Vale return to the road this weekend as we face Lancashire side Fleetwood Town at Highbury Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The teams go into this fixture just one place and one point apart, with the Valiants sitting 13th in League One on 43 points, whilst Fleetwood lie in 14th on 42 points.
Here is some interesting pre-match reading before to two sides face off in Lancashire this weekend.
The view from Darrell Clarke:
Darrell Clarke said: “We are looking forward to the challenge, Fleetwood are just below us, have had a really good run, and strengthened massively in the window with Jayden Stockley and Jack Marriott.
“We know it’s going to be a tough challenge, but we go there on the back of four good performances, so we are looking forward to it.”
Opposition Coach’s thoughts:
“It’s going to be a tough game,” said Cod’s assistant head coach, Steven Whittaker.
“We’re coming off the back of a couple of better results at home so we are hoping we can keep a feel-good factor going into the game.
“They are off the back of a win so it’s going to be a challenge like every game is, we did a bit of work with the boys this morning, but we’ll continue to work and carry on planning.”
Sky Bet League One, Vale Park, Saturday 12th November 2016: Port Vale 2-1 Fleetwood Town
Rewinding back to 2016, two late goals saw the Valiants come from behind to beat Fleetwood in a match that saw both teams finish the 90 minutes with 10 men.
Goals from Rigino Cicilia and Alex Jones completed the turnaround for Vale after Chris Long had put the visitors ahead just after the break.
However, both sides saw a player sent off with just one minute of normal time remaining after Town’s goalscorer Long and Anthony Grant were shown red for their involvement in a mass scuffle.
Fleetwood took the lead in the 52nd minute through Long who nodded in Devante Cole’s back-post header in from close range.
Vale responded with just 15 minutes to go when Ryan Taylor’s cross fell invitingly for Cicilia, who made no mistake, smashing the ball into the back of the net to set up a dramatic finish.
11 minutes later, the Valiants grabbed the winner through Jones when he managed to scramble the ball home after Jerome Thomas fired the ball into a dangerous area.
Last Time Out (League):
Sky Bet League One, Adams Park, Tuesday 7th March 2023: Wycombe Wanderers 2-0 Fleetwood Town
Goals in each half from Wycombe Wanderers ensure Matt Bloomfield picked up his first win as Chairboys boss against Fleetwood Town at Adams Park.
Chris Forino’s early strike and Sam Vokes’ effort in the 66th minute meant the hosts closed in on the play-off spots.
Wycombe led after just four minutes when Forino headed in from close range from Jack Grimmer’s cross.
Vokes sealed the win with just under 25 minutes left on the clock with a brilliant finish on the turn which found the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
The game could have been different if it wasn’t for Max Stryjek who produced a number of saves to deny the visitors, his first, a fantastic stop Phoenix Patterson.
Stryjek then superbly kept out Carlos Mendes Gomes’ strong strike to keep his side in the lead, before producing a wonderful save to deny Jack Marriott.
Sky Bet League One, Vale Park, Saturday 30th July 2022: Port Vale 2-1 Fleetwood Town
Back on the opening day, a first-half turnaround saw Darrell Clarke’s Valiants dramatically win on their return to Sky Bet League One.
Two goals from two of Vale’s centre-halves Nathan Smith and Connor Hall overturned Fleetwood’s early opener.
The visitors took an early lead through Dan Batty when he struck home a low Promise Omochere cross after six minutes.
Captain for the day, Smith, sent Vale Park into ecstasy on the half-hour mark, latching on to a low driven cross from Hall to flick home, after incredible work from Vale’s number five on the right-hand side.
One goal soon turned into two, with Hall now turning from provider into scorer two minutes later when he slid home from Funso Ojo’s miskick inside the box.
Despite the Cod Army’s early goal, the Valiants were much the better side in the first period, creating many chances, the first of which was from Ben Garrity, who couldn’t turn home from close range after 12 minutes.
Minutes before the equaliser came, Jamie Proctor came close to scoring on two occasions, the first through a half volley from the edge of the box that went just wide, and a second effort with his head that resulted the same way.
Darrell Clarke’s side continued to knock at the door and nearly grabbed a third after an embarrassing moment from visiting defender Toto Nsiala, his poor back pass nearly crept inside the post, but his blushes were spared as he saw it drift wide.
The onslaught continued on through the second half, with Smith coming close to a second, this time from a corner, his header connected well but just crept over the bar.
With 15 minutes to go the Lancashire side came back to life, nearly equalising through substitute Ellis Harrison when he glanced a header just wide of the left-hand post.
The Valiants regained control of the match shortly after and comfortably saw home the victory to set off their season in the right direction.
21/02/23: Fleetwood Town 1-0 Cambridge United, Sky Bet League One
25/02/23: Fleetwood Town 1-0 Morecambe, Sky Bet League One
01/03/23: Burnley 1-0 Fleetwood Town, FA Cup fifth round
04/03/23: Cheltenham Town 1-0 Fleetwood Town, Sky Bet League One
07/03/23: Wycombe Wanderers 2-0 Fleetwood Town, Sky Bet League One