Good afternoon from Vale Park as Neil Aspin’s Valiants complete their home fixtures with a game against Carlisle United.
The Valiants are safe after last week’s 1-1 draw at Mansfield ensured they won’t go down, but they still want to finish the season on a high, both this afternoon and next Saturday away to Cambridge United.
Neil Aspin plans to make a couple of changes so he can take a look at players with next season in mind, but he has stressed the importance of Vale finishing strongly. So, how will they get on against a Carlisle side who have just fallen short of the play-offs?
I’m The Sentinel’s Port Vale FC reporter Mike Baggaley and am blogging LIVE from the game, so follow me for all the build up, action and reaction….
Fan’s view – by Joe Baker, from Cheadle
I am delighted we have clinched survival and can put these last two seasons behind us.
It’s been a torrid couple of years to be a Vale fan, and hopefully, under Aspo, we can begin to look up the Football League as opposed to down. However, its easier said than done.
Priority number one is for Mr Smurthwaite to do as he promised back in November and back the manager. The signings of Hannant, Howkins, and Angus all seem to be fairly astute given limited resources. If financially supported, I fully anticipate Aspin and Rudge to unearth a few more gems.
A GK to challenge Hornby, a creative midfielder, and a pacey striker in between the ages of 23-28 have to be our three main targets.
It appears we’re stuck with Norm for the time being, and we can only hope he understands the damage his decision making has done in the past, and is far more rational this summer. We’re still recovering from the Bruno debacle, but it appears with the current set up that the dark days may finally be over.
The Carlisle team
It looks like the Vale will be playing 4-4-2, with Dior Angus and Ben Whitfield out wide.
If that is the case, then Angus has done well playing for the reserves wide right so let’s see how he gets on.
It’s good to see youngsters Mike Calveley and Harry Benns on the bench. First year pro Calveley is a central midfielder while youth teamer Benns is a a versatile forward. I’ve seen Benns play for the reserves a few times and he is a good player. He’s played wide left most when I have seen him. He looks an intelligent player with good movement and can pick a pass.
Port Vale manager Neil Aspin has made three changes to his starting line up as Dior Angus, Dan Turner and Ben Whitfield replace Charlie Raglan, David Worrall and Michael Tonge.
The Vale: Hornby; Gibbons, Smith, Howkins, Pugh, Kay, Hannant; Whitfield, Turner, Pope, Angus.
Subs: Howe, David, Barnett, Boot, Calveley, Tonge, Benns.
Good afternoon all
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