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Port Vale v Boro
 

Port Vale v Boro

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Port Vale v Boro

Carabao Cup Quarter Final

Tuesday 19th December 2023

K.O. 19:45 Dale Park

 

The Carabao Cup is back baby! Yes, the energy drink trophy returns for yet another instalment, with all the second rate side Boro opponents and the midweek snooze fests that Diasborians have come to love.

 

Let’s not sniff those champagne bubbles by returning to the Premiership. Let’s instead, wallow in the sultry bubbles up your nose, of the Carabao Sports drink, or gargle with it instead if you like ! I thought you all might like to know what an isotonic drink is? Well an isotonic solution is any external solution that has the same solute concentration and water concentration compared to body fluids (so now you know!).

 

Apparently in an isotonic solution, no net movement of water will take place. So from last season when we thought our manager could walk on water we now think there is no movement of water by our manager, mmmmm? Is someone taking the proverbial?

 

It’s not a competition that an awful lot of sides take seriously, even lower league opposition don’t and that is probably because there is not an awful lot of money in it. When compared to European football or even the FA Cup, winning the Carabao Cup is the football equivalent of finding an extra £5 note in your back pocket for most of the big clubs. So, just how much, or how little, do teams earn for their Carabao Cup progression?

 

Well the money involved in the early rounds of the Carabao Cup borders on pitiful. Even for lower league teams that are not accustomed to the wealth that Premier League football clubs receive, the rewards are pretty poor. For winning in the first round of the competition, clubs earn just £5,000. It doesn't get much better in the second round, with clubs winning £7,000 for progression, while those who make it past the third round will bring in £10,000.

 

Even if the Boro make it all the way to the final of the Carabao Cup, we are only guaranteed £50,000. If we can manage to even win the competition that total is doubled to £100,000. So Boro are not going to make any money out of this cup run but it looks like it’s all we can hope for this season. It looks extremely unlikely that we can forget about winning the league, getting promotion, or even reaching the playoffs off. So,let’s roll,up,our sleeves and concentrate as, we can instead focus all our efforts on winning the next round of this Cup.

 

Perhaps it’s all part of the Boro strategy for this season, to progress to Wembley and win the Cup (again) whilst developing a squad of young players to further improve in the Championship next season and then gain automatic promotion?

 

Our opponents standing in the way of our strategy of progressing further are Port Vale. A curiously titled football club who are named after the valley of ports on the Trent and Mersey Canal and interestingly enough they have never played top-flight football. They also hold the record for the most seasons in the English Football League  (112) without reaching the first tier.

 

The club returned to Burslem when Vale Park opened in 1950. Whilst the Riverside stadium boasts some impressive statues outside our ground, when our fans visit Vale Park, they will see outside our opponent’s ground a statue to Roy Sproson  who played 842 competitive games for the club.

 

Whilst the Boro can boast traditional rivalry between Sunderland and Leeds United, Port Vale’s local rivals are Stoke City. The games played between the two are known as the Potteries Derby.

 

It looks like there won’t be too many Boro changes for the game against Port Vale. We don’t have that many players left who are fit to play. There will probably be a new glove man between the sticks and Tom Glover will probably retain his place as Seny Dieng looks like he has a groin problem whilst slipping taking a goal kick against the Swans on Saturday.

 

Boro will also look to freshening up their forward line with the introduction of Sammy Silvera and Morgan Rogers starting in the team. It didn’t go unnoticed that the positivity of both players when they came onto the pitch on Saturday against Swansea as impact players, will almost certainly mean they will be in the starting XI at Port Vale on Tuesday night.

 

Port Vale will be buoyed up for their game against Boro on Tuesday evening after beating Wigan Athletic by 3 goals to 2 on Saturday to cement their mid table position of 15th. They don’t have a particularly good home record having played 9 games, won 4 and lost 5. Their away form is not much better having played 11 games, winning 3, drawing 4 and losing 4.

 

Port Vale Stats:

The team has lost 4 of their last 8 matches in League 1 Port Vale have conceded an average of 1.45goals per game since the beginning of the season in the league. Stats indicate an average number of goals conceded per game of 1.13 in the last 8 league matches, which is 22.1% lower than their current season's average

As we know statistics go out of the window when a club reaches this stage of a cup competition and it certainly fires up players to perform to the best of their abilities.

 

Their Leading scorer is Ben Garrity who has scored 6 goals Ethan Chislett has scored 4 goals and other players have only scored a brace to make up the scoring.

