by Vinyl Perez
Could this be it, then? The start of the greatest of great escapes? Or will it prove to be yet another false dawn, a one-off result against a side having a massive off day? It’s the hope that kills you.
Mark Bonner banished three at the back once and for all, lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation that saw Knibbs and Ironside benched, and Will Mannion restored to the side due to an illness to Dimi Mitov. Makeshift centre-forward George Williams was back on the bench, but there were welcome returns to the XI for Harrison Dunk and Conor McGrandles.
The first half, let’s be honest was as good an advert for League Two football as you’re likely to see. United didn’t look great, Port Vale looked ten times worse. A couple of half-hearted penalty calls, a half-chance or two and that was yer lot really. The second half however, now that was different. United came out a changed side, Shilow Tracey making way for Harvey Knibbs who was immediately involved with almost everything on the pitch. After an early scare, brilliantly saved by Mannion it was all United. Knibbs played in Brophy, who’s cross just missed Lankester but fell beautifully for Sam Smith to dink it it. Four minutes later a McGrandles free-kick was met by the head of Lloyd Jones for his second goal in as many games.
United kept the pressure up on a flat looking Port Vale and saw the game out for a massive three points, with welcome cameos towards the end for Jubil Okedina, Ben Worman and Joe Ironside.
On this weeks podcast Tom stated that this result means nothing if we don’t back it up at home to Fleetwood on Friday. Another three points then and, whilst it will still be tough to escape, the picture begins to look a little brighter. In his recent update to fans CEO Alex Tunbridge said that there was no reason we couldn’t be the team to put together a run to pull clear of the relegation zone. Personally I still think that’s unlikely, but if Saturday’s result has given this side the belief they need that they can win games, that they can score goals, and that they can stay up then we’re going to be in for one hell of a last eight games…
Man of the Match: James Brophy went from having a stinker against Charlton to looking great against Port Vale, Harvey Knibbs changed the game when he came on, but MoM by far was Connor McGrandles. He’s going to be a really important character during our run in.
Soundtrack of the Match: Robbie Williams – It’s Only Us
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