The Valiants are back in action this weekend when we take on Stevenage for the fourth time in all competitions this season.
Vale come into the game off the back of a narrow defeat on Tuesday night against Leyton Orient. Orient captain Idris El Mizouni’s 60th minute goal was enough to separate the sides as Academy trio Will Ryder, Matt Done and Danny Lloyd took charge of the game in their first fixture as interim managers of the Football Club.
Stevenage sit in 6th place in Skybet League One after enjoying a positive first half of the season. Boro come into the game off the back of a 1-0 loss against Reading on Tuesday night.
Vadiane Oliver’s own goal on the stroke of half time was enough to separate the sides at the Lamex Stadium and brought Stevenage's three-game winning streak to an end.
Who’s in Charge?
Stevenage are managed by Steve Evans who has enjoyed his time at the Lamex Stadium after joining in March 2022. In the last few months of the 2021/22 season, he helped Stevenage secure safety after picking up the points in his first six games at the club.
In the 2022/23, Evans guided his side to an FA Cup Third Round victory against Aston Villa at Villa Park and helped Stevenage win promotion to League One in a highly successful season for the football club. So far this season, Stevenage are enjoying their time back in League One and will be hoping to kick on in the last few months of the season.
Player to Watch - Jamie Reid
Jamie Reid is the second highest scorer in the league with 16 goals so far this season, he is just one goal behind Devante Cole who leads the scoring charts. Reid is enjoying his best scoring season in professional football and he has played a pivotal role in his side's season.
This Season's Meetings
Stevenage 0-0 Port Vale, Saturday 21st October 2023.
Funso Ojo had the first effort of the game after a corner from the left fell to him, but his first time effort was tipped over the crossbar by Taye Ashby-Hammond. Soon after, Connor Ripley was forced into action when he made a good save following a low shot that came through a congested 18-yard box. In the second half Kofi Balmer got up highest to meet Tom Sang’s corner and force a good save from Ashby-Hammond once again.
Moments later, Stevenage broke following a Vale corner and came close to going ahead but Jamie Reed’s volley from outside the box whistled past Connor Ripley’s near post. In the final stages of the game, the hosts had a golden chance to take the lead when they won the ball outside the Vale box. Nick Freeman waited for the run of Reid and when he got into the box he was 1 on 1 with Ripley but the Vale keeper made himself big and saved well to earn Vale a valuable point on the road.
Stevenage 1-1 Port Vale, Saturday 2nd December 2023.
Port Vale and Stevenage locked horns again on Tuesday after a 1-1 draw when the sides met last month. The hosts took the lead in the second half Jamie Reid latched onto a through ball and slotted home to open the scoring in the 69th minute.
Ten minutes later Vale were gifted the opportunity to level the scores when Uche Ikpeazu was fouled in the area and the referee showed no hesitation but to point to the penalty spot. Funso Ojo took responsibility and dispatched his spot kick into the bottom corner to level the scores and earn Vale a replay at Vale Park.
Port Vale 3-3 Stevenage AET (Stevenage won 4-3 on pens), Tuesday 12th December 2023.
Ben Garrity gave Vale an early lead when he converted Gavin Massey’s low cross after six minutes. Ten minutes after the break Garrity grabbed his second of the game when he finished well following Alfie Devine’s cut back from the right side. With ten minutes to go the visitors pulled a goal back when thundered in a strike from outside the box to give his side hope. Deep into added time Stevenage levelled when Kane Hemmings converted from close range following a loose ball in the box to send the tie to extra time in the most dramatic of fashion.
In the 114th minute of the match Vale regained the lead when Ryan Loft scored his first Vale goal since joining in the summer. However, we weren’t done there. Nathan Thompson found space in the box to divert Luther Wildin’s low cross into the back of the net to send the tie to penalties. After an enthralling 120 minutes of football, it was Stevenage who ran out 4-3 minutes of penalties, Ben Garrity and Ryan Loft missed from the spot as Vale exited the FA Cup in the Second Round.