After 10 days away, and two postponements, Vale are back in action on Tuesday night as we face Salford City away in the rearranged Papa John’s Trophy round of 16 fixture.
After flying through the group stages, the Valiants produced an impressive performance in the last round, with goals from Dennis Politic and David Worrall guiding us to a 2-1 win over Barnsley.
Salford had to get past their League Two compatriots, Bradford City, in the round of 32, and they did just that, with a first-half goal from Lorent Tolaj doing the job for them.
With tonight’s game fast approaching, we take a look into how both sides have progressed through the competition.
How Vale qualified:
Matchday One: Port Vale 1-0 Stockport County
The Valiants kicked off their Papa John’s Trophy campaign with a victory thanks to a ferocious strike from former defender Chris Hussey.
Hussey, who now plays for County, smashed home a thunderstrike with just over 25 minutes left to play.
The game also saw a debut for Mipo Odubeko and academy graduate James Plant, who is currently on loan at Nantwich Town.
The result was a great way to start the group stage for the Vale, and it set them well on their way toward qualification.
Matchday Two: Shrewsbury Town 0-4 Port Vale
Dennis Politic netted a hattrick as Vale secured passage to the Papa Johns Trophy knockout stages with a convincing 4-0 victory away at Shrewsbury Town in the second round of fixtures.
Politic netted the first three goals of the night while Brad Walker added a fourth with a brilliant finish to cap off a wonderful night in Shropshire.
The victory meant qualification into the second round of the trophy was sealed, and the last match against Wolves U21s would be a shootout for the top spot.
Matchday Three: Port Vale 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers Under-21
The Vale maintained their 100% record in this season’s Papa Johns Trophy as late goals from Mal Benning and Mipo Odubeko sealed a 2-0 win against Wolves U21s at Vale Park.
The Valiants knocked at the door most of the match, and the resolve was finally broken when substitute Benning whipped a left-footed free-kick into Storer’s near post from the right of the penalty area in the 80th minute.
Seven minutes later, Vale put the result beyond doubt when David Worrall, who was introduced from the bench alongside Benning, crossed for Odubeko to score his third goal of the season.
The result meant that the Valiants did not concede a single goal in the group phase, and qualified top of the group to secure a home fixture against Barnsley in the round of 32.
Round of 32: Port Vale 2-1 Barnsley
The Vale secured their place in the last 16 of the Papa Johns Trophy with an impressive 2-1 victory against Barnsley at Vale Park last month.
First-half goals from Dennis Politic and David Worrall sealed the win for Darrell Clarke’s side against fellow League One opposition, however, the Vale were made to work for their progression when Tom Edwards fired in a goal for the visitors from distance late in the second 45.
How the Ammies qualified:
Matchday One: Salford City 2-1 Liverpool Under-21s
The Ammies got their Papa Johns Trophy campaign off to a winning start back in August, with goals either side of half-time proving crucial in defeating the young Liverpool side.
Kevin Berkoe netted his first goal for Salford just before the break to put the hosts ahead, and debutant Jack Jenkins scored what proved to be the winner in the 60th minute.
Layton Stewart did pull one back for the visitors late on, but it turned out to be only a consolation as Salford held on for all three points.
Matchday Two: Salford City 0(4)-(2)0 Accrington Stanley
Jacob Chapman was the hero in the shootout for Salford as he produced two saves to help secure the Ammies a bonus point after a stalemate against Accrington Stanley at the Peninsula Stadium.
After an entertaining 0-0 draw, the match went to penalties to see who would earn a bonus point, and it was Salford who came out on top with Chapman saving the first and fourth penalties in the shootout.
The home side scored all four from the spot, securing the bonus point, and ensuring they ended matchday two top of their group
Matchday Three: Rochdale 2(2)-(4)2 Salford City
Salford came out victorious via penalties once again after an enthralling 2-2 draw away at Rochdale in their final group-stage fixture.
Jacob Chapman proved the hero once again saving two penalties in the shootout after Liam Kelly scored a stoppage-time equaliser for Dale to send it to spot kicks.
The 90 minutes were entertaining, and it was the hosts who took the lead through former Salford striker Ian Henderson, but two goals in two minutes from Elliot Simões and Callum Hendry seemingly won the game for the visitors.
However, Kelly came up trumps for Rochdale in the final moments of the match when he lobbed Chapman from 14 yards out to rescue a point for Dale.
In the shootout, Salford tucked away all of their spot kicks, and Chapman proved himself a penalty specialist in goal as he saved two once again, meaning the Ammies qualified for the round of 16 top of the group.
Round of 32: Salford City 1-0 Bradford City
A first senior goal for Lorent Tolaj was enough to see the Ammies through to the Round of 16 after a tight encounter with the Bantams.
Tolaj scored the one and only goal of the match after 35 minutes, a brilliant strike from just inside the box that flew past Harry Lewis in the Bradford goal.
One goal was all that was needed for the hosts, and now we prepare to travel up to the Peninsula Stadium on Tuesday night, hoping to get through to the quarter-finals of the Papa Johns Trophy, where Cheltenham Town await the winner.