After a week away, Vale return to action, this time at home as they prepare to face Portsmouth on Saturday.
The two sides have enjoyed decent starts to the season, with the Valiants’ sitting 10th on seven points, whilst the visitors arrive unbeaten in third.
Here is some interesting pre-match reading before the first clash between these sides since 2000.
The view from Darrell Clarke:
Darrell Clarke commented, “It’s [Portsmouth] a big club, Danny’s [Cowley] a fantastic manager, done very well.
“Portsmouth’s a big football club that used to be in the Premier League, with a real good passionate fanbase.”
Opposition’s Boss thoughts
“We know that Ellis will be a challenge and has made a good start to his time there, scoring a couple of goals,” said Danny Cowley on their former striker.
“He can be a real handful on his day – we saw that when he came back to Fratton Park with Fleetwood last season.
“But they’ve got a lot of good attacking options and are a real threat from wide areas, so it will be tough.
“Port Vale were promoted last season and will still carry momentum from that. They won’t struggle with the squad they have.
“We know we have to be at our best on what’s a really big pitch and that has played a part in our preparations.”
League Division 1, Vale Park, Saturday 1st April 2000: Port Vale 2-0 Portsmouth
We are going all the way back to the start of the Century in this flashback, and it is in fact the last time these two sides met, in what is now the Championship.
It had been a tough season back then for the Valiants as they were sitting in the relegation zone before kick-off, but their first win in 11 fixtures bolstered their survival hopes.
Goals from Ville Viljanen and Tommy Widdrington secured the much-needed three points for Vale whilst the visitors saw both David Waterman and Adrian Whitbread sent off.
The hosts opened the scoring in the 15th minute through Viljanen when he hammered home after good work from David Healey and Michael Cummins to set him up.
Then came the first red card, and it was Waterman that was sent his marching orders first after he handled a Viljanen volley in the box, resulting in a penalty, something we don’t get to see these days.
Widdrington was given the duty of taking the kick which he dispatched with ease, sending Russell Hoult the wrong way to give Vale a two-goal lead at the interval.
In the second half things went from bad to worse for Pompey when Whitbread was also sent down the tunnel after receiving his second yellow card, completing the away side’s misery.
After the opening goal, Pompey worked their way back into the game and even came close to an equaliser after Kevin Harper managed to break away and take a shot across goal, but a brilliant fingertip save from Kevin Pilkington directed it onto the woodwork.
A day to forget for the visitors was complete when Shaun Derry managed to blaze the ball over an empty net from just three yards out, proving it was just meant to be for Vale.
Despite the Victory, sadly for the Valiants they would get relegated in the 1999/2000 season, and they are yet to return to the second tier, but let’s hope we see them there in the near future under Darrell Clarke.
Port Vale | Pilkington, Burton, Tankard, Snijders, Carragher, Widdrington, Rougier, O’Callaghan, Cummins, Viljanen, Healey
Portsmouth | Hoult, Whitbread, Edinburgh, Moore, Thogerson, Harper, Hughes, Waterman, Derry Claridge, Bradbury
Last Time Out (League):
Sky Bet League One, Fratton Park, Saturday 20th August 2022: Portsmouth 3-1 Bristol Rovers
Portsmouth continued their unbeaten start to the campaign with a comfortable win over newly promoted Bristol Rovers.
Owen Dale scored his first goal for Pompey alongside goals from Joe Piggott and Connor Ogilvie to secure the victory at Fratton Park.
However, a suspected broken leg for midfielder Louis Thompson overshadowed the victory for the south coast side.
Thompson had to be taken to hospital by ambulance after an 18th-minute challenge from Glenn Whelan left the 27-year-old, who is from Bristol, in agony.
The hosts managed to clear their minds from sad events earlier in the game and they opened the scoring in the 32nd minute when Ogilvie managed to get his head on a perfect Michael Jacobs corner to pick out the top corner.
After controlling the game for the first hour, Pompey then let it slip, and it was Rovers’ star man Aaron Collins who pounced on a Sean Raggett mistake to net from the visitors' first shot on goal.
20 minutes later though, and Portsmouth were back in front through Piggott, when he fired home from the penalty spot just nine minutes from the final whistle after being fouled by Harry Anderson.
Summer signing, Dale, then sealed the points for Pompey in stoppage time, smashing home a header, a proud moment for the Blackpool loanee.
Ins and Outs:
There has been a lot of action on the south coast for Portsmouth, with this weekend’s visitors bringing in a total of 11 players over the course of the summer.
We have already spoken about their new frontman Bishop, but they have also brought in two other forwards in Dane Scarlett, who is on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, and Joe Piggott who is on loan from fellow Sky Bet League One side Ipswich Town.
Another big signing for Pompey is that of Marlon Pack, who they have brought into their midfield after his three-year spell at Cardiff City ended last season.
All arrivals | Marlon Pack, Michael Morrison, Joe Rafferty, Tom Lowery, Joshua Oluwayemi, Zak Swanson, Colby Bishop, Josh Griffiths, Owen Dale, Dane Scarlett, Joe Piggott.
When lots of names come in, names also have to go out, and in Portsmouth’s case, there have been eight that have gone out of the door at Fratton Park.
Potentially the biggest player to leave Pompey this window is Marcus Harness, who now plays his trade at their promotion rivals Ipswich Town, after leaving the club for a fee this summer.
Players like Aiden O’Brien and Shaun Williams have also left the club this summer, with the former leaving for Shrewsbury Town and the latter, Gillingham.
All Departures | Marcus Harness, Aiden O’Brien, Shaun Williams, Callum Johnson, Oliver Webber, Alex Bass, Liam Vincent, Paul Downing.
After the horror injury against Bristol Rovers, Pompey will be without Louis Thompson who is preparing for an operation on his broken leg very soon.
The visitors will also be without Joe Morrell and Denver Hume who are getting closer to action, but it doesn’t look like they will be ready for Saturday.
09/08/22: Cardiff City 0-3 Portsmouth, Carabao Cup first round
13/08/22: Cheltenham Town 0-2 Portsmouth, Sky Bet League One
16/08/22: Portsmouth 4-1 Cambridge United, Sky Bet League One
20/08/22: Portsmouth 3-1 Bristol Rovers, Sky Bet League One
23/08/22: Newport County 3-2 Portsmouth, Carabao Cup second round