 

The squad who played on Saturday had a familiar name in goal with Connor Ripley and the substitute goalkeeper was also an ex Boro player in Jayson Leutwiler.

 

Another ex Boro player named in the substitutes was Uche Ikpeazu. (Big Uche!)

 

The full squad was as follows:

 

Connor Ripley, Kofi Balmer (Alex Iacovitti 81’), Ben Garrity, Ethan Chislett, Alfie Devine, Funso Ojo (Ryan Loft 73’), Conor Grant (Tom Sang 61’), Jason Lowe, Ollie Arblaster, Gavin Massey, Jesse Debrah

Unused Subs | Jayson Leutwiler, Nathan Smith, Uche Ikpeazu, Rhys Walters.

 

So there you have it Diasborians an unfamiliar team for the Boro to play against who have the capability to cause an upset 😭

 

As we are trying to win a three handled trophy (again!) I’m obviously going for Boro3 !

 

These foam hands 🙌 🎶🎶

 

OFB


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Reliving one of Middlesbrough's most important games ever came against Port Vale in 1986

Eric Paylor looks back at Middlesbrough's most significant meeting with Port Vale, played at Hartlepool United's Victoria Park

 
Bernie Slaven (foreground) and Gary Pallister (right) arrive at Hartlepool for Boro's first game following liquidation in 1986
Bernie Slaven (foreground) and Gary Pallister (right) arrive at Hartlepool for Boro's first game following liquidation in 1986
 

With the semi-finals of the League Cup beckoning, Boro’s trip to Port Vale has assumed mammoth proportions.

It’s a huge game for Michael Carrick’s men, especially as a win would help confidence and hopefully have spin-off effects in the Championship. However, while it is a truly massive game, it pales into insignificance compared to the time when Boro needed to fulfil a fixture against Port Vale to ensure their survival as a football club.

It was 1986, and Boro were embroiled in a battle with the Football League to free themselves from voluntary liquidation. The League said that Boro would not be accepted back if they failed to play their opening Division Three game against Port Vale, while at the same time they placed several stumbling blocks in the way of the club’s battle to resurrect themselves.

READ MORE: Middlesbrough Carabao Cup quarter-final date set as Port Vale boss talks 'excellent opportunity'

In the event, an agreement was reached between the League and Boro’s legal team seconds before an early evening deadline which had been set. So certain were most organisations that Boro were finished, that the club did not even feature on football pools coupons.

It had even been a nightmare trying to find somewhere to play the game because the gates to Ayresome Park had been padlocked by the provisional liquidator. There was no chance of negotiations being completed to re-open the ground in time. Boro had been well aware of this probability.

 
 

They had searched far and wide for an acceptable venue to meet Port Vale, should the club be saved. The consortium working hard to maintain football on Teesside had approached Darlington and even Sunderland for permission to play Vale on one of their grounds.

But both clubs turned Boro down. Darlington’s problem was that the police had requested that no game should be played at Feethams because Teesside Air Show was taking place on the same afternoon. Billingham Synthonia’s Central Avenue was another possibility though there were both segregation and access problems. In any case the police were opposed to the idea.

 

Hartlepool ’s Victoria Ground also appeared to be out of the running because Pools were due to play a Fourth Division match at home to Cardiff City on the afternoon. However, Boro’s situation was desperate. Due to the generosity of the Pools directors, a compromise was reached.

Boro would play Port Vale at the Victoria Ground after Pools’ own game, which kicked off at 3pm. The Boro-Vale game was set for 6.30 pm. Port Vale actually complained to the Football League that the venue was unacceptable, but their complaints were fortunately overruled.

I decided to take in both games and watched Pools for starters. It was Pools’ first game against Cardiff City in any competition and ended as a 1-1 draw. A crowd of 2,804 fans watched the Pools game. Once all the fans had exited the ground after the final whistle, the gates were temporarily locked.

It appeared that there might be problems accommodating all the Boro fans, because the police had set a crowd limit of 5,600 for the evening fixture. It was not all-ticket, though naturally it would not have been possible to print and sell the tickets in the 24 hours following Boro’s rescue from extinction.

Admission prices were set at £3.50 for seats with £2 concessions and £2.70 standing with £1.50 concessions. It was a warm, sunny evening and the Pools stewards opened the gates at 5.45 pm. The anticipated rush did not materialise and the eventual attendance was 3,690, including around 300 fans from the Potteries.

