Date:Sunday December 24 2006
26 December 2006
Forest will be looking to end the year on a high and put an end to a barren spell that has seen them win only one of the last four League games. Although the Reds' are still two points clear at the top, a win will add some much needed confidence in a side suffering a dip in form. For the first time in many weeks, those in the chasing pack have Forest in their sights.
The first game between the two sides back in September ended all square 1-1, but the game will be best remembered for the sending off of Vale striker Michael Husbands. After taking out Julian Bennett with a neck high tackle, the Valiants protested the strikers innocence and something of a melee ensued. At the time both sides were battling it out for top spot, but since then the Stoke wannabees have fallen from grace and currently lie in 9th position, but only 1 point off a playoff place.
Despite the weekend defeat at Doncaster, manager Colin Calderwood was in no mood for negative thoughts as he told BBC Radio Nottingham, "The momentum has stalled and now Boxing Day at home is a very important game, but we will enjoy the victory and we will enjoy promotion."
Julian Bennett is expected to return after serving a one-match suspension. Defender John Curtis should also be available after coming through 90 minutes against Doncaster unscathed following an ankle knock.
Along with Smith, probably the only one to come out of the Donny game with any credibility. Once again his pace should frighten the Be-Jesus out of the Vale defence.
Vale boss Martin Foyle has a virtually fully-fit squad to choose from with only Jason Talbot (rib) sidelined.
And Michael Walsh, Nathan Lowndes and Richard Walker are all available again.
Not the most attractive player to watch, but the striker certainly knows where the net is. He has scored 16 goals in all competitions this season, so will have to be watched closely.
There have been a total of 46 meetings between the two sides over the years, that sees the Reds' on top with 22 victories, to Vales' 13. 12 of the matches have ended in draws. We did the double over them last year and fans will remember Vale Park, as the place where the 'Charlie and Frank' bandwagon got underway.
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Date:Sunday December 24 2006
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