PREVIEW: Port Vale (A)

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Leyton Orient start the month with a trip up north to face fourth place, Port Vale in League Two at 3pm on Saturday.

Paul Smyth is set to travel to Vale Park after a month out with a hamstring injury. Tom James is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card against Mansfield Town last week.

THE VALIANTS

Port Vale didn’t enjoy the best start to the season. Vale opened the season winless in their first four league games of the campaign and were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Sunderland. The Valiant’s have turned their form around in recent weeks –  winning four of their last six games, a run which included top of the table Forest Green Rovers and third place Harrogate Town. Vale currently find themselves fourth and one point from Orient and the automatic promotion spots.

Darrell Clarke’s team earned a hard fought win last time out away at Scunthorpe United, thanks to a Ben Garrity goal on the stroke of half-time.

KEY PLAYERS

Summer signing Jamie Proctor has enjoyed life at Port Vale this season and has already made his mark on the team. The striker has scored five goals in ten games in all competitions, so far this season, including a brace against top of the league Forest Green Rovers. The 29-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the League Two side from Rotherham United.

Another new signing that is already showing his quality this season is Ben Garrity. The 24-year-old joined The Valiants this summer from Championship side Blackpool. The box-to-box midfielder never played for Blackpool but played 29 games for Oldham last season in League Two, scoring twice. Garrity only turned professional last season having worked as an engineer for five years while playing non-league football. This year he has already scored three goals for Port Vale to help push them up the table.

Port Vale have currently conceded the second least amount of goals this season having let in 6 goals a record only Tranmere better with three. The Valiant’s great defensive performances can be partly put down to keeper, Lucas Covolan. The Brazilian is most famous for his last gasp equaliser he scored in the National League play-off final last season for Torquay United, although they eventually lost on penalties to Hartlepool United. Covolan did however get to move into League Two as he signed for Port Vale over the summer. The 30-year-old has already kept five clean sheets in his first nine games for the club. He has the joint most clean sheets in the league this season tied with Cameron Dawson of Exeter City and Liam Roberts of Northampton.

KENNY JACKETT

Kenny Jackett gives his thoughts ahead of this weekend’s away trip to Port Vale, as well as the latest news on Paul Smyth and Orients bright start to the season.

THE OFFICIALS

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Assistants: Mark Cunliffe and Christopher Kidd

Fourth Official: Robert Atkin

Sarginson has refereed nine games this season across League One and Two as well as the Papa John’s Pizza Trophy. He has shown 30 yellow cards and 1 red so far this season.

The official was last involved in an Orient game when the O’s beat Barrow 2-0 at the Breyer Group Stadium last season.

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