Following last week’s dramatic 2-2 draw at home to Hereford, the Shots are on home turf again this week as Micky Adams brings his Port Vale side to North Hampshire on the back of a 4-0 win over Grimsby.
Aldershot come into this game after picking up 7 points in their last three matches and currently sit in 7th place in the table, three places above the Valiants. Two late goals against Hereford preserved Aldershot’s unbeaten home record and they will want to keep it up on Saturday.
Port Vale are also in fine form, losing only one of their opening eight matches in all competitions, including a ‘Sheffield double’ in the Carling Cup as they dumped both United and Wednesday out. Their only defeat came away at Macclesfield and are unbeaten in their last four.
After a poor season last season Micky Adams has transformed Vale’s fortunes since taking over in the summer and after a 4-0 win over Grimsby last week, they look as if they could be genuine promotion contenders.
The Shots had the better of last season’s meetings between the two sides, as a Louis Soares goal gave the Hampshire side all the points in October, before a 0-0 draw at Vale Park later on in the season.
Following the news that Ben Harding and Adam Hinshelwood will be unavailable through injury, Shots manager Gary Waddock appeared to have confidence in the depth of his squad when talking to theshots.co.uk, he said ‘We’ll cope. It is part and parcel of the game and I am not going to go home and have a headache over the matter. It is the way it is and you have to get on with it. We have enough players in the group and the youth team to make the squad up. We have a good group of players here. It is an unfortunate situation and we will have to shuffle the pack but we will put a team out that will compete and give them a game.’
The manager also complimented his team’s fitness levels, saying ‘It is a culmination of all the work that was done in pre-season. With Sean Faulkner and Russell Clash’s input the players have looked strong and fit and it is a credit to those two guys that the players have kept going in games.
‘The players continue to work hard and you don’t get anything for nothing and you have to put in the hard graft and effort and the players are doing that.’
Aldershot Town Team News:
Aldershot will be without Ben Harding after he limped out of Saturday’s game against Hereford and captain Adam Hinshelwood will also be out with a knee injury. Anthony Charles played in the reserves’ 1-0 win at Millwall in the week, but Waddock has said he’s still another week away from full fitness. Ben Herd is due back in training, but remains a doubt.
Player to watch: Marvin Morgan
The former Woking striker has started the season in superb form, attracting reported interest from League One side Swindon Town. With his size, strength and pace Marv is always a thorn in the side of opposition defenders and Saturday will be no different.
Port Vale Team News:
Left back Kris Taylor could make a return for Vale following a thigh injury, but James Lawrie and goalkeeper Joe Anyon are still out.
Player to watch: Marc Richards
The Vale striker has started the season well and currently leads the their goalscoring charts. His strength allows him to hold up the ball and bring others into the game as well has scoring goals. He netted a brace at Brammall Lane as Vale beat the Championship side 2-1.
Match Facts & Stats
Since re-forming in 1992 there have only been two meetings between the two clubs, which were both in League Two during the 2008/09 season. Aldershot won 1-0 at the Rec and the two sides drew 0-0 at Vale Park.
There were more meetings between Port Vale and Aldershot FC, as the sides met 53 times between 1938 and 1989. Overall Aldershot just shaded it over the years, winning 22, drawing 10 and losing on 21 occasions.
Match prediction: Both sides have made bright starts to the season, but I think Aldershot’s home form could be the difference between the two sides: Shots 1-0 Vale.
Aldershot Town – Next three fixtures.
Crewe Alexandra (A)
Cheltenham Town (H)
Torquay United (A)
Port Vale – Next three fixtures.
Scunthorpe United (A) – Carling Cup
Notts County (A)