After our clash with Ipswich Town in midweek, Vale are at home once again on Saturday as they face off with 11th place Lincoln City.
This weekend’s visitors have been in fine form in recent weeks, having only lost one of their last five league games, which includes a win away at the Tractor Boys.
Lincoln also claimed victory in midweek, a 1-0 win against Barnsley in South Yorkshire, extending their unbeaten run to four.
Unfortunately, for the Vale, their unbeaten streak finished in midweek despite a strong performance against promotion hopefuls Ipswich, with the Blues coming away 3-2 winners.
The Imps have not come to Burslem since 2018, and before we face off with the Lincolnshire side, here is what you need to know about them.
ONE TO WATCH: Jack Diamond
Lincoln City’s star loanee has hit the ground running since joining from Sunderland in the summer, scoring four goals from his eight appearances so far.
The 22-year-old is currently on loan from Championship club Sunderland, the side who he started his young career with.
Diamond began his career at the Black Cats at just 14 and has managed 45 appearances for the club so far, with over 30 of them coming in the 2020/21 season.
However, most of his senior career in the northeast has been spent out on loan, with the forward spending the 2019/2020, and 2021/22 seasons on loan at league two Harrogate Town.
The Gateshead-born attacker impressed in both of his loan spells in Yorkshire, finishing as the club’s top scorer last campaign with 14 goals.
Many thought his form last season would see him star in some capacity for Sunderland this season, however, after two appearances for them this season, he was sent on loan to the Imps.
The move has proved a success so far for Diamond, with the loanee currently the joint top scorer for the club in the league this season, and he will be hungry for more.
Darrell Clarke will certainly be looking at Diamond as a player to nullify when they come to Vale Park on Saturday, so let’s hope we can prevent the forward, and his team, from scoring at the weekend.
THE MAN AT THE HELM: Mark Kennedy
The Imps boss, Mark Kennedy, is enjoying a strong first season at Lincoln City after joining as the main man back in May of this year.
Kennedy enjoyed a player career at the highest level before he ventured into coaching, playing for the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Crystal Palace, amongst many other top teams.
The 46-year-old was a versatile player and could play both left wings, and left back during his career, employing those positions a total of 34 times for his country, the Republic of Ireland.
After a brilliant career in the sport, the Irishman went into a coaching role in 2012, starting off in the Ipswich Town academy.
Academy roles at Manchester City and Wolves then followed, before he was appointed at Macclesfield Town in January 2020, his first senior managerial role.
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, Kennedy only took charge of 12 games during his time at the Silkmen and departed the club in August 2020.
After returning to academy coaching following his short spell at Macclesfield, Kennedy return to senior football as assistant to Lee Bowyer at Birmingham City in 2021.
The former winger spent one year in Birmingham before leaving for his current job in May 2022 signing a four-year deal at the Imps.
So far, Kennedy is proving a success in Lincolnshire, with the club currently sitting in 11th position on 21 points, and he will be hoping his side will continue their good start as the season continues.
STADIUM: LNER Stadium
The LNER Stadium, also known as Sincil Bank Stadium, has been the home of the Imps since it opened in 1895.
Lincoln’s ground currently holds a maximum capacity of 10,780 and has been the host of some international youth matches over the years.
In 1982, the ground had to be sold in order to stop an eviction, but 18 years later the club re-purchased the stadium for less than they had sold it for, a huge moment for the club.
However, the Imps won’t be welcoming us to Lincolnshire until April, and first, face the trip to Vale Park on Saturday.
HEAD-TO-HEAD LAST FIVE:
Vale wins: 1
Lincoln City wins: 3
This Saturday’s visitors have the better of the recent record between the two sides, winning three of our last five meetings.
It is a statistic that Darrell Clarke’s men will be keen on changing, and they will be looking to replicate our last victory over Lincoln, a 1-0 home win in 2018.