Match Preview | Port Vale v Argyle
Argyle head to Vale Park on Sunday knowing that matching or bettering Ipswich Town's result on the day will ensure that the Sky Bet League One title will be heading back down to Devon afterwards.
Ipswich are a point behind Argyle, with a superior goal difference, so if the Tractor Boys produce a better result away to Fleetwood than the Greens do at Port Vale, it will be Ipswich who top the division. Both Argyle and Ipswich are already promoted.
Port Vale are 18th in League One, with 49 points, but are safe from relegation going into this game. They have won just one of their last ten games, which was a victory at home against Bristol Rovers, two games ago. At Vale Park, the Valiants have gained 29 points from their 22 games.
Notably, one of Vale's five wins on the road this season was at Home Park, against Argyle. They became the first side to win at the Theatre of Greens this season, and one of only two to do so all campaign. On that evening, Vale won 2-0 thanks to a pair of goals by striker James Wilson, not to be confused with the Argyle defender who bears the same name.
Wilson has four goals this season, and has not scored since then. Matty Taylor, who joined on loan from Oxford United in January, also has four, scoring them all in his last eight outings. Vale's top goalscorer is Ellis Harrison, who has 11 to his name.
Vale are managed by Andy Crosby, who has been the interim manager since Darrell Clarke's sacking on 17 April. Clarke had been the man in charge when Vale were promoted from League Two last season.
Crosby has been part of the coaching setup at Port Vale since March 2021, and stood in as manager during a period of bereavement for Clarke in 2022. He has been an assistant manager to Nigel Adkins at Scunthorpe United, Southampton, Reading, Sheffield United and Hull City. Crosby was also part of the coaching setup for Northern Ireland Under-21s.
As a player, Crosby most notably represented Scunthorpe, Oxford and Darlington, playing as the latter's captain when Argyle beat the Quakers in the 1996 Division Three play-off final.
“Cros (Andy Crosby) will be saying to them to go and play with freedom, express yourself and, with nothing to lose, go and stop the party. That will be his message, I’m guessing.
“They’re safe. I think they have been really good this season, Port Vale, for their first season in League One after getting promoted. There was a period where they weren’t playing well, and they sacked their manager, which was a surprise to me, but they are a good team.
“I’ve watched our game back, from when we played them last time. They were good, really well organised. They scored from a set piece, which is one of their main threats, and the second goal came from a counter-attack, which is a huge threat that they have got.”
Supporters who have already purchased a ticket for Sunday’s final game of the Sky Bet League One season, away to Port Vale, have until 3pm on Friday to collect from the Home Park Ticket Office.
Any tickets not collected by that point will be available for collection on match day at Vale Park, from 10am, at the away tickets kiosk outside of the away stand.
If you were expecting tickets to arrive in the post, and they have not arrived, please either call the Home Park Ticket Office on 01752 907700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by 3pm on Friday, 5 May and we can arrange duplicates for collection on Sunday as above.
A reminder that this game is sold out for Argyle fans. Supporters without a ticket should not travel to Port Vale under any circumstances.
Port Vale are hosting an away fans’ zone at Vale Park – more information on that can be found here.
A Strip for the Trip
Argyle will be wearing their mint third kit for this game.
The game will be covered on Argyle TV, with commentary from Charlie Price and David Fox, live from Vale Park. Richard Amofa and Brian McGlinchey will be on hand for a pre-match show which will be available for free on YouTube from 11am.
The game is available to stream for domestic and overseas supporters.