Port Vale (H) December 19th, 3pm

O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.


Well, we seem to have gelled, to have found our mojo (whatever that is). We might still be 11th in the League 2 table, but with six clubs separated by a single point it’s safe to say that we have become genuine play-off zone contenders - all we have to do now is to continue our current form, and who better to test us than Port Vale, who rattled in 6 goals at Bolton recently? Vale are only 3 points behind us, and will be keen to repeat the away form already mentioned. Their current form is:-

November 21st Newport County (A) Lost 1-0
November 24th Stevenage (A) Lost 2-1
November 28th Leyton Orient (H) Lost 2-3
December 5th Bolton Wanderers (A) Won 3-6
December 12th Colchester United (H) Drew 1-1
December 15th Forest Green Rovers (H) Drew 1-1

Connections between the two clubs are so numerous that almost 2 teams can be formed, including a Manager! On the managerial side Vale’s current boss John Askey is the son of Colin, who played for both teams way back. Lee Sinnott was in charge for a year (2007-08), and David “Ned” Kelly held the reins jointly with Chris Morgan for a month in 2017.

On the playing side, feast your eyes on this motley crew who’ve played for both clubs:-

Colin Askey (1958-62) Signed from Vale, moved on to Mansfield Town
Keith Ball (1966-68) Signed from Worcester City, moved on to Vale
Ken Beech (1981-83) Signed from Vale, moved to Peterborough United
Ally Brown (1983-84) Signed from Crystal Palace, moved on to Vale
Roy Cross (1966-70) Our juniors, then to Vale
Gary Ford (1989-90) On loan from Vale
Bobby Gough (1966-67) Our apprentice, moved on to Vale
Michael Husbands (2005-06) Signed from Southend United, moved on to Vale
Clayton McDonald (2009-11) ex-Manchester City, moved to Vale
Richard O’Kelly (1987-88) Signed from Vale, moved on to Grimsby Town
Ron Pountney (1972-73) Juniors, moved to Vale
Charles (“Tim”) Rawlings (1956-63) ex-West Bromwich Albion, moved to Vale
Tony Richards (1954-63) ex-Birmingham City, moved to Vale
(Take a moment and consider his record for us … 334 games, 185 goals !!!)
Hector Sam (2006-12) Signed from Vale, moved on to Notts County
Roger Smith (1st spell) Our apprentice, signed for Vale
(2nd spell) (1966-67) Signed from Vale, moved on to Nuneaton Borough
Danny Sonner (2007-08) Signed from Vale, moved on to Wrexham
Rhys Weston (2007-10) Signed from Vale, moved on to Dundee United
Steve Waddington (1978-82) Signed from Stoke City, moved on to Vale
Trevor Wood (1994-97) Signed from Vale, moved on to Hereford United
John Woodward (1969-73) Signed from Aston Villa, moved on to Vale

The prospect of an unchanged side for the 3rd successive game is very doubtful following Zak Jules’ injury sustained at Boundary Park. That game saw Hayden White introduced just before half-time, as the only defender (as opposed to midfielder) on the bench. The injury situation regarding George Nurse and Callum Cockerill-Mollett is unclear, but the good news is that Josh Gordon appears to be fully fit, and he takes a mean penalty.

Prediction? This game could be tighter than it initially seems, and to preserve our undefeated run a 1-1 draw would not be unacceptable … Elijaaaaahhhh to net for the Super Saddlers.



CCM is fit but not in favour at the minute but I would play him assuming both Nurse and Jules are injured.As to the match I think we will win by a small margin.2-1 being the most likely.

No reason why we shouldn’t be looking for 3 pts. They’re just starting to pick up again after a bad run, only player I fear reallly is McKirdy but he doesn’t seem to feature every game so don’t think he’s quite settled in the side yet.

Tough games in Salford and Carlisle coming up with Scunthorpe sandwiched inbetween so could do with 3 points from this then getting anything vs Salford would be good.

Christ, these lads must be really big!

Hoping that the only change is CCM being beckoned off the naughty step, and we continue looking more of a unit than we have at any point for the last 18 mon … no 3 years. I actually enjoy watching us at the minute.

I think both teams will keep it tight in an effort to preserve recent form.

We surely aren’t gonna win 4 in a row are we :joy:?

2-2 draw

Would of been good to of dropped to tier 2 today so we could go and watch a game live rather than ifollow … :unamused:

I think if we stick to what we’ve done the last few games we could actually nick a win

1 - 0


We still in tier 3 then? but our infection rate has come down loads, i think?

Weem on a roll
3-1 boom!

1 Like

Think you’ve had a few too many quarter pints of that there frothy Belgian Beer Belphs , but hey I do hope your prediction is better than mine , don’t think my nerves could manage the 1 nil I’ve predicted

1 Like

Any changes will be announced tomorrow morning but don’t hold your breath on that one I suspect.

Warwickshire and Solihull may get bumped up to 2 so quickly switch this to Damson Park!

1 Like

4-2 Walsall

In the list of players, one Bernie Wright is a notable absentee. Bert Llewellyn also played for both.

Didn’t Sir Ray come from Vale ?

I think we will batter these , I will go with 5-2 Who put the ball in the Vale’s net…

Indeed, you are correct on both counts. Unfortunately my reference only includes players who played for Walsall and Port Vale “adjacently”, i.e. signed to/from the two clubs. Bernie Wright (1st spell) came to us as an ex-Birmingham City player, moving on to Everton. We signed him back from Everton(1972) and he moved on to Bradford City (1977), and only moved to Vale after that. Bert Llewellyn played for us 1963-65, having signed from Northampton Town - he had previously been a Vale player, and after his stint with us he moved on to Wigan Athletic (probably non-League at that time).

Not quite!!. Ray’s playing career encompassed Bristol Rovers, Aston Villa, Coventry City, Washington Diplomats and Oxford United. He went on to manage Bristol Rovers and ourselves. He did hold some kind of a coaching position at Vale before coming to us in 1998 though, but perhaps it wasn’t senior enough to be shouted from the rooftops!

Another game that’s difficult to predict.
We’ve been playing some really good, attractive football lately and would love to extend the run for a few more games.
Am i guilty of being greedy? Possibly, but we don’t often get treated to football like this so let’s milk it for as long as we can.

1 Like

Going to be a tight game i think, 1-0 with another Mcdonald special

1 Like

They ay open Monday -Wednesday :slightly_frowning_face:

Predicted the last two wins, so I’m on a roll too.
As long as D.C. doesn’t get in his own way I can see good things happening :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

1 Like

I can remember Graydon coming to Walsall with Oxford in 79. He got into a tussle with Tony Macken,in the corner by the dressing room,and would have been sent off by the standards of today. The crowd’s reaction to him was a little less warm than it turned out 20 years later.

I expect a win here.

We now have a good number of players in form, something we’ve lacked for a long long time!

3-1 Saddlers