It was some post-mortem from General Sarllito after watching his Boro’ side piss a two-goal lead up the wall indoors last weekend. Don’t you mind about how Crewe ended up leaving the Lamex with a point despite us having a healthy head-start going into the final 10. iPhones, our lack of “character and leadership” and seven minutes’ injury time all had a finger thrust in their direction. And, yet, the boogie comes out of it blameless?
“The modern generation; we are lacking more and more personality and character because we don’t engage with anyone,” laments the boss. This ain’t really a new thing, to be fair. Cliff said pretty much the same thing back in 1979, just a little more musically for our tastes. We’re very much Radio 2 in a Radio 1Xtra era after all. Anyway, let’s bin off the socio-political critique. There’s another away day to be fearing the bejeezus out of.
Port Vale v Stevenage: The Lowdown
Look past Barnet and Chesterfield’s face-palming efforts to close the gap between them and safety, there’s quite a royal relegation rumble shaping up beneath us. One point covers five teams; another two points and Yeovil are into the mix. If the Bees and the Spireites do get their act together, it’ll be quite a scrap. Anything that avoids a Woking trip next term, eh? Could Port Vale, however, pull us closer to it all this weekend.
P1 W0 D0 L1 F1 A2; last result: Stevenage 1-2 Lincoln City, 09/09/2017
The news that Anthony Backhouse is to take charge of this one is no Bitstarz bonus code, that’s for sure. On the one occasion he reffed us before, we blew a one-goal lead against a Lincoln side who had a man sent off and then not only equalised, but also took the lead. By the time Wilko saw red for us with eight minutes left, we’d already made grim work of our man ‘advantage’ during the half an hour that had gone before.
P8 W3 D3 L2 F10 A7; last result: Stevenage 2-0 Port Vale, 30/09/2017
If it ends up being a home win this weekend, it’ll be a small milestone in our head-to-head happenings. Our hosts have won two of our eight past meetings, which is hardly a kick in the knackers if you compare this to Boro’s three wins. Both victories, however, came in the FA Cup. Not yet have Port Vale claimed three points against us in a single league game. In fact, they haven’t even claimed three league points against us in total.
That’s not an invitation, by the way.
So how rubbish are Port Vale – and how bad could it be for us if we don’t get something from Vale Park? The Valiants are without a win in the last 11 league outings; most recently coming from a goal down to secure a precious point at Barnet. Their last four indoors, meanwhile, have finished all square. This may help manage your expectations, given those draws were against Morecambe, Newport, Colchester and Yeovil.
And, yet, the Valiants are only six points back from us. If they go against the current form, that gap becomes three (AWESOME maths. Ed.). Of course, it doesn’t really matter a massive amount if Barnet and Chesterfield can’t drag themselves out of the mire of their own making. It does make you think, though. If we can’t take at least a share of the spoils against a side who haven’t yet won a game in 2018, it could be some run-in.
We don’t mean that in a good way, either.
Can the bright colours from kickoff.co.uk make you feel any better about our weekend prospects?
• BoroGuide’s Port Vale club profile – after you’ve read it, why not talk about it with a stranger?