DROP FEARS INCREASE
“IF nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through”.
It seemed as though Port Vale’s scoreboard might be taking inspiration from Blackadder’s General Melchett when it stubbornly displayed Port Vale 0, Colchester 0, showing the time but refusing to acknowledge either of the visitors’ opening two goals.
To be fair, this didn’t last for the whole game. With 25 minutes to go, the scoreboard conked out completely which probably better captured fans’ fears of what might be happening to their club.
This 3-0 defeat left Vale just five points clear of the bottom two and perhaps only Melchett himself would deny the Valiants are in a relegation scrap for a third successive season.
The first one was lost as Vale crashed into League Two. Last year’s was won as the Vale stayed in the Football League by a single point. Frankly, who knows where this one will end?
Fans don’t always agree with Neil Aspin, to say the least, but the manager is not deluded. Are Vale in a relegation battle?
He said: “The table doesn’t lie and if you are not winning games then of course you are in a relegation fight. If you just say you’re not then
that’s no good. We are in a relegation fight because we are not winning games and if other teams are winning then you get dragged into it.
“We all know what the score is in football.
“You have to win games and get points. We are not doing that and when things are not going well you then pick up injuries. Tom Pope has a hamstring. I know some people question my decisions at times, but I am not going to take off Popey unless he is injured.
“Mitch Clark got injured as well so, no luck whatsoever on any front.”
Those injuries, which forced Pope and Clark off during the second half, will be assessed this week.
But the last thing the Vale need is a weakened squad just as Aspin is trying to strengthen it.
The Vale are expected to complete the signing of trialist forward Danny Elliott, are closing in on a left-sided defender on loan and are also trying to bring in a striker.
Aspin wants a minimum of three new players and has made space in his squad as Idris Kanu, Scott Quigley and Lewis Hardcastle have had their loan deals cut short, while Tyrone Barnett and Brendon Daniels have left the club on free transfers.
Meanwhile, Dior Angus, who has spent the first half of the season on loan at Nuneaton in the National League North, is set to go out on loan again, this time in the next division up in the National League.
That’s one division below the Vale - if season-ticket holders want to add ‘for now’ at this point, well that’s
PAIN GAME: Leon Legge shows his dejection as Colchester celebrate their third goal of the afternoon. Pictures: Gerard Austin