I was born in Hartlepool and there’s a comment which I have often heard: “Virtually everybody in Hartlepool has been to Middlesbrough but hardly anybody in Middlesbrough has been to Hartlepool”. In some respects Hartlepool is the back of beyond for many Teessiders, but in reality the attendance reflected the fact that fans were simply disillusioned with the way in which the club had slipped away in recent years.

The standard of football had been dismally poor. People had fallen out of love with the Boro and even the club’s resurrection from the ashes had not motivated them to get behind the team again. In any case, there had been some alarmingly low crowds at Ayresome Park over the previous two or three seasons.

In 1984-85, a mere 3,364 fans watched a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Notts County, with the season’s average crowd being slightly over 5,000. In the season which ended with liquidation, this had increased to just over 6,000, though this was partly due to a massive Christmas crowd of 19,701 which turned up to watch the derby battle against Sunderland.

Boro fans clearly needed convincing that the club’s new board of directors was committed to bringing back the good times before they got fully behind the team again. To make matters worse there was a signing embargo place upon the club leaving manager Bruce Rioch with only 13 players to choose from, including several raw youngsters.

So there were no summer signings to raise the fans’ adrenaline, just the nucleus of the squad which had been unable to prevent Boro from being relegated to the Third Division the previous season. Rioch’s selection problems were acerbated by the fact he was without central defender Gary Pallister, who was serving a one-match ban after being sent off in the final match of the previous season at Shrewsbury.

It meant that the manager selected the 12 players which was all he had at his disposal. The team which lined up against the Valiants was: Pears, Parkinson, Mowbray, Kernaghan, Cooper, Ripley, Laws, Gill, Hamilton, Slaven, Stephens. Sub: Turnbull.

Colin Cooper, Stuart Ripley, Gary Parkinson and Lee Turnbull were all teenagers with only 17 previous starts between them, while Parkinson was making his debut. Vale were on a high, having won promotion from Division Four the previous season. So it was the visitors who were pre-match favourites.

Yet the fact that liquidation had been avoided seemed to take a massive weight off the Boro players’ shoulders. Spurred on by Rioch’s dressing room team talk, the Boro lads forced the early pace. In fact, they forged a two-goal lead thanks to a brace from Archie Stephens who, at the the grand old age of 32, was considerably older than any of his team-mates.

Stephens was a non-nonsense centre-forward who put himself about and was particularly good in the air. He had been signed by previous boss Willie Maddren the previous season and was to go on and form a formidable striking partnership with Bernie Slaven.

Maddren had also brought in Slaven, in 1985, for a fee of £25,000. It proved to be one of the best deals ever completed by the Boro. However, Boro’s braves began to find the going tough as the Port Vale match progressed. As their legs became weary Boro tired and Vale bounced back with two goals to force a draw.

Ironically Boro were back at the Victoria Ground just three days later, this time as the away team. They were paired with Pools in the League Cup, with Slaven scoring the goal in a 1-1 draw in this first leg encounter. The attendance was even lower for this derby battle, just 2,356 fans watching the tussle.

It was fitting that Pools should be the first ever visitors to Ayresome Park when Boro finally returned home. The teams met at Ayresome in the second leg of the League Cup tie with goals from Ripley and Gary Hamilton, earning Boro a 3-1 aggregate victory.

A crowd of 7,735 welcomed Boro back to their spiritual home and set the scene for what turned out to be a memorable promotion season. It all started with Port Vale. Hopefully there are more big things to come this season.


   
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jarkko
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@malcolm This was the only time I have seen Port Vale.

I was a student in 1986. My girl friend - and my wife nowadays - was already working and we had a dodgy old Ford Fiesta with 1.0 litre engine. But at least it was Boro red.

We started to drive from Helsinki towards Great Ayton. I think we arrived to the Wheatlands a day before the start of the season. We knew Boro had some financial problems but as it was before the internet, we did not know how serious it actually was.

So we drove off with a couple of ferry trips to Great Ayton. We were staying at my late pen friend Austin Marsay. I still remember how we spent the Friday evening listening to radio to find out if the match was on on Saturday. As you all know now, it was a tight "match".

On Saturday,  we were a bit unsure how to drive to Hartlepool as we had no navigation in 1986. So we had a map and some time to drive to Hartlepool. For some reason, my mate Austin did not join us for the match.

The trip from Great Ayton to Hartlepool was easy. There were several cars heading to the match with red scarfs on their back window of their cars. So it was easy to get to the Vic  - just following other Boro fans celebrating that match was on.

