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Match Previews

Match Preview | Reading vs Port Vale

20 February 2024

Match Previews

Match Preview | Reading vs Port Vale

20 February 2024

The Valiants are on the road again on Tuesday as we travel to Berkshire to face Reading in a re-arranged fixture.

The sides were due to meet on Saturday 13th January, but the game was abandoned after just sixteen minutes of play.

The Vale come into the game off the back of a narrow 3-2 defeat against Cheltenham Town on Saturday. The Valiants took the lead in the 25th minute when Nathan Smith headed home a corner that was swung in by Connor Grant. Cheltenham levelled the scores with a well-worked free-kick in the second minute of added time. Matty Taylor played a close one-two with Tom Pett before Taylor slotted a strike into the bottom corner, just out of the reach of Connor Ripley.

In the 65th minute, Vale regained the lead when Ethan Chislett drove into the box and fired a low effort towards goal which forced a good save from Southwood. However, the rebound was diverted into the back of the net by Cheltenham Town’s Curtis Davies who was a yard out. Just minutes after going behind for the second time in the game, Cheltenham levelled when a corner from the right was cleared as far as Jack Shepard who emphatically volleyed home on the turn from the right side of the area. The winning goal came in the 73rd minute when Will Ferry cut inside from the right before slotting home from close range to earn the hosts all three points.

Gaffer's Comments

Here is what Darren Moore had to say following Saturday’s defeat:

“There were positives in the game – scoring two goals away from home and the substitutions making a good impact. But the disappointing thing is to concede three goals in the manner we did.”

“It showed we have some real good work to do with the players in terms of the mentality. The commitment and endeavour was there but certainly, our mindset has to be stronger when we do get our noses in front to control the game better.”

The Opposition

Reading currently sit in 18th place in the table, four points better off than the Vale. However, they have played three games more. Saturday's 4-1 defeat at league leaders Portsmouth ended a six-game unbeaten run that had propelled the Royals up the table and out of the bottom four.

Who’s in Charge?

Reading are managed by former Southampton manager Ruben Selles. The Spaniard took over the reins at Reading after Paul Ince left his role in April following the club’s relegation from The Championship.

Selles was at Southampton last season as Assistant Manager and was named as the club’s new manager following the end of Nathan Jones' tenure. Following relegation from the Premier League, Selles was released from his position as manager before going on to join Reading in the summer of 2023.

Player to Watch - Sam Smith

Harvey Knibbs leads the Royals' top scorer charts with seven goals so far this season. Knibbs has also picked up four assists in his 33 games so far this season. The 24-year-old joined in the summer from Cambridge United where he made over 150 appearances for the U’s.

Another player to watch is Femi Azeez, he has got twelve goal involvements so far this season. Azeez has found the net six times and assisted six goals in his 34 games played so far this season. Two of his goals came in his side's 2-0 victory over Charlton Athletic where he scored twice in ten minutes to secure his side all three points

Last Time We Met

Port Vale 1-0 Reading, Saturday 12th August 2023

When the sides met earlier this season, The Vale came away with three points thanks to Ben Garrity’s first second half goal.

A loose ball fell to Ben Garrity in the box and with his back to goal he shot on the swivel and his strike took a deflection and ballooned over David Button in the Reading goal before nestling in the back of the net to earn the Vale all three points at Vale Park.

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