After a narrow loss at home on Saturday, Boro return to league action at the Lamex Stadium tonight with a clash against John Askey's Port Vale..
Boro were unlucky to lose on Saturday, with a slow first half performance ultimately costing Alex Revell's side as Ian Evatt's Bolton Wanderers left Hertfordshire with all three points. Goals from Eoin Doyle and Ali Crawford secured the points for the visitors, but a positive for Boro came with a goal from newly signed Tom Pett, his first goal since re-joining Boro earlier this month.
Revell's side return to action swiftly, with Tuesday's visitors currently in a turbulent run of form, losing each of thier last three league games and failing to score in their last two games. Port Vale finished in 8th place last season, just one point shy of a Play-Off place and John Askey's 'Valiants' will be looking to go one better this season in a push for a return to League One football after relegation in 2017. Boro's last win against Port Vale came at Vale Park in 2019, a memorable 4-1 victory with Emmanuel Sonupe (2), Illias Chair and Kurtis Guthrie all netting in a result which saw Boro move two points away from a Play-Off place.
The Stevenage squad is looking in good shape with very few injury issues to report. Only Jack Aitchison, Luther James-Wildin and Elliot Osborne, who recently suffered an ankle injury are out of contention.
- Referee: Paul Howard
- Assistant Referee 1: Louis Marks
- Assistant Referee 2: Darren Wilding
- Fourth Official: Paul Evans
Stevenage boss, Alex Revell said, "We have got to make sure that the players keep on working as hard as they can and keep going onto the pitch with that willingness and determination to do whatever it takes to get a positive result. At the minute, we've come just short but we have to keep on pushing.
"They (Port Vale) will be desperate to stop the run they're on at the moment, much like we are. They hold a lot of attacking threats in thier team and it will be tough game on Tuesday.
"The teams that go on a run in this league win ugly sometimes, and that is exactly what we need, we need to win ugly and I think that tomorrow night provides a perfect opportunity to bounce back as long as we are full of energy, commitment and work rate in a game that we have got to win."
Port Vale boss, John Askey said after Saturday's loss, “I thought we deserved more. We were seconds away from getting a result.
“I thought we’d done enough and up until the last corner, we did. That is twice that we’ve gone down to 10 men and twice that we’ve lost in the last seconds. It’s hard to bear but I can’t ask any more of the players, they’ve worked really hard."
Former Stevenage midfielder Tom Conlon is one of two ex-Boro men currently in the Port Vale ranks. The 24 year old is now in his third season with his home town club and has been a main-stay in the team ever since switching sides.
In 2018/19, Conlon made 39 appearances, scoring 3 goals and in 2019/20, he played 27 games, scoring once. He has made a strong start to this season too, scoring twice - including a spectacular free-kick at Exeter in September - amongst 17 appearances. Conlon is a doubt for tonight's game though after suffering an achilles injury in the team's loss on Saturday.
The other former Stevenage player in the Port Vale squad is Harry McKirdy, who spent 3 months on loan with Boro during the 2016/17 season. The attacker joined the Valiants this summer, but is yet to establish his place in the team, having only made 6 appearances this season.
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