Big weekend, innit. Our hopes of making the playoffs died, and then – on the third game – came back again like some sort of miracle. What’s that all about? If only there was some metaphor we could make of it. Y’know, such as a religious festival we could compare it to? Or that sort of thing perhaps? For our sins then, it’s off to Stoke’s second team we go. It’s the cross we have to bear if we’re gonna actually do this and rise into the playoffs.
Port Vale v Stevenage: The Lowdown
We’ll stub out the Easter gags now. We’ve all had a few. Four day weekend – so getting on it early. That lad Bob Hoskins could tell you a thing or two about a long Good Friday. Well, he’s dead now. But you catch our drift? It’s a tricky trip, but they all are (as are the home games) when you simply can’t afford to put a foot wrong. It’s five points the gap, four games to go, three days and two games. What does that make one? Hmm. Who cares.
P10 W3 D5 L2 F12 A9; last result: Stevenage 0-0 Port Vale, 23/10/2018
Boro’ had their chances against Vale under midweek lights earlier this term. But we took none of ’em, and got nothing more than a lonely point in return. It means the last two between us have ended all-square. If you had deleted it from your mind memory, we were two goals to the good up at Vale Park last season – but didn’t see it out. Still, our hosts this Good Friday are still without a first league win over us. Let’s keep it that way, eh?
P20 W11 D5 L4 F36 A19; last result: Stevenage 3-1 Colchester United, 06/10/2018
It’s as good a ref pick as we’d probably want for a Good Friday game. Under the watchful gaze of Nick Kinseley, we tend to thrive more often than not. The last three of ours he’s taken charge of have been comfortable wins: 5-2, 4-1 and – most recently – a 3-1 win indoors against Colchester. It almost sounds too good to be true. And it has us worried our good fortune with Mr Kinseley is due to run out now. Say it ain’t so, Nick. Say it ain’t so…
It’s a rarer treat than we’d prefer this season, but we’ll take it all the same. Boro’ bounce into Vale Park off the back of two wins in two, but you knew that already – didn’t you? For Port Vale, however, it’s been a mixed bag. But of course it has. It’s not as if being 17th is the hallmark of consistency. Their 2-0 defeat at Exeter last time out did us no favours in our belated push for the playoffs, and it also ended their own run of two straight wins.
Vale’s home form is among the worst in the division. Only Yeovil and Notts County have collected fewer points on home turf this season. But no side has scored fewer than their 36 goals – though you can never be too sure how charitable this Boro’ side can be. See also: Notts County at home. Vale’s defence is fairly tight, but most of the goals they’ve let in have been at home. And half of their visitors this season have left with all three points.
So, can we too? Please?
We’ve got the latest form once again from the folks at kickoff.co.uk…
• MORE ABOUT ‘EM: Port Vale club profile