Mid-table battle – Would these two sides have imagined this game a few years ago?
Two seasons ago, in League 1, 5th placed Chesterfield travelled to Vale Park to tackle the league leaders writes Demetri Loizou. Port Vale emerged as 3-2 winners that day, but since then, both clubs have deteriorated considerably.
Port Vale managed to finish 12th that season, 13 points ahead of relegated Spireites, but relegation followed the Valiants a year after, slumping to a disappointing 38 points total, 22 points worse off than the season that preceded it. Vale have found life in League 2 harder than expected. Dissatisfied Vale fans have seen the joint-second worst home defence in the league let 19 goals in at Vale Park already this season.
Chesterfield visit Staffordshire without a league win since that club record-breaking night at Exeter, when the Spireites recorded an emphatic 6-1 victory over the Grecians. The Blues currently have no win at all in six, although they came close on Tuesday night (being twenty minutes away from the final whistle at Droylsden, 2-0 up before the floodlights intervened in those controversial affairs).
This weekend’s visitors have not kept a clean sheet since 6th September, and not away from home since the second game of the season at Grimsby. Chesterfield have scored the most goals away from home in this league, and are up against (as previously mentioned) the joint-second worst home defence.
Both sides are horrific form, with Port Vale just nicking it after beating Grimsby(which in fairness isn’t much of a feat this season).
Again, Chesterfield’s dynamic, diminutive front two dominate the head-to-head scorers’ list, combining to contribute twenty-six goals to The Spireites’ cause. Lester & Darren Currie did score in midweek, but they were discounted due to the subsequent abandonment at Droylsden.
Anyon & Richman are both ruled out for Vale so Martin and Griffith set to replace them. A few more changes are expected after a disappointing defeat to Bury.
Lee expected to retain his place in goal, midfielders Kerry and Winter both suspended, so Harsley is set to return to Vale Park this weekend. Goodall is also suspended, leaving little choice for Richardson but to leave Robertson in the side.
Two troubled clubs looking for a break – who will emerge victorious? If Chesterfield lose is Richardson out? Can Dean Glover go somewhere towards redeeming Vale’s season with a win today? I honestly can not predict what will happen in this encounter.