Looking to continue our good home form of eight games unbeaten, we entertain Walsall tomorrow night. Let’s look back at some previous fixtures at Vale Park.
Past five encounters with Walsall | WLDLL
Our last home game against the Saddlers
Sky Bet League Two, Vale Park, Saturday 23rd January 2020, Port Vale 1-3 Walsall
A great chance early on for Shaun Brisley but his header looped over the bar after four minutes following a David Worrall cross. Just two minutes after that chance the Valiants conceded when Elijah Adebayo ran onto a loose ball outside the area and slotted it past Scott Brown with six minutes on the clock.
The Saddlers almost doubled their lead on 20 minutes when Tyreik Wright got the ball in the area before David Fitzpatrick came across and forced Wright to blast his effort wide. Conlon was controlling the midfield in the early stages and when the visitors defence opened up for him, he did not shy away from taking on a shot from outside the area on 22 minutes. His effort produced a clean save from Walsall keeper Liam Roberts.
Vale continued to create chances in the first half with Zach Mills putting his effort wide with 32 minutes played. The equaliser came two minutes later from captain Tom Conlon. Another free kick goal to add to his collection and a second this season against Walsall. He placed the ball from range and smashed it hard and low past the wall and through Liam Roberts’ legs to get the Valiants level, 11 minutes from half-time. Just before half-time Worrall tried to replicate Conlon’s strike but dragged his shot just wide of the post in the last action of the first half.
The visitors started the better in the second half, Wesley McDonald got a shot away from inside the area on 50 minutes but it went well wide. That effort was followed by Elijah Adebayo’s second goal of the game. A cross from Hayden White found the head of Adebayo to restore Walsall’s lead. 68 minutes played and the Saddlers extended their lead with a mix up in the defence, David Fitzpatrick’s back pass ended up in the back of Vale’s net. With 15 minutes left McDonald picked up a loose ball and drove at the Vale defence but got into a tangle with Nathan Smith and the Vale defender picked up a yellow card.
A flurry of chances for Vale in the last ten minutes looking for a goal that would halve the deficit. Conlon and Worrall worked the ball well on the right but were unable to find an opening. Mark Cullen did find the net in stoppage time following Worrall’s corner but was deemed to be in an offside position after a flick on from Kurtis Guthrie. Vale had another promising attack moments later with Conlon’s effort blocked before Guthrie’s shot suffered the same fate.
Port Vale: Brown, Mills (86’ Gibbons), Smith, Brisley, Fitzpatrick, Joyce (72’ Cullen), Conlon, Taylor (86’ Burgess), Amoo (66’ Hurst), Worrall, Guthrie
Subs not used: Crookes, Bailey, Collinge
Walsall: Roberts, Jules, Sadler, Scarr, Kinsella, Gordon, Adebayo (70’ Lavery), Bates (62’ Sinclair), McDonald, White (75’ Vincent), Wright (70’ Norman)
Subs not used: Cockerill-Mollett, Osadebe, Reid
Division Three, Vale Park, Saturday 27th September 1986, Port Vale 4-1 Walsall
Vale went into the game 16th in the Third Division table, whilst Walsall were in disarray, bottom of the league and having had their previous two games postponed for illness in the camp. Easy game then? Not when it was Walsall, who were undefeated against the Vale for 21 years and 26 games, home and away. Now that is what you call a bogey team!
With striker Richard O’Kelly being out injured, midfielder Jon Bowden played up front as an emergency striker. Vale struggled to get going at first but took the lead in the 35th minute when Andy Jones scored with a shot on the turn.
It was 2-0 just before the hour when Jones intercepted a short back pass by Graeme Forbes and had a shot blocked by ‘keeper Mark Prudhoe. Paul Smith’s follow up shot was also blocked and Jon Bowden then had a shot handled on the line by Andy Dornan. A penalty it was and Andy Jones duly dispatched it having missed one the previous week.
Vale were in full control now and made it 3-0 seven minutes before the end when a Smith cross was firmly headed home by Bowden, who had an excellent game in his unfamiliar role. Two minutes later it was four as Smith and Bowden combined to set up Robbie Earle and he slotted it home as the celebrations began. Walsall managed to score a consolation goal in the last minute when David Kelly had a shot parried by Jim Arnold before knocking the rebound home. The same David Kelly who was a coach at the Vale in the 2016/17 season, with a short spell as caretaker manager.
Port Vale –Arnold, Ebanks, Bromage, Walker, Sproson, Williams, Smith, Earle, A. Jones, Bowden, Maguire
Sub not used - Hunter
Walsall – Prudhoe, Dornan, Mower, Shakespeare, Forbes, Hart, Childs, Palgrave (Rees 56), Kelly, P.Jones, Naughton