The Valiants kick off our Emirates FA Cup campaign on Saturday as we welcome Burton Albion to Vale Park.
In midweek, Vale progressed into the Quarter Final of the Carabao Cup for the first time in the club’s history. Alfie Devine’s second half strike helped us beat Mansfield Town 1-0 at Field Mill to set up a home Quarter Final tie against Championship side, Middlesbrough.
Here’s what the gaffer had to say ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup First Round fixture against Burton Albion:
“The way they approached the game here last time, they got themselves in front. There were certain things in that game that we’ll have to do a hell of a lot better than we did in that game. The basics of the game of competing and winning duels, winning first contacts and defending set plays, were going to have to do those things very well. From an attacking point of view, we scored two goals and I think we had something like 20 shots, their keeper played very well. We’re going to have to defend our box really well.”
After going winless in their first seven league games. Burton Albion have since lost one game in their last nine league games. Their upturn in form began when they won 3-2 at Vale Park back in September. Goals from Beryly Lubala, Steve Seddon and Kwadwo Baaah earned the Brewers their first three points of the season.
In their league last outing, Burton drew 0-0 at home to Leyton Orient before losing 2-1 to Carlisle United at Brunton Park. Callum Guy’s 88th-minute winner succumbed Burton to their first loss in 8 league games.
Former Stevenage manager Dino Maamria is currently in the hot seat at the Pirelli Stadium. He joined Burton Albion in 2021 when he was appointed as Assistant Manager to Jimmy Floyd Hasslebank. The pair steered the club away from relegation in the 2021/22 season after they picked up nine victories in their first 12 games. After staying in the league the season before, Jimmy Floyd Hasslebank resigned just a month into the 2022/23 season. Maamria was then placed appointed as manager where he guided the Brewers to 15th place last season.
One to Watch – Joe Powell
Powell joined the Brewers back in 2020 when he joined from West Ham United where he made one substitute appearance for The Hammers in their EFL Cup win against Macclesfield Town in 2018. Powell really made a name for himself last season when he played 39 league games for Burton, scoring six times from his deep midfield role.
Powell is currently the top scorer for Burton Albion with four goals so far this season. What makes this even more impressive is that all these goals have come from central midfield. Two of these four goals came against Wigan Athletic. His first was a 25-yard strike that arrowed into the bottom corner. Fifteen minutes later he scored his second of the night from the spot to help his side to a 2-1 victory.
Burton Albion 1-2 Port Vale, Saturday 4th December 2021.
The sides last faced off in the FA Cup back in 2021 and it was an afternoon to remember for the Vale fans who made the short trip to Pirelli Stadium.
The hosts took the lead in the 23rd minute when Ryan Leak headed home Kane Hemmings’ cross at the back post. Moments later Vale had Dan Jones to thank for keeping them in the game when he somehow diverted Jonny Smith’s effort onto the crossbar from the goal line.
Just before half time David Amoo forced a good save from Ben Garratt when he found space in the box but the Burton keeper saved well at his near post.
With ten minutes of the game to go, Vale broke from a Burton corner with Devante Rodney, his cross-field pass found Lewis Cass who burst into the attacking half before finding David Worrall who teed up Dennis Politic to fire Vale back onto level terms with a deflected effort from outside the area. Three minutes later, the turnaround was complete. Rodney played an exquisite through ball into the path of Politic who rounded the keeper and tucked home into the empty net to give them the lead and earn us a place in Round Three where we would host Premier League side Brentford.