A look ahead to the visit of Wycombe Wanderers
Vale welcome back one familiar face on Saturday afternoon when Wycombe Wanderers are the visitors to Vale Park for the Valiants’ first home game of the season.
Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth is understandably still spoken about fondly in and around Burslem when supporters recall his spell as a Vale player.
Ainsworth, as some of you may recall, joined the club for half a million quid back in September 1997 from Lincoln City and he made a huge impression on the Vale faithful.
Sadly, John Rudge sold him to Wimbledon in October of the following year, though the fee of £2million was some sort of consolation.
Ainsworth won’t be playing this weekend, of course, but Wycombe still have players who can cause the Vale problems, including the ‘bulky’ Adebayo Akinfenwa, who in the past has made a habit of scoring against the Valiants.
One fan on OneValeFan has suggested he be taken down to Greggs in Burslem before the match, where he would hopefully happily spend the afternoon – a tad unfair, but that’s Vale fans for you. Take a bow Smithie, whoever you are.
He hit 18 goals for the Chairboys last season and as Vale know from past experience, he will be a handful on Saturday afternoon, trying to muscle his way through the home defence.
Another player who has been a thorn in Vale’s side in previous years is 35-year-old Nathan Tyson, who joined Wycome from Kilmarnock in the summer.
He hit 44 goals in a Wycombe shirt in his first spell with the club, before Nottingham Forest paid £675,000 for his services back in 2005v following a successful loan spell at the City Ground.
He hit his first goal in the red of the Nottingham club, netting the only goal of the game against the Vale whilst still on loan in December 2005.
Forest made the move a permanent one a month later, and in the February he found the net again against the Vale in a 2-0 win at Vale Park.
Wind the clock on just ten months and he was at it again, spoiling Vale’s Christmas when he found the net in their Boxing Day fixture at the City Ground.
Michael Brown will be more concerned about what his side will do, following Vale’s 4-1 defeat against Leeds United on Wednesday, when they were dumped out of the Carabao Cup at Elland Road.
The Vale made five changes from the eleven that won at Crawley on the opening day of the season and is likely to make a few changes once again as he seeks to put out ‘fresh legs’.
One player definitely ruled out of Saturday’s fixture is of course defender Gavin Gunning, who picked up a second yellow card late on against Leeds, and was given his marching orders.
He is of course suspended, giving the opportunity for on loan Leeds full back, 21-year-old Tyler Denton, to make his debut in the white shirt of Port Vale.
Denton joined the Vale earlier this week, but obviously was ruled out of playing against his p aren’t club in Vale’s midweek match.
Dave Johnson – 6TR