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Match Previews

PREVIEW: PORT VALE

21 November 2018

Town will be hoping to turn their fortunes around with a win away at Port Vale this weekend.

Swindon have only won one of their last six league games, and need to bounce back after last week’s 4-0 home loss to Carlisle.

Richie Wellens takes his side away for his first trip as Robins boss and will be looking to take comfort from the first-half performance rather than the end result against the Cumbrians.

The Oppo

The Valiants are 12th in League Two and have won two, lost, drawn two in their last six outings in all competitions.

Their top goalscorer this campaign is seasoned marksman, Tom Pope who is currently in his second spell at Vale Park after two seasons away with Bury from 2015 to 2017.

Last time out, Vale lost out to a single goal to Mansfield, with Christopher Hamilton striking in the 41st minute.

Head-to-head

Town’s last visit to Vale Park came in October 2017 and it was a happy away day. Goals from Matt Taylor, Paul Mullin and Kellan Gordon ensured a bumper 3-0 victory on the road.

And Town bagged another triple in a slightly less comfortable affair later on in the 17/18 season – the Robins had to come from behind to grab a late victory with Marc Richards bagging a brace, and Paul Mullin scoring in the 88th minute to seal three points.

Over the years, Town have had some high-scoring clashes with the Valiants – in 2008, they stuck six past them at the County Ground without reply. On the scoresheet that day were: Lee Peacock, Craig Easton, Jack Smith, Michael Timliln, Anthony McNamee and Ben Joyce.

Four years later, and it was five without reply. Matt Ritchie, Aden Flint and Alan Connell added to a Paul Benson sent the County Ground into delirium as Town were crowned League Two champions.

18 Aug 2015        Swindon Town v Port Vale            D             2-2          League One

02 Feb 2016        Port Vale v Swindon Town            L              1-0          League One

20 Aug 2016        Swindon Town v Port Vale            W            1-0          League One

11 Mar 2017       Port Vale v Swindon Town            L              3-2          League One

28 Oct 2017         Port Vale v Swindon Town            W            0-3          League Two

17 Feb 2018        Swindon Town v Port Vale            W            3-2          League Two

The Gaffer

Neil Aspin has worked his way up through non-league football over the last 13 years. Aspin made 348 appearances for Port Vale between 1989 and 1999 after starting his career at Leeds United in 1982.

He also turned out for Darlington, Hartlepool United, and Harrogate Town. Aspin returned to Harrogate in 2004, as manager consistently pushing for promotion to the National Conference. In 2009, after five years of knocking on the door of the play-offs the 53-year-old decided he couldn’t take the Sulphurites any further on the budget on offer.

The Gateshead-born Gaffer moved on to Halifax and, in his first season, took them to the Northern Premier League Division One title. And it was back-to-back promotions with the Shaymen and Aspin as they romped to the Northern Premier League Premier Division title with 98 points and 108 goals.

Part of the success was down to a certain Jamie Vardy who Aspin had signed from Stocksbridge Ark Steels for £16,000 after their Division One triumph.

Aspin also led Town to their first FA Cup First Round proper, where they lost to Charlton Athletic.

In November 2015, Aspin got the top job at his hometown club, Gateshead and guided them to a ninth-place finish in the National League and in his second season, got them to eighth.

On 4th October 2017, Aspin was appointed manager of Port Vale, taking them over as they sat in 22nd in League Two and managed to ensure safety with two games to spare.

 


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