After three consecutive cup fixtures, The Valiants are back in Sky Bet League One action on Saturday as we make the trip to the LNER Stadium to face Lincoln City.
Since our last league outing, we have played in three different cup competitions. Last Tuesday, Alfie Devine’s second-half strike helped us to a 1-0 win at Mansfield Town in the Carabao Cup. This victory means that Vale are in the Quarter-Finals for the first time in the club’s history, where we will host Middlesbrough next month.
Last weekend, we were forced to settle for a draw against Burton Albion in the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup. The Valiants played the majority of the fixture with ten men after Nathan Smith was sent off in the first half. The game ended 0-0 and the sides will battle it out again this coming Tuesday night for a place in Round Two.
More recently Vale took on Wrexham AFC in the final group game of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy. Vale took the lead in the first half through Josh Thomas but this goal was canceled out by goals from second half substitutes Paul Mullin and James McClean. With Vale already qualified, it was a great chance to showcase the club’s academy. So much so that nine of the players who ended the game had come through the club’s youth system.
Our attention now turns back to the league where we will be hoping to bounce back from a narrow defeat against Cheltenham Town in our last outing on Saturday October 28th.
Here’s what the gaffer had to say ahead of Saturday’s fixture:
“I think they still play the same formation that Mark (Kennedy) was. They still appear to be playing with the same structure. They’ve shown a little bit of flexibility out of possession in one or two recent games.
“We go there fully prepared, Due to the changes that we made on Tuesday night we’ve been very close to having our starting XI train this morning which is a rarity because of the midweek games that we’ve been playing. We started our preparation on Thursday out on the main pitch. It’s a game we’re looking forward to. We’ve got a structure of how we’re playing and that’s developing and growing, and the players are enjoying it.”
The Imps currently sit in 9th place in Sky Bet League One on 22 points, four more than the Vale. They too haven’t played a league game in November. Their last league outing was on Tuesday 31st October when they welcomed Oxford United to the LNER Stadium and it was the visitors who left with all three points. Ciaron Brown gave Oxford the lead after 13 minutes before an own goal from Lincoln goalkeeper Lukas Bornhøft Jensen put the game beyond doubt.
Since then, Lincoln have exited the Emirates FA Cup after losing 2-1 at home to Morecambe. They have also booked their place in the knockout rounds of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy after a comfortable 2-0 victory against Notts County.
Lincoln are currently without a permanent manager after Mark Kennedy and his assistant Jacob Butterfield were relieved of their duties on Wednesday 18th October after a poor run of form.
Player to Watch – Lasse Sørensen
The former Stoke City youth player joined Lincoln City in 2021 after signing from The Potters for an undisclosed fee. He has since made over 100 appearances for The Imps, scoring 8 goals from his midfield position. More recently he has played on the right side of a front three, he scored the opening goal in his side’s 2-1 home defeat against Morecambe in his latest outing. This goal is one of his three goals so far this season.
A name that stands out on their recent team sheets is on-loan striker Harvey Vale. The Welsh forward is on loan from Blackburn and he has scored once in his five appearances so far this season for Lincoln.
Former Port Vale loanee Olamide Shodipo also plays for Lincoln. He made 6 appearances for Vale during a short loan spell in 2017. The Irish winger has made just one appearance for Lincoln so far after re-joining the club last month.
Lincoln City 1-2 Port Vale, Saturday 1st December 2009
It’s been almost fourteen years since Vale picked up three points from The LNER Stadium. In fact, we have to go all the way back to the winter of 2009 for our last victory.
The Valiants took the lead in the first half when Marc Richards capitalized on a defensive error to give his side the lead five minutes before the break. Shortly after the restart, the hosts leveled when Vale keeper Chris Martin fumbled Eric Lichaj’s long throw into his own goal. Vale regained the lead on the hour mark when Richards turned provider, setting up Louis Dodds who finished well past the keeper to earn Vale all three points in Lincolnshire.