We host Bristol Rovers in our penultimate home game of the season. Let's look at some past clashes with Rovers
Previous Five | LLDLW
Sky Bet League One, Vale Park, Saturday 18th February 2017, Port Vale 1-1 Bristol Rovers
You could feel the tension in the home crowd at kick-off, but it didn’t appear to transmit itself to the team, who started calmly, with a determination to do well.
The visitors were forced to make a change as early as the 7th minute when right-back Joe Partington went off, to be replaced by Cristian Montano.
Moments later there was reason for the Vale crowd to feel a little nervous when Fasan spilled the ball, but he managed to get hold of it at the second attempt.
If anything, however, it appeared to lift the crowd, who began to make themselves heard, helping to lift the tea, who were certainly not showing any signs of anxiety in their play.
The Vale were taking the game to their opponents, pushing forward at every opportunity, but with nothing to show for their efforts.
A long throw from Kiko on the left created an opportunity for the Vale but Chris Eagles’ shot was blocked by a Rovers defender.
Moments later Eagles was again denied when his 25-yard effort was saved by Joe Lumley, who went down sharply to his left to make the save.
Vale were opened up three minutes after the break when former Valiants midfielder Chris Lines got in behind the defence but his angled shot drifted wide of the far post.
In the 54th minute Vale were finally rewarded for their endeavour when they took the lead, though there is no denying the goal had an element of luck about it.
Jerome Thomas slipped the ball into the path of Kiko, who drove the ball low into the box from the left and Rovers’ central defender Rob Harris in an attempted clearance, clipped the ball into his own net.
If the game had needed a lift, then the goal certainly did the trick from a Vale point of view and they continued to press forward in search of a second.
It was the visitors who impressed, however, in the 79th when Billy Bodin netted with a superbly struck shot, giving Vale ‘keeper Fasan no chance.
Port Vale | Leo Fasan, Ben Purkiss, Kjell Knops, JJ Hooper, Sam Foley, Danny Pugh, Jerome Thomas, Anton Forrester, Kiko, Nathan Smith, Chris Eagles.
Subs | Sam Kelly, Dan Turner, Ryan Boot, Callum Guy, Tyler Walker, James Gibbons, Olamide Shidipo
Bristol Rovers | Joe Lumley, Tom Lockyer, Ollie Clarke, Ellis Harrison, Chris Lines, Robert Harris, Billy Bodin, Stuart Sinclair, Rory Gaffney, Ryan Sweeney, Joe Partington.
Subs | Lee Brown, Lee Mansell, Cristian Montano, Byron Moore, Will Puddy, Luke James, Jonathan Burn
Sky Bet League Two, Vale Park, Tuesday 20th November 2012, Port Vale 4-0 Bristol Rovers
Vale opened the game looking a little sluggish, struggling to get into gear, with the visitors looking the sharper of the two sides in the opening minutes of the game.
Vale’s first real effort on goal came in the 12th minute when Ben Williamson forced a save from Neil Etheridge at his near post after Tom Pope had slipped the ball into his path.
Vale were put under pressure for spells as the visitors looked busy going forward, but ‘keeper Chris Neal was not troubled as Bristol were forced into shooting from long range.
The game suddenly burst into life from a Vale perspective with two goals inside ninety seconds, and you don’t need to be a genius to guess the goal scorer.
With twenty minutes on the clock, Tom Pope took the ball on his chest, made himself a yard and drilled the ball low into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
Less than two minutes later Pope was at it again, this time meeting a left-wing cross from Ashley Vincent to send a powerful header past Etheridge and into the net.
Tom Eaves flashed an angled drive across the face of the Vale goal as the visitors looked to pull a goal back, but the tide had already turned, with Vale by now looking almost back to their best.
It came as no surprise when Vale added a third goal in the 36th minute and Pope was involved again. He met a right-wing cross from Richard Duffy and headed against the far upright, but Ben Williamson was on hand to slam the ball over the line.
Williamson had a header knocked off the line as Vale started the second half brightly and defender John McCombe, with his back to goal, missed the target from close range as he attempted to knock the loose ball over the line.
A minute later McCombe was involved in the action at the other end of the pitch, clearing off his line to preserve Vale’s three-goal lead.
Port Vale made history in the 67th minute when Tom Pope leaped to meet a cross from Jennison Myrie-Williams to head home his hat-trick goal.
In doing so, he became the fastest ever Port Vale layer to hit the 20-goal mark, beating the record held by the legendary Wilf Kirkham for over 85 years by one day.
Port Vale | Chris Neal, Adam Yates, John McCombe, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Ashley Vincent, Tom Pope, Clayton McDonald, Ben Williamson, Kingsley James, Ryan Burge, Richard Duffy.
Subs | Sam Johnson, Louis Dodds, Chris Shuker, Joe Davis, Sean McAlliater, Ryan Lloyd, Rob Taylor