After finding ourselves on the wrong end of the result on Saturday (again), is Revs drinking in the last chance saloon as Port Vale come to town? The signs aren’t looking at all good for us at the moment. But we said that before Bolton came and went with their three points. For all the talk of lessons learned after last season’s mess, it seems that we’re intent on proving that lightning can strike twice in the same place. And the storm clouds have long been gathering.
On paper, much like it was last season despite everything, this is a winnable fixture for Boro’. Or, at least it should be. Port Vale are hardly the finest team we’ll come up against during the course of the season. But it doesn’t count for a lot when you aren’t making nearly enough half-decent scoring chances – let alone taking ’em. We’re more than a quarter of the way into the season and three points from safety. Lose this and that gap could widen.
The question is then how much longer do you give it? And which heads really should roll…
The Details: Stevenage v Port Vale
Where’s the game?
It’s at the Lamex.
Can I watch Stevenage v Port Vale?
If you can bear to put yourself through it, you should know the iFollow drill by now.
How are Boro’ shaping up…?
New preview, old problems. Is there much point in us going over the same ground week-in, week-out? The story is still the same: we can’t score goals and we can’t keep them out either. We’re almost reduced to celebrating the fact our goal against Bolton was from open play. It’d been a long time in coming too. Anyway, here’s where we’re at – we’ve lost two-thirds of our home games and failed to score in that many too.
… and how are they doing right now?
The Valiants come to us looking to end a run of three straight defeats; one of which was a 1-0 reverse against Scunthorpe, who now sit just outside the League Two relegation zone thanks in part to our piss-poor form. But we can’t write Vale off. They are ninth, after all. Before this current run, the club had won three on the spin. Just imagine that! Three victories! Let alone back-to-back. We can’t remember the last time we did something like that.
If the season so far teaches us anything, it’s that Vale concede late on – if they do at all. With 13 goals against as things stand, their defence is one of the strongest. All but two of the 13 have gone in during the second half. Vale let in five in the first 15 minutes after the break and another five during the final 15. But doesn’t it all feel just a little bit academic with our record in front of goal? Well, never say never – ain’t that right?
Our story with Port Vale so far
Last season’s one-goal defeat was the first time that Vale had come to the Lamex and went home with the three points. Before that, we’d won two and drawn two. We’re not counting the FA Cup defeat against ’em in 2009. So, that puts us on two across the board for wins, draws and defeats. Overall, we shade the head-to-head with four wins to three – six draws taking us to 13 meetings in total. After unlucky number 13, now for lucky 14th…
Last Time Out: Stevenage 0-1 Port Vale, 11 January 2020
Who’s the referee in charge?
It’s the first time that Mr Howard has taken charge of a Boro’ match. So, we’ve nothing to go on but his record so far this season. In 11 games, he’s booked 36 players and sent off two. It’s a record that doesn’t seem to be all that out of the ordinary, to be honest.
Last Meeting: None
Stevenage v Port Vale: Our verdict?
One of us is going to end a rocky run of form by the time all is said and done in this one. It ain’t going to be us, however. Unless something magical happened in the three days since Saturday, we’ll huff and puff – but ultimately find no way through a pretty solid defence. It’s not set in stone that Vale will score, of course. But our instinct is they’ll get one – and that’s all it’ll take. For us, Stevenage 0-1 Port Vale.