Stevenage Football Club make the 142-mile journey to Burslem this Saturday for a Sky Bet League Two clash with Port Vale…
Paul Tisdale’s men are looking for a change of fortune after some disappointing results in recent weeks, despite a highly promising January. The side sit 19th in Sky Bet League Two, five points clear from the drop zone, with the opportunity to climb a couple of places this weekend. Meanwhile, Port Vale come into this fixture looking to boost their unbeaten run to eight games, having drawn their last three.
Originally founded in 1876, Port Vale were founder members of the Football League Second Division in 1892 before resigning in 1907 due to financial difficulties. The club were reinstated into the Football League in 1919 and spent 16 non-consecutive seasons in the second division. In the 1950s, the Valiants found great success, winning the Third Division North title and a place in the FA Cup semi-final.
The club’s longest serving and most successful manager, John Rudge led them to promotions in 1986, 1989 and 1994 as well as victory in the 1993 League Trophy. Port Vale hold the record for the most seasons in the English Football League with 110, and in the second tier without reaching the first tier, with forty-one. They achieved promotion to League One in 2013 but were relegated back to League Two four years later.
Under the management of Darrell Clarke, Port Vale currently sit 10th in Sky Bet League Two, four points away from a play-off place. They have won twelve of their thirty league games, drawing ten and losing the remaining eight. The Valiants’ top scorer charts are shared by Jamie Proctor, James Wilson and Ben Garrity with eight goals each this season.
Stevenage and Port Vale have faced each other on sixteen occasions in the past with Boro having the slightly better win rate, winning five matches against the Valiants. The sides have drawn eight times with Saturday’s opponents winning on three occasions.
The first time the clubs met competitively was in the 2009/10 FA Cup as Boro took The Valiants to a replay at the Lamex before falling short one goal to nil.
This season’s reverse fixture between the sides ended 1-1 at The Lamex as Devante Rodney’s opener was cancelled out by Luke Norris’ first-half equaliser.
Port Vale have played their home games at Vale Park since 1950. The Ground’s capacity peaked at 42,000 in the 1950’s with the record attendance of 49,768 being set in the 1960 FA Cup fixture against Aston Villa. Since the major restructuring of the ground in the 1990s to make it an all-seater stadium, the capacity has been 20,552. The stadium has also played host to England Youth and Women international fixtures.
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Match tickets for Stevenage vs Newport County are available from www.borotickets.co.uk.