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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

2-1
27 October 2020 Venue Vale Park Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Port Vale

27 October 2020

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Cheltenham Town face a first midweek League Two away trip this season with a visit to Port Vale's Vale Park tonight (kick-off: 7pm).

The journey up the M5 and M6 sees Michael Duff's troops go in search of another good away performance having registered three victories on the road in the league this season and having not conceded a goal.

Vale will offer a stern test. Like Cheltenham they were one of the improving sides in the fourth tier last term and they'll have an eye on pushing for promotion into League One, a level they last played at during the 2016/17 campaign.

Fans are unable to attend tonight's game because of covid-19. You can purchase a match pass to watch the game live on iFollow for £10.

Team news

A growing injury list confirms that a number of players are ruled out of making the trip to Staffordshire.

Elliot Bonds, George Lloyd, Finn Azaz, Sean Long, Dan Bowry and Matty Blair are all out of action with a mixture of short-term and long-term injuries.

Watch Michael Duff's pre-match press conference as he looked ahead to the trip.

Opposition

Tenth in League Two, Port Vale have experienced a pleasing start to their season, and go into tonight's contest on the back of three points on their travels at Oldham Athletic on Saturday.

Following an encouraging campaign last term that saw them miss out on the play-offs by the smallest of margins, they will be looking to progress again this season under the guidance of boss John Askey.

They boast a squad that has plenty of League Two experience. That knowhow of the division is vital throughout the different departments in their team, and one of the biggest examples of that is a figure in their squad who Cheltenham fans will know very well.

Goalkeeper Scott Brown has been at Vale since 2018 having previously spent nine years at Cheltenham earlier on his career.

In front of him in their defence skipper Leon Legge brings similar experience, while academy product Nathan Smith has been a mainstay in their backline since he broke into their first team squad.

Further up the pitch 33-year-old Luke Joyce has played at this level for the likes of Carlisle United and Accrington Stanley previously, and the likes of Tom Conlon, Scott Burgess and ex-Cheltenham loanee Danny Whitehead provide a range of options in this area too.

The attacking instincts of Mark Cullen and David Amoo are also something to look out for, while at the highest point of their set-up they could opt for the speed of Theo Robinson or the physical presence of Tom Pope.

The manager: John Askey

Over three decades after he played youth team football for Port Vale, John Askey was appointed as the Valiants manager in February 2019.

His move into the dugout at Vale Park followed a six-month stint in charge at League One Shrewsbury Town, a job he earned after enjoying great success with Macclesfield Town.

In his time in charge of the Silkmen he guided them to promotion back into the EFL as National League champions. It was a fantastic achievement for Askey who has a long affiliation with Macclesfield having also played over 500 times for them as a player.

His assistant manager at Port Vale is former Cheltenham coach and former Stoke City and Notts County caretaker manager Dave Kevan.

One to watch: David Worrall

An attack minded midfielder, David Worrall has been on the books at Vale since the summer of 2017.

Last season he was named Player of the Year there and also won a number of other awards for his 2019/20 campaign that saw him play a key part in a much improved season on the pitch for his Staffordshire employers.

Coming through the youth system at Bury, Worrall's career took him next to West Brom before returning to the Shakers for a longer stay.

Following a brief stint with Rotherham United he transferred to Southend United and then Millwall where he built on his Football League experience - an understanding of the levels that has seen him achieve good individual success at Port Vale, as well as for his teammates.

Watch the match on iFollow

Enjoy tonight's game from the comfort of your own home by purchasing a match pass on iFollow.

You can subscribe to the game by buying one online for £10.

Coverage

Stay up to date with the action from Vale Park by following @CTFCofficial on Twitter. You can also see the club's Facebook page and Instagram account for score updates.

A match pass is available to buy online for £10 giving you full 90 minute access to watch the game.

Following the full time whistle check out the club website for the match report and to see the reaction to the game.

You can watch extended highlights a few hours after the game on iFollow.

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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Port Vale 2-1 Robins

27 October 2020

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Cheltenham Town paid a high price for their profligacy in front of goal at Vale Park, suffering their first league defeat on their travels this evening.

In fact they had yet to concede a goal and things looked so promising after Andy Williams handed his side a well deserved lead three minutes after the break, his fourth goal of the campaign.

Up to that point Michael Duff’s side had produced a string of fantastic chances, consigning their hosts into long spells of defending.

But the goal proved to be a turning point, only in favour of the Valiants who went on to produce two of their own within 20 minutes to seal the come-from-behind win.

The manager was frustrated with his side’s lack of incision after the game.

“It was a soft performance,” he said.

“That’s the word. We weren’t clinical enough and we should have been out of sight after an hour.

“We went 1-0 with a really good goal and then gave a really poor one away. There’s a lack of communication and then we invited them on to us.

“It feels like we haven’t got out of second gear again so we need to be more ruthless with each other. They are a great group and a joy to work but I am angry tonight. It’s frustrating because I think the league’s there for someone to go and take.”

Duff’s selection was once again disrupted by injuries after Matty Blair picked up a groin problem in the game against Mansfield Town four days ago.

In came Conor Thomas to deputise at right-wing back, while Williams came into the attack at the expense of Reuben Reid.

The Robins dominated the opening 50 minutes or so of the contest, creating chance after chance.

Alfie May was presented with the first on the night but his volley flew over the bar.

Five minutes later was then an incredible passage of play which saw Williams call Scott Brown into a smart save before the former Robin denied Sang with a sprawling block. Williams then headed against the bar before Liam Sercombe was put through, but the midfielder pushed his effort wide of the right post.

May fashioned another chance moments later, dragging his effort wide from 20 yards while Williams narrowly missed the target from distance ten minutes before the break.

At the other end a moment of brilliance handed David Amoo a chance on the stroke of half-time, but it flew an inch over.

The Robins finally got their reward three minutes after the restart through a neatly worked move down the left, started by Hussey who flicked a ball into the path of Boyle. The centre half swept across a ball, flicked on by May and met by Williams at the far post to head home.

But the lead lasted just four minutes, Leon Legge meeting David Worrall’s ball corner from the right with a free header.

Brown was then alert to a fine Chris Hussey effort to produce a fingertip save and concede a corner from the right. Hussey picked it up, sending it to the back post but Boyle glanced his header wide.

The hosts were in front 22 minutes from time when Worrall picked up the ball and cut inside Charlie Raglan before firing past Griffiths from 25 yards to hand his side the lead as the game drew to a close.

There was a late chance for substitute Tom Pope, but his downward header came back off the post and cleared.

 

PORT VALE (4-3-3): Brown; Clark, Legge (c), Smith, Montano; Amoo, Joyce, Conlon; Burgess, Robinson (Pope 63), Worrall. Subs not used: Cullen, Brisley, Whitehead, Rodney, Fitzpatrick, Visser.

 

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Griffiths; Raglan, Tozer (c), Boyle; Thomas, Sang (Addai 76), Clements (Reid 83), Sercombe, Hussey; Williams, May. Subs not used: Harris (Gk), Bowry, Freestone, Horton, Chapman.

 

REFEREE: D Whitestone

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