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Match Thread: Stevenage v Port Vale

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29 minutes ago, TJHValiant said:

Not a great match, but games against Westley never are. Stevenage won’t go down because he turns every match into a greasy pig mud wrestling contest. 

I heard mutterings in the crowd saying Worrall had gone off the boil. I don’t  believe that, I think today against Stevenage he struggles against their physical players. He did well to win the pen. 
 

This was a poor match but a great win. Defensively we were great, with Legge, Smith etc being excellent. Again some moans about us passing around in our own box, but we always looked secure. 
 

The lack of Askey subs was mentioned but I don’t think it mattered in the end as we got the win. 
 

A final note. Our away following was really loud and heard on RS it was about 300? No way. That stand was well over half full. I’d say we had about 500 in there. It was incredible support given the distance. The Man City factor certainly swelling the numbers. 


 

Looked like 250-300 to me, and although Worrall is still an excellent player, I do feel there's been a slight decline since the news of his ongoing hip issue was announced.

Don't get me wrong; he's still up there for player of the season and still contributes loads, but isn't quite as all-action and creative as he was in October/November, in my view.

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2 minutes ago, Joe B said:

Looked like 250-300 to me, and although Worrall is still an excellent player, I do feel there's been a slight decline since the news of his ongoing hip issue was announced.

Don't get me wrong; he's still up there for player of the season and still contributes loads, but isn't quite as all-action and creative as he was in October/November, in my view.

I’d agree with Oct/Nov peak, certainly he isn’t hitting those heights but yes, not in a slump either. 
 

The crowd seemed bigger than my previous visits. Three coaches this time at least and the stand is meant to hold 1,400, yet we had a healthy number throughout most of the stand except the last quarter, which had our flags. 

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43 minutes ago, TJHValiant said:

Not a great match, but games against Westley never are. Stevenage won’t go down because he turns every match into a greasy pig mud wrestling contest. 

I heard mutterings in the crowd saying Worrall had gone off the boil. I don’t  believe that, I think today against Stevenage he struggles against their physical players. He did well to win the pen. 
 

This was a poor match but a great win. Defensively we were great, with Legge, Smith etc being excellent. Again some moans about us passing around in our own box, but we always looked secure. 
 

The lack of Askey subs was mentioned but I don’t think it mattered in the end as we got the win. 
 

A final note. Our away following was really loud and heard on RS it was about 300? No way. That stand was well over half full. I’d say we had about 500 in there. It was incredible support given the distance. The Man City factor certainly swelling the numbers. 


 

Conlon won the penalty, not Worrall 

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Scrappy game - looked 0-0 all the way through

We started ok then got dragged into a poor quality scrap

Thought defence did ok and midfield were steady

Pope struggled to hold the ball against physical defenders but never looked like missing the penalty

Worrall was a good outlet but on the other side Amoo never got into the game. He doesn’t seem to offer himself to receive the ball meaning we end up just playing down one side of the field

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Played well early on and thought only a matter of time and we will score but then it got into a real battle.

That’s Stevenage and what they do so won’t be too critical that it wasn’t pleasing on the eye and I’m more pleased that for once we managed to find a way to get the win against them and their style of play.

Smith was superb as was Leggey and Gibbons. Conlon had a decent game.

We’ve played better and not won so to get a result was good and hopefully we can keep the run going and beat Morecambe.

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1 hour ago, Joe B said:

Considering the skepticism pre-season, his age, and what will be pretty cheap wages, he's been an excellent signing. Doesn't give the ball away and hard working.

We need more signings like this from Askey and less of the likes of Cullen and Lloyd.

Can't recall this lad ever really letting us down. Putting Taylor out of my thoughts because he clearly has no likely future at The Vale beyond April, Burgess,if given the right support and encouragement,  wouldn't be too far behind him, given how they've both developed together. He's a young man doing everything he can to be worthy of keeping his starting place, so good on him. 

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Will take the 3 points all day long! Sounded like a scrappy game, which was to be expected from Stevenage away. 

As a few others have said, we seem to be a little short from a PO team, but you just never know in this league. We have certainly got the base of hardworking players and are more balanced than I’ve seen us in a long time. 

Now we are a well run club, you never know who might become available in January and fancies joining us. I think we just need an extra bit of quality to give the PO’s a serious push.

Overall, a world apart from last season and with points on the board, it gives us a great platform for the rest of the season. 

Its great to see the progress being made on and off the pitch. UTV. 

