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Match Previews

Match Preview | Port Vale (A)

26 December 2022

The Shrimps play their final away game of 2022 on Monday 26 December as they travel to Stoke-on-Trent to take on Port Vale in Sky Bet League One.

In their last outing, Morecambe were beaten 2-1 by Plymouth last weekend. A fantastic team goal scored by Anthony O’Connor was too little to late for Derek Adams side on the day.

Port Vale’s last fixture was on Tuesday night when they were beaten 1-0 away from home by Salford City in the Roud of 16 stage of the Papa Johns Trophy.

The Opposition

Vale currently sit 12th in the division with eight wins, five draws and eight defeats after 21 league games, accumulating 29 points.

The Valiants were promoted to League One in May; Darrell Clarke’s side beat Mansfield Town 3-0 in last season’s League Two play-off final at Wembley to secure their place in the third tier.

Port Vale hold a unique record which hasn’t been achieved by anyone else in the English game. They are the only side in English football to have beaten all 91 other teams in the Premier League and EFL in a competitive league fixture.

Vale are managed by Darrell Clarke who spent his career playing as a midfielder for Mansfield, Hartlepool, Stockport and Rochdale. Clarke was on loan with Port Vale from Hartlepool in 2005, but only made one appearance for his current employers.

The 45-year-old’s managerial career started successfully earning promotion in his first job at Salisbury City. Clarke was in charge of Bristol Rovers when they were promoted back to the EFL in 2015 and promoted the Gas again out of League Two the following season. The former Mansfield man spent two years in charge of Walsall between 2019-21 before taking charge at Vale Park in February 2021.

Key Players

Striker Ellis Harrison has been the most prolific man in front of goal for Vale this season. Harrison has seven goals and one assist so far. The centre-forward began life in the EFL at Bristol Rovers where he scored 44 goals in 185 appearances. Since leaving the West Country, he had spells with Ipswich, Portsmouth and Fleetwood before joining Port Vale in the summer.

Harrison’s strike partner James Wilson is another danger man in Darrell Clarke’s squad. Wilson learned his trade at Manchester United. He joined the United academy in 2002 and between 2014-19, he made 15 appearances and scored three goals for the Red Devils. While at Old Trafford, Wilson had loan spells with Brighton & Hove Albion, Derby County, Sheffield United and Aberdeen. The 27-year-old moved permanently to Aberdeen in 2019, then spent a year with Salford before moving to Vale Park in 2021.

Forward Daniel Butterworth has had a productive season in League One so far. The 23-year-old has three goals and two assists in 14 appearances. Butterworth is on loan from Blackburn and spent last season on loan at Fleetwood Town where he made 12 appearances and scored once. The Mancunian has beaten last seasons tally and his goal was the difference in Vale’s 1-0 win over Charlton at the end of November.

Derek Adams’ Pre-Match Thoughts

Derek Adams said his side are looking forward to a busy festive period.

He said: “Every game is key, from the start of the season to the end of the season.

“From our point of view, we are looking forward to this period, three games in a short space of time which gives us an opportunity to get points on the board.”

Team News

Derek Adams has no fresh injury concerns. The Shrimps will be without Ash Hunter and Courtney Duffus who are slowing beginning fitness work but are not expected back until February.

Meet The Officials

Simon Mather will be in charge of the game on Boxing Day. He will be assisted by Bradley Hall and Nik Barnard.

Mather has officiated 17 games so far this season, seven in League Two, five in League One, two in the FA Cup and Papa Johns Trophy respectively and one in the Carabao Cup.

The official last refereed Morecambe during October's 1-0 over Barnsley at the Mazuma Stadium.

Admission

Tickets are available on the day through the Port Vale website only until 14:45, no cash or card payments will be available on the day at Vale Park. Visit here for full details

Watch The Match Live

If you're not travelling to Port Vale, you can purchase a match pass to watch all of the action live via iFollow Shrimps. Simply click below for full details on how to purchase a match pass.

iFollow Call To Action 2.jpg


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