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Fixture News

Match Preview | Barnsley (A)

4 August 2023

Fixture News

Match Preview | Barnsley (A)

4 August 2023

Andy Crosby’s first game as permanent manager sees him take his side to South Yorkshire on Saturday 5th August to face Barnsley in our opening fixture of the 2023/24 Sky Bet League One season.

Since being named as permanent manager back in May 2023, Andy Crosby and our recruitment team have been busy, seeing eleven players joining the club to date, including Striker Josh Thomas who joined on a season-long loan from Swansea City on Wednesday. Thomas is one of ten players who could debut for the Valiants this weekend.

Vale also welcome back James Wilson who signs for the club on short-term deal. Wilson has been at the club since 2021 and he played a huge in our promotion season, scoring nine goals. He also crucially scored in both play off semi-final legs against Swindon Town. Wilson also scored in the final when he headed home from close range to double our lead against Mansfield Town

Another of Vale’s summer signings is full back Mitch Clark who is no stranger to Port Vale fans. Clark is now in his fourth stint at the club after three previously loan spells where he has racked up 51 appearances for the club.

Crosby’s Comments:

 “I am absolutely buzzing, overjoyed, energised, really looking forward to the first game of the season. It’s my first game as manager but in the grand context of things, it’s the first game of the season. We’ve got big challenges ahead for us, but as a whole group we’re excited, we’re prepared, we’re fit, we’re organised and we’re raring to go”

“The fixtures come out, you look at them and we’re at Barnsley away first game of the season. They had a really good season last year. They’ve had a change of management, a slight change of player. So yeah, it’s going to be a tough challenge for us but I am only looking at our group and what we’ve managed to do since last season finished.”

“The recruitment we have done has changed the profile of the club and the squad and we’re really excited about how we can progress things and how we can continue to develop”

Opposition Focus:

Our hosts finished 4th in League One last season which saw them secure a place in the Play-Offs. They made it all way to Wembley before falling agonisingly short, conceding a late winner in the 33rd minute of extra time against Sheffield Wednesday.

Andy Crosby won’t be the only manager debuting on Saturday, as former Vale defender Neil Collins takes over the reins at Oakwell after Michael Duff left the club in the summer to become manager of Swansea City.

In his first few months at Barnsley has had his work cut out as eleven of last season’s players have departed the club, including Mads Andersen who has joined Luton Town for £3.5 Million pounds. James Norwood also left the club on Thursday afternoon as he joined Oldham Athletic. Barnsley have signed ten players over the course of pre-season including Max Watters who made his loan at the club permanent in the summer after he joined from Cardiff City.

This will be Collins’ first time managing in England; although he does have some managerial experience under his belt. The former Sheffield United defender has been managing USL Eastern Conference side Tampa Bay Rowdies in the USA, where he enjoyed plenty of success in Florida. In his five seasons, he guided Tampa Bay to four play-off campaigns which included two first place finishes in 2020 and 2021.

Collins also earned himself numerous personal accolades whilst in America. He won the USL Championship Coach of the Year in 2021 and then picked up Coach of the month in April, May and September 2021 and July 2022.

Opposition Boss’ thoughts:

“They’ve got a lot of strength in depth, but I am more focused on our individuals. Andy Crosby was my assistant coach during my time at Sheffield United, so I know how good a coach he is.

“Come Saturday once the fans are in, different players react in different manors, and we get things we don’t expect so hopefully our players rise to the occasion and Port Vale’s players don’t find it so easy”

One to Watch – Nicky Cadden:

Nicky Cadden began his career in Scotland where he joined Airdrieonians following his release from Motherwell in 2013. In his four seasons at the club, he made 40 appearances before joining Livingstone where he earned promotion in his first season. Since then, Cadden played for Ayr United and Greenock Morton before making the move to Forest Green Rovers in the summer of 2020.

After a successful first season at The New Lawn, he was awarded League Two’s Player of the Month award and he was also named in the 2021/22 EFL and the PFA League Two team of the season. In 2022, The Scotsman arrived at Oakwell where he has since played 33 games, scoring five goals and picking up three assists from the left flank. He played a pivotal role in helping the Tykes get to the play off final where they were beaten by Sheffield Wednesday

Last Season’s Meetings:

Barnsley 1-1 Port Vale, 13th September 2022:

The first meeting between the sides was at Oakwell in September 2022. The hosts took the lead on the brink of half time after Liam Kitching headed home at the back post to give the Tykes the lead. Despite sustained pressure throughout the game, Vale managed to weather the storm and they reaped the benefits for their resolute defending when Ellis Harrison headed into the back of the net from close range after Gavin Massey found him with a pinpoint cross. The game ended 1-1 which turned out to be a solid point for The Valiants.

Port Vale 1-3 Barnsley, 14th February 2023:

The reverse fixture was in February when the Tykes travelled to Vale Park. The game took just 25 seconds to spring into life when Luca Connell emphatically volleyed the hosts into the lead. Vale drew level just fifteen minutes later when Nathan Smith poked home from David Worrall’s cross from the right side. Vale’s lead didn’t last long as Liam Kitching ghosted in at the back post to head in Connell’s deep free kick in the 21st minute. Barnsley then made it 3-1 on the hour mark after Adam Phillips’ 25-yard effort took a huge deflection, wrong footing Aidan Stone and nestling in the back of the net.

Port Vale 2-1 Barnsley, 23rd November 2022:

The sides also met in the Second Round of the EFL Trophy where the Valiants ran out 2-1 winners thanks to first half goals from Dennis Politic and David Worrall. Vale took the lead after 14 minutes when Politic thundered home a left footed strike from just inside the box. Thirteen minutes later, Worrall added a second when he finished off an excellent team move with a calm finish at the back post. Tom Edwards pulled a goal back for Barnsley with a deflected effort from 25 yards that looped over Jack Stevens in the Vale goal. Thankfully this turned to out to be merely a consolation goal as Vale progressed into the next round of the EFL Trophy

Fixture Throwback

Barnsley 1-2 Port Vale, 14th November 2015:

We have to go back almost eight seasons since Vale won at Oakwell. In the 2015/16 season goals either side of half time from AJ Leitch-Smith and Sam Foley helped Vale run out 2-1 winners. Vale took the lead in the 40th minute when Leitch-Smith rose highest to meet Michael O’Connor’s cross with a looping header that found the far corner. Vale then doubled their lead just after half time. A powerful run from Byron Moore saw him bring the ball over halfway, before finding Adam Yates in the box who teed up Sam Foley to fire home with his left foot and celebrate in front of the travelling Vale fans. Barnsley scored a consolation goal in the 77th minute after Sam Winnall latched on a loose ball in the box to fire home past Jak Alnwick in the Vale goal.

How to Watch:

Valiants can purchase tickets in advance for Saturday’s fixture by heading to our ticketing website ( Tickets are sold on an unreserved seating basis and tickets will be available to purchase from Oakwell on the day of the game, subject to availability.


If you can't join us at Oakwell on Saturday, we have you covered on iFollow the Vale this weekend as we start our 2023/24 campaign away at Barnsley. 

With Audio Match Passes available throughout the UK and Ireland and Video Match Passes available internationally, you can keep up to date with all the action as it happens!



Away Car Parking

General away car park is not available for pre-bookings and is cash only upon entry.

The postcode of the away car park is S71 1AN.

Away Car Park Prices:

Cars, including Blue Badge holders - £5

Minibuses - £10

Coaches - £20

Accessible parking is available to be booked directly with the Barnsley Ticket Office.

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