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Not sure the issue is being attractive other clubs just aren't going to release or make available the better quality players. I'll be pleasantly surprised with one quality upgrade in January, 3 most fans want just isn't realistic. Danger is you spend the money on a player you wouldn't touch in the summer. We are in a position to compete for any better players who are available but also in a position where most available players won't really improve us. For example Atkinson isn't a bad player who would improve most of the lower teams midfield and he's 6th choice when everyone is fit. The position I think we might get lucky is a new winger, there are quite a few right sided players in particular around the lower leagues who are more consistent than Amoo. Good left backs and centreforwards are pretty short supply.

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3 minutes ago, JRC said:

Not sure the issue is being attractive other clubs just aren't going to release or make available the better quality players. I'll be pleasantly surprised with one quality upgrade in January, 3 most fans want just isn't realistic. Danger is you spend the money on a player you wouldn't touch in the summer. We are in a position to compete for any better players who are available but also in a position where most available players won't really improve us. For example Atkinson isn't a bad player who would improve most of the lower teams midfield and he's 6th choice when everyone is fit. The position I think we might get lucky is a new winger, there are quite a few right sided players in particular around the lower leagues who are more consistent than Amoo. Good left backs and centreforwards are pretty short supply.

I was thinking more like Championship players who aren’t getting a game. Would be a big step down, but they might do it for 4 months to get game time. 

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9 minutes ago, Biddulph_PV said:

I wonder whether the lack of sub’s was in part Askey sending a message to the fringe players following Tuesdays debacle???

Rightly or wrongly Askey doesn't do a lot of substitutions.

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6 minutes ago, Boslem's Brazil said:

I was thinking more like Championship players who aren’t getting a game. Would be a big step down, but they might do it for 4 months to get game time. 

Only time that happens is rarely at the end of a transfer window. We aren't going to fund 50% of a half decent championship player's wage. I'm sure they are looking at under 23s but it's always a gamble and there are more flops than Jake Taylor's.

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Just back and, after after a terrible, scrappy game, well satisfied with the three points, which to be honest, we simply didn't deserve. At half time, if it hadn't been for Brown - again - we would have been two down and facing a mountain to climb against one of the poorest sides I've seen for a long time. He must be the best keeper in this league. 

Second half was hardly any better with Gibbo diving to hoof one off the line with a magnificent clearance, and hardly any chances I can remember falling to Pope or any of our front three. As in the first half, we lacked any control, cohesion or flow in midfield, where we constantly gave the ball away or failed to find a player with the ball, either through underhit or overweight passes. This is the first time I've seen Burgess and Conlon together in midfield and I wasn't impressed; if it hadn't have been for Joyce, we would have, at times, been overrun. It would clearly be unfair to judge our midfield on one game but they were poor today. Right from pre-season, I've said that without Oyeleke midfield would be our weakness. I saw nothing today to change my mind. 

Askey has taken us a long way and he has a lot of work to do. At times, our positional play was very poor and then, even when we had the ball, the players didn't offer any options to their team mates, with predictable results as we constantly lost possession. It left me wondering whether I was seeing our usual standard of midfield play or whether we had been dragged down to their level. 

The fact that we are only six points off automatic promotion tells me two things: first, this is a very poor league with a very low standard of football; and second, while in normal circumstances I'd say we don't stand a chance of promotion, JA is right to set this as our aim. The sooner we are out of this bear pit, the better.

So, well done to JA and the lads for today's result. I'll take three points from this performance any day. But don't let it blind us to the distance we still have to travel. If we do make the play-offs, it would be touch and go if we could manage to get promotion; and if, by some miracle, we managed to do it, we would need a massive injection of funding to build a squad that would survive. We live in hope. 

UTV.

PS MOM for me was Montano: for a player who's still learning how to play left back, he was excellent.

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Just back and, after after a terrible, scrappy game, well satisfied with the three points, which to be honest, we simply didn't deserve. At half time, if it hadn't been for Brown - again - we would have been two down and facing a mountain to climb against one of the poorest sides I've seen for a long time. He must be the best keeper in this league. 
Second half was hardly any better with Gibbo diving to hoof one off the line with a magnificent clearance, and hardly any chances I can remember falling to Pope or any of our front three. As in the first half, we lacked any control, cohesion or flow in midfield, where we constantly gave the ball away or failed to find a player with the ball, either through underhit or overweight passes. This is the first time I've seen Burgess and Conlon together in midfield and I wasn't impressed; if it hadn't have been for Joyce, we would have, at times, been overrun. It would clearly be unfair to judge our midfield on one game but they were poor today. Right from pre-season, I've said that without Oyeleke midfield would be our weakness. I saw nothing today to change my mind. 
Askey has taken us a long way and he has a lot of work to do. At times, our positional play was very poor and then, even when we had the ball, the players didn't offer any options to their team mates, with predictable results as we constantly lost possession. It left me wondering whether I was seeing our usual standard of midfield play or whether we had been dragged down to their level. 
The fact that we are only six points off automatic promotion tells me two things: first, this is a very poor league with a very low standard of football; and second, while in normal circumstances I'd say we don't stand a chance of promotion, JA is right to set this as our aim. The sooner we are out of this bear pit, the better.
So, well done to JA and the lads for today's result. I'll take three points from this performance any day. But don't let it blind us to the distance we still have to travel. If we do make the play-offs, it would be touch and go if we could manage to get promotion; and if, by some miracle, we managed to do it, we would need a massive injection of funding to build a squad that would survive. We live in hope. 
UTV.
PS MOM for me was Montano: for a player who's still learning how to play left back, he was excellent.

