Twenty-eight year old Tom Pope has enjoyed a fruitful spell in front of goal since signing for hometown club Vale on a permanent basis in 2011. Pope had previously spent time with Crewe Alexandra and Rotherham United with relative success, but he has certainly found his rightful place at Vale Park becoming the first player in Port Vale history to win Player of the Year in consecutive seasons in 2013 & 2014. An incredible start to 2014/15 has seen Pope not only score five goals in five games, but also achieve a perfect score in Sky Sports' two-footed corner challenge.
Willamson began his professional career at the Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain after being discovered playing for Worthing while studying a Mathematics & Business Studies degree at the University of Brighton. He signed for Hyde in 2011 but was immediately loaned to Vale, where his move was made permanent twelve months later. Williamson scored his first career hat-trick in the last round against Hartlepool and has began the season alongside Pope in attack.
Last round: Coventry City 1-2 Cardiff City Wednesday 13th August 2014, Capital One Cup
Experience and youth combined superbly at Sixfields on Wednesday evening as City defeated Coventry 2-1 in a highly competitive match. New signing Guido Burgstaller slotted his first Cardiff goal home after four minutes. Ryan Haynes’ own goal after eight-one minutes looked to have settled the match, but forward Shaun Miller’s neat finish made it a tense final few moments, but Ole’s men held on to set up a second round clash with Port Vale.
Moore, Barnum-Bobb (Harris, 66), John, Connolly, Théophile-Catherine, Eikrem, Burgstaller (Daehli, 66), Gunnarsson, Maynard, Kim (O’Sullivan, 84), Ralls. Subs Not Used:
Wilson, Velikonja, James, Owen.
Port Vale: DDWWDL
Last round: Port Vale 6-2 Hartlepool United - Tuesday 12th August 2014, Capital One Cup
Ben Williamson's first half hat-trick set up a comfortable win over Port Vale against League Two Hartlepool in the League Cup first round. Williamson put Vale in front fem six yards before Jonathan Franks levelled spectacularly for Pools. Two further close range efforts from Williamson put the hosts in firm control at the break. Neil Austin's penalty reduced the gap to just one but Michael Brown slotted home his first Vale goal to reestablish his sides two goal advantage. Forward Tom Pope scored a late brace to seal victory for Micky Adams' side.
Port Vale: Johnson, Veseli, Dickinson, Lines, Robertson, McGivern, Birchall (Jennings, 65), O'Connor (Brown, 45), Williamson (Dodds, 73), Pope, Marshall. Subs Not Used: Neal, Yates, Duffy, Lloyd.
LAST COMPETITIVE MEETING
2002/03: Tuesday 25th February 2003, Division Two: Port Vale 0-2 Cardiff City
City left Stoke-On-Trent with all three points, defeating Port Vale 2-0 in a competitive match at Vale Park. The Bluebirds broke the deadlock when Gavin Gordon bundled the ball home after Graham Kavanagh's free kick was well saved. Lennie Lawrence's side put the game beyond their opponents after sixty-four minutes. Forward Peter Thorne met Kavanagh's corner with a bullet header to seal all three points.
Cardiff did the league double over Port Vale that year - the August 2002 Ninian Park fixture a 3-1 Bluebirds win with City favourites Thorne, Fortune-West and Legg scoring.
Cardiff City: Alexander, Weston, Barker, Young, Croft, Bonner, Boland, Thorne, Earnshaw, Gordon, Kavanagh. Subs: Legg, Bowen, Mahon, Jenkins, Margetson.
Port Vale: Delaney, Carragher, Clarke, Collins, Rowland, Brisco, Boyd, Bridge-Wilkinson, Armstrong, McPhee, Brooker. Subs: Goodlad, Durnin, Burns, Paynter, Littlejohn.
Tickets for the match are still available - please note that Cardiff City fans can pay on the gate at Port Vale