We take a look back at our last visit to Vale Park
By Matt Mundy
As we prepare to make the three and a half hour journey to face Port Vale tonight, let’s look back on our last visit to Vale park:
It is almost three years since Southend last visited Stoke-on-Trent to play Port Vale, a fixture which holds happy memories for Blues fans.
In fact, Southend’s record in the last ten years when playing Vale on their own turf is unblemished in the losing column.
The only blot on the copy book was a 1-1 draw in 2011.
The most recent encounter was aLeague Twomatch on March 9, 2013 which saw Blues come away 2-1 winners after goals from Sean Clohessy and Britt Assombalonga.
Lee Hughes clawed one back for the hosts but Southend held on to take the points and prolong Vale’s poor form of one win in seven matches, gaining just one point from a possible 12.
Southend were maybe fortunate to catch Micky Adams’ side in a rut, but this was a side sitting second in the table and would go on to be promoted automatically, finishing third.
As for Southend, the win took them to within five points of a play-off place but it was a season of ups and downs as not long after the 2-1 victory in Staffordshire, manager Paul Sturrock was replaced by the incumbent Phil Brown.
Blues suffered heart-ache in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final against Crewe and went on to finish in 11th.
However, going into the upcoming game in a similar position to that three years ago, a comparable result would be keep play-off momentum rolling.
Blues XI: Smith; Clohessy, Cresswell, Prosser, Straker; Hurst, Leonard, Spillane, Lund, Mohsni (83’ Harris) Assombalonga (84’ Corr)
Unused Subs: Bentley, Spicer, Woodyard, Eastwood