but they gradually improved and current Plymouth manager Ryan Lowe should have equalised just before the break.
The contest then burst into life with four goals in the opening 15 minutes of the second-half, The Valiants looked home and dry after Billy Knott arrowed a low left-footed shot inside Fon Williams' left-hand post in the 47th minute and Williamson slipped a low right-footed effort past the visiting keeper from eight yards in the 56th minute.
However, Tranmere reduced the deficient in the 58th minute when defender Ash Taylor buried a towering header inside Chris Neal's left-hand post from Jason Koumas' right-wing corner, minutes before Koumas curled a 35-yard free-kick which sailed over everyone and drifted inside Neal's post.
Despite the late pressure, Vale held on and could have extended their lead as Doug Loft struck the post and crossbar in the dying minutes, before goalkeeper Chris Neal, who was later stretchered off the field following a collision with Rovers substitute Ian Goodison, was forced to make smart saves from Lowe and Jake Kirby.
Port Vale – Neal (Johnson 83), Yates, Grimmer, Duffy, Dickinson, Myrie-Williams (Birchall 89), Griffith, Knott, Loft, Pope, Williamson (Hugill 89)
Subs not used – Jones, Robertson, Dodds, Tomlin
Tranmere – Fon Williams, Taylor, Brown (Goodison 58), Ridehalgh, Arthurworrey (Stockton 76), Wallace, Kirby, Power, Koumas, Lowe, Cassidy
Subs not used – Mooney, Horwood, Robinson, Rowe
League One, Vale Park, Saturday 7th December 2004: Port Vale 3-1 Tranmere Rovers
Speedy winger Chris Birchall hit a fine brace to inspire injury-hit Port Vale to victory over Tranmere.
Birchall drove home the first in the ninth minute from Jeff Smith's ball, before crossing to set up current youth coach Billy Paynter, who fired home the second from 15-yards out just eight minutes later.
Birchall capped a man-of-the-match display with his team's third seven minutes after the break, finishing off a four-man move.
Tranmere pushed Vale hard thereafter, with their former manager Michael Jackson's header from a corner providing a consolation goal in the 73rd minute.
Port Vale: Brain, Reid (Porter 18), Rowland, Pilkington, Brown, Birchall, Cummins, D.Smith, J.Smith, Paynter, Lowndes (Eldershaw 9), Eldershaw (Hanson 80).
Subs Not Used: Anyon, Armstrong.
Tranmere: Achterberg, Jackson, Sharps, Goodison (Beresford 31), Roberts, Harrison, Whitmore (Jones 40), Rankine, Taylor, Hall (Dadi 62), Hume.
Subs Not Used: Howarth, Jennings.