After the poor finish of the FA Cup second round game at 10-man (for the last 30 minutes) Shrewsbury last Saturday which also meant Stags FA Cup exit this time around, the side now face Port Vale in the EFL Trophy for the second time in three years. In October 2016, the Stags won thanks to a Matt Green strike midway through the second-half at Vale Park. And from the then Stags line-up, Benning, Pearce and Hamilton are still at the Stags.
Port Vale, on the other hand, progressed to the third round of the FA Cup thanks to an eight-minute Tom Pope hat-trick in the second half to dump Cheltenham out at their place at the first attempt. If selected on Tuesday night, Pope will be a player to watch out for.
While the Stags needed a win over 90 minutes at Burton to progress from EFL Trophy group stage and managed that to a 2-1 scoreline a few weeks ago, Port Vale won all their group matches with Shrewsbury, Macclesfield and finally Newcastle U 21 as the Valiants’ final group opponents. Will Atkinson, now in his second spell at Vale after a brief loan one in 2007 before his first Stags spell, played for Port Vale against Newcastle a few weeks ago. Will also be interesting to see which teams both managers will field on Tuesday night. The previewer expects a few changes in the Stags line-up compared to the one which faltered badly at the end of the Shrewsbury game last Saturday.
In the past, Port Vale have past been FA Cup giant-killers on a few occasions. Semi-finalists in 1953-54, beating Tottenham 2-1 at home in front of many Swedish TV viewers in the fourth round on January 30, 1988, to name just a few. But Vale themselves were also victims of one. In 2007-08, Chasetown became the lowest-ever ranked club to reach the third round, by beating Port Vale 1-0 in the final minute of normal time during a fixture in which Port Vale missed two penalties. One of the Chasetown players, Kyle Perry, was later to be one of quite a few players appearing for both sides (31 games, no goals for Port Vale and 30 games, 9 goals for the Stags). More recently, Perry played for then National League North side Worcester City, themselves FA Cup giant killers by beating Liverpool 2-1 in 1959 and more recently, Coventry away in the first round a few seasons ago. Latest known club address for Perry is Stafford Rangers.
And following the Tottenham FA Cup KO, Vale had their best FL spell in post-war history. Between 1989-90 and 1999-2000, Vale played nine seasons at current Championship level, managed for almost fifteen years by John Rudge. He oversaw the Vale promotion from Division Four together with the Stags under Ian Greaves in 1985-86 and both promotions to the current Championship as well as the 1987-88 FA Cup run. When Rudge left, Billy Dearden was Vale boss for a few days in January 1999.
While Vale’s best FA Cup run was in 1953-54, the Stags had theirs during the 1968-69 campaign, beating sides like Sheffield United and West Ham on the way to the quarter-finals, then beaten at home by eventual finalists Leicester City.
Quite a few players have appeared for both sides. One of the most recent ones is Dimitar Evtimov, who scored a Stagsnet 10 rating in a memorable game at AFC Wimbledon nearly five years ago. He played for Vale against Swindon on an emergency loan a few weeks before the clash at Vale Park last campaign. Also the 2013 Spireite killer, Calvin Andrew, has played for Vale. Also Tyler Walker played for Vale recently, a handful of games but was unable to prevent relegation three seasons ago.
Played for both sides: Adnan Ahmed, Calvin Andrew, Colin Askey, Will Atkinson, Thomas Baxter, Gary Brazil, Louis Briscoe, Darrell Clarke, Lee Collins, Wayne Corden, Colin Daniel, Craig Davies, Syd Dickinson, Dimitar Evtimov, Gary Ford, Exodus Geohaghon, Kenneth Griffiths, Ray Harford, Michael Hopkinson, Kyle Howkins, Arthur Jepson, Henry Jones, Kevin Kent, Adrian Littlejohn, Neil Mackenzie, John McCombe, Johnny Miller, Ricky Miller, Ernie Moss, Harry Oscroft, Krystian Pearce, Kyle Perry, George Pilkington, Kevin Pilkington, Nicky Platnauer, Gary Pollard, Andy Porter, George Poyser, Jazz Rattray, Gary Roberts, John Rowland, Jake Speight, Freddie Steele, Richard Sutton, Allen Tankard, Robert Taylor, Arjan van Heusden, Tyler Walker.
Managed both sides: Freddie Steele (managed the Stags when they reached the 5th round in the FA Cup 1950-51 and Port Vale when they reached the semi-finals three seasons later, then another spell at Port Vale in the early 60’s), Billy Dearden (for four days following the resignation of long-serving John Rudge in January 1999).
Billy Frith has also managed Port Vale, and did so in the 1945-46 season in which no FL games were played.
For stats on EFL fixtures between the sides over the years in both sections of the old third division as well as in current League One and current League Two, see the preview of the September League game at Vale Park.
Below are the cup stats between the sides.
1985-86 1-1 1985-11-16 1st round at Field Mill
1985-86 0-1 1985-11-18 1st round replay at Vale Park
2016-17 1-0 2016-10-04 Group stage at Vale Park
Come on Mansfield!