We turn our attentions to the weekend action with a full and in-depth preview of The Bluebirds' League Two trip to Vale Park.
Port Vale v Barrow
Saturday 16th October 2021, 3pm
Sky Bet League Two
Port Vale have quickly emerged as one of the teams to watch in League Two this season after boss Darrell Clarke revamped The Valiants’ squad over the summer months.
There is clearly a big ambition at Vale Park to take the club back into League One for the first time since their relegation in 2017 and they have made an encouraging start to the new campaign.
After proving hard to beat during the opening month, Vale burst into life in September when four straight wins was enough to lift them into the promotion picture and land Clarke a Manager of the Month award.
Clarke’s men looked all set to chalk up a fifth successive league win when they led 3-2 in the closing stages at Sutton United last weekend, only to concede twice in the last three minutes and eventually lose 4-3.
They will no doubt be keen to respond to that heartache this weekend when they welcome a Barrow side who will know they can leapfrog their fourth-placed hosts with a victory at Vale Park.
One To Watch
Jamie Proctor has hit the ground running since signing for Port Vale during the summer and the front man already has six League Two goals to his name this term.
The 29-year-old has been on target in each of his last two outings so comes into Saturday’s meeting with Barrow very much in form and a player that Mark Cooper’s men will need to keep an eye on.
Proctor initially came through the ranks with Preston North End but has played for several clubs across the EFL since then and finished last season on loan at Wigan Athletic from Rotherham United before linking-up with Vale.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will represent the 19th competitive meeting between the two clubs over the years in a rivalry which resumed after a 50-year absence last term.
Both games during 2020/21 were won 2-0 by the away team, with goals from Scott Quigley and Patrick Brough doing the damage for The Bluebirds during the last trip to Vale Park on Boxing Day.
However, that was one of only three triumphs that Barrow have enjoyed over their Staffordshire opponents – with the only other wins over Vale coming way back in the 1937/38 campaign.
Andy Woolmer will take in his first Barrow fixture of the season on Saturday when he’s the man in the middle for our League Two trip to Port Vale.
The experienced official has been on the EFL list of referees since back in 2004 and has spent much of the current campaign operating across the Championship but he will be at Vale Park this weekend.
Woolmer’s last appointment was at the start of the month when he oversaw Lincoln City’s 2-2 draw with Plymouth Argyle in a League One meeting at Sincil Bank.
Tickets for Saturday’s game are available to buy from The Dunes Hotel Stadium until 2pm on Friday, after which they will be available from Vale’s CASH-ONLY Ticket Kiosk on the day of the game.
We are unable to live stream games on iFollow in the UK on Saturday afternoons, though Bluebirds fans outside of the country can still access live footage on iFollow.
We will be providing live online audio commentary from every game this season as we continue our broadcast partnership with BBC Radio Cumbria.
Fans will be able to listen to expert Bluebirds commentator Adam Johnson, who will describe all the action as it unfolds during Saturday’s encounter at Vale Park.
You can purchase an Audio Match Pass for £2.50, an Audio Monthly Pass for £4.49 or sign-up for Audio Season Pass which provides all live commentary and video news for just £45.
The bookies have made Port Vale big 19/20 favourites for three points this weekend, with a Barrow victory rated a 13/5 shot and the draw priced up at 12/5 with our friends at Sky Bet.