Hereford v Port Vale preview

Date published: Friday 23rd December 2011 1:39

Michael Townsend is suspended for Hereford but his loss could be countered by the timely return of Stefan Stam.

Defender Townsend saw red for a second bookable offence in last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Plymouth and now serves a one-match ban at Edgar Street.

But manager Jamie Pitman is hoping to be able to call upon Stam to fill the gap with the influential Dutchman back in the frame having recovered from a lengthy absence with a knee problem. Whether he is match-fit remains to be seen.

Full-back Ryan Green missed out at Home Park due to a stomach bug but returned to training this week and is in contention to face Vale.

And with midfielder Joe Colbeck making his comeback from injury against Argyle last weekend, Townsend looks set to be the Bulls’ only absentee.

Gareth Owen will hope to fill the centre-back void left by Liam Chilvers for Port Vale.

Chilvers played the final game of his three-month loan spell last weekend as Micky Adams’ side romped to a 4-0 victory over Aldershot at Vale Park.

Owen had been due to make his comeback from an Achilles tendon injury and hernia surgery in a reserve-team game on Tuesday but the match was postponed. The 29-year-old has not played since Vale were beaten 2-0 at home by Swindon on November 5.

With Chilvers back at Notts County, Owen appears to face a straight fight with Clayton McDonald for the right to partner John McCombe at the heart of the defence. In his favour could be the fact McDonald’s short-term deal runs out after the away game at Macclesfield on New Year’s Eve.

Marc Richards could also be pushing for a start. The striker has recently returned from a troublesome ankle injury, coming off the bench as a second-half substitute in the last two matches.

Midfielders Lewis Haldane (broken leg) and Ryan Burge (knee) and on-loan striker Andrew Little (knee) continue their rehabilitation from long-term injuries.

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Hereford v Port Vale preview

Date published: Friday 8th October 2010 1:13

Hereford caretaker boss Jamie Pitman has virtually a full-strength squad at his disposal for the visit of leaders Port Vale.

Skipper Janos Kovacs (knee) and goalkeeper Dan Connor (hip) continue their rehabilitation from long-term injuries and miss out against Micky Adams’ side.

Striker Stuart Fleetwood watched Tuesday’s 3-0 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Exeter from the stands due to a back injury but he is expected to come back into the fold against the Valiants at Edgar Street.

Pitman, promoted to caretaker manager from physio, made three changes for what was his first match in charge just a day after Simon Davey’s sacking.

Fleetwood, Kenny Lunt and Sam Gwynne made way for Ryan Green, Joe Colbeck and Dominik Werling and it remains to be seen how Pitman will line up his side having had the rest of the week to prepare for his first-ever league game as manager.

Lewis Haldane is Port Vale’s only absentee against Hereford as top takes on bottom in League Two.

The wide man suffered a severe reaction to an insect bite over the summer which left him hospitalised, but he returned to full training for the first time towards the end of last month and is set to appear for the reserves next week as he looks to increase his fitness.

Manager Micky Adams made seven changes for Tuesday’s Johnstone Paint Trophy defeat at Carlisle from the side who went down 2-1 at Oxford last weekend, but he will return to his strongest XI against the Bulls.

Whether any of his fringe players did enough in midweek to force their way into Adams’ XI remains to be seen.

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