After picking up a hard-fought point on the road against Stevenage at the weekend, the Valiants are back at home on Tuesday as we welcome Peterborough United to Vale Park.
Following the international break, The Valiants travelled to Stevenage on Saturday where they picked up a 0-0 draw at the Lamex Stadium, leaving Vale in 14th place in League One with 18 points from the opening 13 fixtures of the season.
When reacting to Saturday’s draw, Andy Crosby said:
“We knew what to expect, Stevenage are very good at what they want to do. They are very effective, and they put you under a lot physical and mental pressure for long, long periods and they’ve got a way of playing that makes you defend. We had to try and play the game in a different manner because that’s how we want to play, because that’s my way, that’s my team’s way, that’s what we recruited for. I thought we started off the game really well, we got control of the game and then they become less effective because we’ve got the ball. You can’t always go forward and score, it’s about keeping the ball away from them.
“I am pleased with lots of aspects of the game. Delighted with the clean sheet. Delighted with the mentality of the group to come here and stand up to that challenge. We had a disappointing week going into the international break in terms of results and our performances were 45 minutes max performances.
“There’s lots to be pleased about, but we’ve taken that next step and I think it was important to respond to three games where we haven’t picked up any points.”
Tuesday’s opposition find themselves in 5th place in Skybet League One on 22 points from their first 13 fixtures. On Saturday they picked up a 2-2 draw at home to Wycombe Wanderers. The visitors took the lead through Brandon Hanlan before Joel Randall levelled the score just five minutes later. On the stroke of half time, Posh went ahead through Ephron Mason-Clark. However, Mason-Clark diverted a second half effort into his own goal and forced his side to settle for a point.
You have to go back to the 2nd September for Peterborough’s last defeat in all competitions. Since losing 3-1 to Portsmouth they have gone eight games unbeaten in a run that’s consisted of four wins and four draws.
Player to Watch - Jonson Clarke-Harris
Jonson Clarke-Harris is one of the more recognisable players in League One. The Peterborough skipper has found the net four times so far this season. Interestingly, he was a matter of seconds away from leaving the club in the summer, but an administrative error postponed his move to Bristol Rovers.
Clarke-Harris’ career really got going when he joined Bristol Rovers back in 2019. After previous spells at Oldham Athletic, Rotherham and Coventry he finally found his prolific touch at The Memorial Ground. In his 42 games for Bristol Rovers, he found the net 24 times, eight of these goals came in April 2019 these goals helped Bristol avoid relegation and help cement their place in League One. His goal against Gillingham in March earned him the 2018/19 League One Goal of the Season award.
In the summer of 2020, he left Rovers and made the move to Peterborough for a reported figure of £1.4 million. In his first season he was named as the League One Player of the season and he was also included in the League One team in the season. Two days after receiving these awards he scored a brace to help his side win promotion to the championship and also earning him the League One Golden Boot with 31 goals. The following season Posh were relegated, and Clarke-Harris struggled for form and game time as he only played thirteen games and found the net just seven times.
In the 2022/23 season, he was named as the club’s captain and after another successful season, he was nominated for League One Player of the Season but lost to Aaron Collins. He was also forced to share the Golden Boot with Connor Chaplin as they both scored 26 goals over the course of the season.
Port Vale 2-1 Peterborough United, 17 January 2015.
We have to go back eight years since The Valiants last beat Peterborough United at Vale Park.
Peterborough who took the lead inside twenty minutes when Marcus Maddison drove into the box and picked out Connor Washington who was able to find the bottom corner with a tidy finish from 12 yards. Ten minutes later the Valiants were level when Louis Dodds headed Adam Yates’ cross into the path of Chris Birchall who fired home from close range. Two minutes after the break Vale’s comeback was complete. Christian Burgess attempted to head the ball back to his keeper, but Ben Williamson latched into the loose ball and calmly finished to earn Vale all three points on a cold afternoon in Burslem.