Vale can repeat 1994 success

Thursday 4th April 2013 15:31

Tom Pope: In superb goalscoring form for Vale

Tom Pope: In superb goalscoring form for Vale

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Port Vale FanZone blogger Adam Bond is confident the Valiants will beat Burton Albion on Friday and go on to win promotion from League Two.

On February 5, Port Vale beat AFC Wimbledon 2-0 to go top of League 2, putting pressure on rivals Gillingham. Following this result, though, the Valiants went on a run of form almost as bad as San Marino's World Cup campaign; winning only one of their next eight games.

However, when you are playing six games in three weeks you don't have time to dwell on the previous game, and come the end of March we had managed to turn our fortunes around. A good Easter period has put us back in contention for automatic promotion.

It looks like Gillingham have sewn up top spot going into Friday's game with Burton, and Vale, four points ahead of the Brewers, are just one of six teams in with a chance of securing one of the other two promotion places.

Form

Burton go into the game following a 3-3 draw against strugglers Accrington Stanley; their form has been indifferent of late and they have mustered only one win in their last four games.

However, Albion have produced impressive results at home against the top sides such as a 3-1 win against Cheltenham thanks to a brace from Robbie Weir.

Nonetheless, Burton's away form has been terrible this campaign and they have only managed five wins from their 21, losing nine and conceding a shocking 34 goals.

In comparison, Vale have lost only one of their last four games, assisted by prolific striker Tom Pope, who has scored four in his last two outings. Their last home game ended in an impressive 3-2 win against Cheltenham.

The Vale have won nine of their 20 home games, scoring an incredible 40 goals in the process.

Relive 94

The new board have really got behind the promotion push this season, and in an inspired move, the club have a special offer to try and get a capacity crowd for a huge local derby.

For one game only, the club will be selling ticket at the same prices from 1994 in celebration of the 1993/94 campaign, the season which saw the Valiants last promoted.

Tickets for the game will cost the same as nine years ago and will be reduced from £20 to just £9 for adults and £6.50 for concessions. Home shirts will also be on sale for £19.94.

Chairman Paul Wildes said: "The Burton game is a critical one for us and it would be great if we can fill Vale Park with as many fans as possible.

"This is about celebrating our past but supporting our future - it will be great to remind everyone of the successes of 1994 but we also want to create our own success.

"It would be great if we can do that sooner rather than later but we are not taking anything for granted - that's why the support of our fan base is critical. Hopefully, everyone will come down, reminisce about old times and back the team for our penultimate home game of the season."

Prediction

The statistics clearly make Vale the favourites as Burton's away form is yet to improve this season, but Brewers manager Gary Rowett will be keen to ensure that they bounce back as soon as possible following James Beattie's late goal which denied them a win at Accrington on Monday.

I can't see Burton managing to cope with the atmosphere at Vale Park, and I think the form of Tom Pope can only point towards a home win.

I think it will be a nervy start from both sides, as so much is riding on the game but there will be goals in this one.

I can't look past the home side, though, and expect Vale to win comfortably by a 3-1 scoreline, with the Valiants marching on to achieve promotion from League 2. C'MON THE VALE!

You can follow Adam on Twitter @AB0nd

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