Have you not been for most of the season? As we haven’t really missed Manny all season. Yes today wasn’t great but it’s forgettable game we won which we move on to the next one from.

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Scrappy game, good 3 points won. We are a midtable team this season and after the turmoil of the last 3 seasons I am content with that. Yes I would love us to go up but think it is too early for this squad. Askey needs to ship some players out in the Summer and bring better in, confident he can do that. We are light on goals and cannot see us scoring enough this season to get promoted. Possible flirtation around the play offs will make us more attractive to players looking for clubs in the Summer and mean Askey wont be buying dented tins/ damaged goods when he next goes shopping.

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Just finished my Chinese after the drive back. Well we started like a house on fire and then for the next 75 minutes just huffed and puffed. The pitch was horribly bobbly too . 

I was calling for a triple sub, Conlon ( my opinion he was non existent and blowing ) , Amoo anonymous, Pope anonymous purely on lack of service. 

Cue Conlon winning the penalty and Pope scoring the winner. Just shows what I know eh. 

Having said that if it finished 0-0 and no subs were made I would of seen it as a missed opportunity. Despite some good saves from Brown they are an awful team.

Looked a tired performance but I honestly don't expect to see any changes on Tuesday. 

Nice to see after the Mansfield collapse that JA was proactive and brought Brisley on as soon as we scored. 

Great win and fingers crossed a last visit to that God forsaken team 

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We were poor. But we won. They were not terrible, they were well organized. It was a tight game, like most we have had this season. It's a tight league. We are doing alright. 

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Awful conditions, awful pitch, awful spectacle but three points so who cares.  Terrible journey back thanks to the idiots who thought that shutting all access to the A14 from the A1 was a good idea and setting up the most ludicrous diversion you've ever seen.  I ended up ignoring it and making up my own!

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There were a lot of fans grumbling about what was on offer from us today but I say credit to us for grinding out a win in poor conditions against a team who are difficult to play against. It’s not easy playing against a side who’s constant tactic is to launch the ball at every opportunity. You’re forever being turned around and scrapping for second balls.
 

We did show some flashes of what we can do football wise with some nice play that got us into some decent positions, especially in the first half. But too often we got dragged down to their level with some sloppy play, mainly because it became a scrap. However we stuck at it, dug in and defended pretty well throughout, I thought the back 4 played well. Legge and Smith won a lot of balls, but when Legge lost one header Gibbo was on hand with an excellent goal line clearance. Genuinely that’s as good as a goal. But he was hampered by Amoo having a total off day, he was either too slow to help out defensively or offered very little positionally for him in an attacking sense when he had the ball. Whilst on the other side I thought Monty and Worrall we’re linking up really well and the best chances came from their play in the first half. We did struggle to create much of note though and being critical we probably needed more from the forward thinking players, it says it all second half when I think we only only had 2 shots and they came from Conlon and gibbons. I thought Conlon had a decent game actually and it was his perseverance that won the penalty. Pope tucked it away nicely and he had a battle on his hands all game against the lumps they had across the back. 
 

Overall a good 3 points against a terrible side who play the game in the wrong spirit and indeed that must run throughout the club as even the ball boys were time wasting!
 

Incidentally we need to get Smith signed up ASAP, if he continues to put in consistent displays like he has been then surely he will get interest from elsewhere.  

Edited by PV1973
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We did what decent sides do, which was to grind out a perhaps somewhat fortunate win when you're miles away from being at your best. Liverpool did the same thing today away to Spurs, not so much gound  it out as they were much the better team, but they got the 3 points despite not being anything over than a 7 out out of 10 collectively. Stevenage are a horrible side but at home I should imagine they make it tough for any side in the league.

Don't care how we win at the moment just as long as we do, especially away from Vale Park.

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