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Match Previews


11 December 2015

The Iron will be hoping to return to winning ways when they travel to Port Vale on Saturday.

In their last league outing, United suffered a disappointing 4-0 defeat at home to promotion chasing Peterborough.

They will hope to bounce back against a Port Vale side that has lost their last two, including a shock cup defeat to Exeter.

This came after an impressive run of four consecutive wins in League One, seeing Vale pull into the top half and four points off the play-offs.

The Iron are in 14th place and are three points off their hosts, but could climb back into the top half with a victory.

Mark Robins will be without attacker Gary McSheffrey after he went through surgery on a knee problem.

The Iron boss did not put a timescale on his absence, but he will be missing along with fellow attacker Tom Hopper.

Midfielder Jamie Ness has returned to action though, and Stephen Dawson is also back training ahead of the Christmas schedule.

Defender David Mirfin is also a doubt, but he is close to a first team return.

After a slow start to his Port Vale career Ajay Leitch-Smith has hit a great patch of form of late to spearhead the club’s surge up the table.

He was on the shortlist for the League One Player of the Month award for November, following five goals in four games.

The striker started his career at fellow League One side Crewe, coming through their academy and going on to play over 100 times for the club.

Leitch-Smith left Crewe in 2014 though, joining Yeovil on a two-year deal, but it did not really work out for the striker.

He left Yeovil at the end of last season following their relegation to League Two, before joining Vale on a one-year deal at the start of the campaign.

The last time the Iron travelled to Vale Park, they played out an entertaining 2-2 draw last season with their hosts.

Midfielder Neal Bishop gave United an early lead, but it was swiftly cancelled out by Ben Williamson’s header on seven minutes.

Vale turned it around in the second half, with substitute Chris Birchall putting them ahead with just 20 minutes remaining.

The Iron’s task of salvaging a point became harder when Jennison Myrie-Williams was dismissed minutes after Vale took the lead.

That did not deter United, and they got a valuable point when Lyle Taylor headed home with ten minutes remaining.

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