Noah Dougherty
Friday 07 September 2018

Forest Green Rovers continue their 2018/19 League Two campaign tomorrow when The New Lawn plays host to Port Vale.

On the back of their excellent 4-0 win over Cheltenham Town on Tuesday, Mark Cooper and his side will be hoping to continue that form by getting a positive result against The Valiants.

Here is all you need to know ahead of tomorrow’s game:

What we said:

“This league is unforgiving and at any time you can get turned over so we have to be on our guard. I watched Port Vale’s game against Newport County and I have to say they were unlucky,” said Mark Cooper.

“They (Port Vale) had some really good opportunities go just the wrong side of the post and a blatant penalty appeal for handball turned down by the referee which gave the handball against us at the start of the season against Grimsby.

“Port Vale have a very potent strike-force with the likes of Ricky Miller and Tom Pope. I for one love Pope and think he’s brilliant. A real old-fashioned centre forward, good in the air and a great character.

“Within our squad we have a steely determination to show that, although we are a small club in stature, we have the character to be near the top and compete.”

What they said:

Vale manager Niel Aspin spoke to the media ahead of his side’s trip to Nailsworth and he said:

"We need to get a result and Forest Green have improved. They improved last year from January where they brought in a lot of players, they've continued to improve their squad, and they've grown used to playing at this level.

"So we go there now against a much better Forest Green and one that is capable of doing well... we went there (last year) and found it difficult, didn't make any chances and lost to a goal from outside the box.

"It's all about confidence and I have to try and make sure that our players are confident when they go out on Saturday and they put on a good display. We certainly need to have more as an attacking threat then we did in our last away game."

Reuben Reid vs Port Vale

Injury news:

Forest Green Rovers

It is once again a clean bill of health for Mark Cooper and his squad ahead of tomorrow’s game as FGR remain injury and suspension free.

Port Vale

Midfielders Tom Conlon and Manny Oyeleke are both doubtful for Saturday, the Vale boss stating that he is ‘proceeding very cautiously’.

Left-back Cristian Montaño is also ruled out of action so won’t feature at The New Lawn.

About: Port Vale

After a busy summer in the transfer market, Port Vale have had a mixed start to the Sky Bet League Two season, with only two wins to their name so far.

Without a win in the last three fixtures and struggling for form away from home, Neil Aspin will be hoping his side can pick up a positive result this weekend.

The return of Ben Whitfield on a permanent deal has excited supporters after he impressed whilst on loan from AFC Bournemouth last season. Lewis Hardcastle was also drafted in to add strength to the midfield and both could prove key.

Aspin also brought in experienced figures in the form of Luke Joyce and Leon Legge to compliment the younger, less experienced members of the squad. Tom Pope still acts as the focal point up front, but Ricky Miller has also shown glimpses of his potential.

Despite defeat at home to Newport County last weekend, there were plenty of positives to take from the performance and the mood around the camp remains high. Forest Green will provide more stiff opposition, but the Valiants will be eager to end their away hoodoo.

Tom Pope

Key player: Tom Pope

33-year-old Tom Pope has plenty of experience in League Two and has claimed Port Vale’s Player of the Season award a record three times.

He is a highly thought of centre forward who demonstrates good hold-up play and ability in the air and is currently leading Port Vale’s scoring chart for the 2018/19 season with three goals.


The two sides have faced each other three time in competition and have each won game.

Port Vale emerged victorious in the first meeting between the sides in a 2012 FA Cup clash before the two sides met again last season with the game at Vale Park ending 1-1 before FGR claimed their home game 1-0.


Full commentary of the match will be available on BBC Radio Gloucestershire as well as through the club’s digital audio offering– FGR LIVE.

Stay up to date on Twitter by following @FGRFC_Official, which will have all of the team news before kick-off and updates throughout the game.

There will also be key updates and team news on Facebook. Round-up the clash by checking out the club website where there will be a full report looking back on the encounter.