County travel to League Two Port Vale tonight for the second round of the Pointless Paint Pot Trophy.
The Hatters were drawn against the Valiants for the second year running in this competition, with last year’s tie being played at Edgeley Park as Leon McSweeney grabbed the only goal to see County through.
And tonight will be equally as pointless, made a bit more bearable by giving the younger kids a run out and boosting the club’s coffers by around 6£6k if Gary Ablett can mastermind a second round victory.
Port Vale coach Mark Grew: ‘We’ll be going into the game as strong as we possibly can, as will Stockport.’
‘Wembley is a great incentive for the players.’
‘No disrespect to them, but it’s probably the only chance they’ll have of getting to Wembley, so I’m assuming they’ll take it as seriously as we are.’
Gary Ablett: ‘We’ll make changes for the game,’ said a thoughtful Ablett.
‘I think you could see some of the players looked tired on Saturday.’
‘We’ll give some of the lads who haven’t played a lot of football a chance, and we may even bring one or two of the younger boys from the youth team onto the bench.’
‘I know the game brings about £6,000 or £7,000 into the club but our next important game is next Monday against Tranmere and that’s the game we need to concentrate on, so we will make changes.’
Port Vale Team News:
Striker Jamie Guy has been included in Port Vale’s squad for tonight’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy home tie with Stockport County after securing a loan move from Colchester United.
The 22-year-old has joined on a three-month loan deal from the League One side, and will stay at Vale Park until January 6.
Midfielder Rob Taylor has recovered from a virus.
Player to watch: Gareth Owen
Ex-County skipper fell out with ex-boss Jim Gannon last season and was swiftly kicked out to join League One Yeovil on loan, only to return to training with the Hatters and go on to join Port Vale.
Owen, the first person to ever captain a County side to a win at Wembley, will receive a good ovation from the travelling County fans if he makes the squad.
County Team News:
Oli Johnson won’t be risked for the game as County prepare for Monday night’s televised trip to strugglers Tranmere.
Gary Ablett will make wholesale changes for the tie, though a ruling introduced in 2007 states that teams must field 6 first team regulars of face a fine.
Player to watch: –
I would love to hazard a guess, but as I have no idea what sort of team Mr Ablett will put out, I’d hate to make a fool of myself by ordering you to keep your eye on someone who isn’t even in the squad!
Match Facts & Stats
Vale – 6/4
Draw (After 90 minutes) – 23/10
County – 9/5
Hopefully not as much of a clueless idiot as Mr Bratt, our esteemed official from the defeat to Southend on Saturday.
3-1 County. Throw the youngsters in there and let’s have a look what they’re made of!
Tranmere vs COUNTY
Monday 12th October
K.O 7:45pm (Live on Sky Sports 2 and HD 2)