Vale Park plays host to Sky Bet League One action once again as Forest Green Rovers come to town to face the Valiants.
Rovers come to Burslem in the relegation zone on 11 points from 13 games, however, a home win against Bolton Wanderers last weekend proves they will provide a stern test.
Vale come into this one off the back of a memorable victory at Pride Park against Derby County, meaning they sit in 16th position on 15 points from 12 games.
The sides have crossed paths many times in League Two over the years, but this will be the first clash between the two in the third tier, here is some pre-match reading before the sides face off this weekend.
The view from Andy Crosby:
“I think some really good things came out of last week’s performance and result and it’s something to build on,” Crosby explained.
“We reviewed our performance against Derby and fed back to the players, asked them what they thought and since then our work has been about preparing for Forest Green Rovers.
“We watched Forest Green play against Peterborough United on Tuesday and while they have been inconsistent in their results, they beat one of the big boys at home last weekend in Bolton.
“They’re a good side and have good players, but it is about what we do, and we need to try and build on last Saturday’s three points.”
Opposition’s Boss thoughts:
Ian Burchnall said: “I know that they [Vale] are going to play with intensity, they are going to play with a high tempo, press.
“They go forwards, put a lot of balls in the box and they’re a very physical team, so we have to be able to cope with that.
“At the same time, we are going to have to be able to play our own game and do that effectively.”
Sky Bet League Two, The Bolt New Lawn, Saturday 28th August 2021: Forest Green Rovers 0-2 Port Vale
We only travel back as far as last season to when Jamie Proctor’s brace handed the Valiants the first win of 2021/22 against then top-of-the-table Forest Green Rovers in Gloucestershire.
The Vale struck first in the tie through Jamie Proctor after just six minutes after David Worrall sprinted to get on the end of a Wilson pass just before he pulled it back to Proctor who smashed it into the net from close range.
Proctor found the net once more only minutes later, with Ben Garrity being the creator this time when he intercepted a loose pass, drove towards goal, then saw a low cross spilled by Luke McGee to Proctor who had an easy tap in.
The hosts had their first real opportunity on 18 minutes as Taylor Allen volleyed the ball toward goal from 20-yards following a corner, but it did not threaten Lucas Covolan as it drifted wide.
However, Vale then piled the pressure back on, and after half an hour Tom Pett drove at goal before firing a shot from 30-yards out which just went over the bar.
Six minutes later Mal Benning picked up an under-hit pass on the left wing and ran to around the 25-yard mark before taking a shot that went straight into the hands of McGee.
The second half started like the first began with the Valiants on top and Garrity was so close to increasing the lead on 53 minutes.
He went on a darting run down the left-hand side and broke free into the area, he managed to round the keeper but somehow McGee got back to his feet and tipped the ball around the post from his effort.
The relentless Proctor was looking for his hattrick 11 minutes later, he had a crack at goal from 25-yards, but McGee once again denied the Valiants from getting a third goal.
Rovers came on strong later on in the match and their substitute Jake Young made a great run in behind our defence, but his effort was tame and straight into the hands of Covolan.
Young had another chance for the hosts, but his shot sailed over the bar six minutes from time which proved to be their last effort of the 90.
Both sides would go on to seal promotion to Sky Bet League One, with this weekend’s opponents going up as champions, and our beloved Vale conquering the playoffs.
Forest Green Rovers | McGee, Wilson, Bernard, Sweeney, Cargill, Stevenson (69’ Young), Stevens, Aitchison, Allen (63’ March), Matt, Hendry
Unused Subs | Thomas, Moore-Taylor, Evans, Carter, Bell
Port Vale | Covolan, Jones, Walker (75’ Conlon), Smith, Worrall, Garrity, Wilson (68’ Rodney), Benning, Proctor (90’ Amoo), Martin, Pett
Unused Subs | Stone, Gibbons Politic, Cass
Last Time Out (League):
Sky Bet League One, Weston Homes Stadium, Tuesday 11th October 2022: Peterborough United 4-1 Forest Green Rovers
Forest Green could not build on their win against Bolton Wanderers last weekend away at Peterborough, as the Posh blew away Rovers with a 4-1 victory.
Goals from Nathan Thompson, Jonson Clarke-Harris, Ricky Jade-Jones, and Harrison Burrows did the damage for the Cambridgeshire side despite Josh March’s equaliser in the first half.
Thompson opened the scoring for the hosts after Joe Ward’s cross found the defender to bundle home after half an hour.
However, their advantage was short-lived with Josh March, who scored the goal that secured the League Two title for Rovers last season, expertly finishing past Lucas Bergstom to bring Rover’s level in the 35th minute.
Clarke-Harris, the top scorer in the division, soon had his say, acrobatically firing home a brilliant Dan Butler delivery to put the Posh back into the lead.
The game then started to get away from the visitors in the second period with Jones adding to the score line when blasted a shot fiercely past McGee less than 60 seconds after the restart.
The victory was sealed by the hosts just before the hour mark when Burrows scored his first of the campaign when he managed to turn home after McGee couldn’t hold onto a shot.
Before the flurry of goals in the first period, it was Rovers who started brightly and they came close through Reece Brown, but he was foiled at the last second before Armani Little followed up and saw an effort cleared off the line.
Despite the number of goals, it was a fairly quiet match down in Peterborough, and the home side managed to see out the victory to see them into playoff places.
20/09/22: Newport County 1-2 Forest Green Rovers, Papa Johns Trophy
24/09/22: Forest Green Rovers 0-4 Exeter City, Sky Bet League One
01/10/22: Burton Albion 3-2 Forest Green Rovers, Sky Bet League One
08/10/22: Forest Green Rovers 1-0 Bolton Wanderers, Sky Bet League One
11/10/22: Peterborough United 4-1 Forest Green Rover, Sky Bet League One