When at the stand, I remember the sun was shining and the ships looked nice behind the opposite stand. I remember Archie Stevens got Boro to a 2-0 lead quite nicely and against all the expectations. Mind, Archie lived on the Wheatlands in Great Ayton, too. So practically oposite to my pen friend. As far as I know, Archie still lives on the Wheatlands but a bit further up the road.

I also remember the Port Vale team got two goals back to get a point from the match. But we could not care less about the result. The most important thing was that the match took off. I do not remember what other matches we saw during the holiday nor where we went during the holiday.

I never thought there were so few Boro fans at the Vic that day. Later I have heard some nearly 30 000 people claim to have seen the match. But it was a humble beginning for the Steve Gibson era that would become the most successful era this little clubs has ever experienced. I am glad that me and my wife were at the Vic.

But back to the Port Vale - I must admit that I do not remember the strip colour they had on the day. I was more watching the ground of Hartlepool United and feeling happy to see my Bonny Boro still live and kicking.

That Port Vale match was the best match I have ever attanded. The most important match in the history of the club. Here is what AV wrote about the match later: https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/30-years-ago-today-team-11784020

Boro is still live. Up the Boro!

This post was modified 4 months ago 5 times by jarkko

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@jarkko 

 

I was at the Hartlepool game with my two lads and somewhere in the Tyne Tees Television archives is the proof!

I was interviewed before the game and appeared on the big match TV  preview as a relieved Boro fan that the Boro had been saved and the game was going ahead.

The Boro had been training at Albert Park as Ayresome Park and Hutton Road were locked by the liquidator and the team were not allowed to enter. This meant that the Boro weren’t match fit and is why they ran out of steam for their game at Hartlepool and had to settle for a draw.

if only I had a mobile phone to take a photo at the time !

 

OFB

 

 


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@original-fat-bob 

Thanks for the opener

I was also at the match at the Vic. We had driven up from Ipswich not knowing if there was a game to go to. I have also been to Vale Park to see the Boro but didn't see Port Vale. In January 1976 Stoke's Victoria Ground was damaged by gales so the game was moved across the Potteries. We lost 1-0 and four days later we lost the League Cup Semi Final at Maine Road to Man City 4-0.


jarkko
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Of course, the Boro vs. Port Vale and Hartlepool's home game earlier that same day are the only two  Football League matches ever played on the same ground and same day. I think the record still stands to this day. Up the Boro!


   
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Thanks Bob. Great opener and very enjoyable


   
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jarkko
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Posted by: @original-fat-bob

@jarkko 

The Boro had been training at Albert Park as Ayresome Park and Hutton Road were locked by the liquidator and the team were not allowed to enter. This meant that the Boro weren’t match fit and is why they ran out of steam for their game at Hartlepool and had to settle for a draw.

OFB

Bob, I never visited Hutton Road but knew that the Boro trained there. I can google the address and there is a street called like that still today. There is an industrial area but also a small bystreet called Mannion Way. Was the training facilities situated where there are some houses now at Mannion Way?

Up the Boro!

 


   
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@jarkko 

Yes it was located in an area called the longlands. All the local league cup finals tended to be played on the ground.

Hutton Road was surrounded by houses and their gardens used to look out onto the training ground.

The changing rooms were little more than wooden sheds and I and two other referees used to officiate at all the trial matches organised by the late great Harold Shepherdson.

Boro sold the land for housing when Steve Gibson bought Rockliffe Hall 

OFB


   
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Powmill-Naemore
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@original-fat-bob @Jarkko

Wen I was young, we did occasionally climb over the wall into the Hutton Road training ground to play football on a decent pitch rather than making do with the irregularities of Clairville Common.

Great intro for the cup game this week OFB, thank you. I have to admit to feeling a little anxious that we will fail to progress into the semis.  Len's masterful analysis of the Hull performance notwithstanding, in that game, as well as in previous games and again in the Swansea game we have been giving the ball away cheaply and that has invited pressure onto us. In the hostile atmosphere of an away quarter final fixture I am very concerned that Port Vale will raise their game and make good capital out of that glaring weakness we have of always trying to play the passing game, even when the available eleven on the pitch are not as fluent, sharp, fast and (most importantly) accurate at that style of play.

I would love for your optimistic Boro3 to put in a appearance, but I will be happy if we can scrape an unworthy 1-0 win, just so long as we do get to look forward to some semi-final excitement over two legs in the New Year.


   
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@original-fat-bob hits the mark again, so thanks for that you Optimist.  Three (Boro) goals, indeed!

I am a little concerned that the squad is down to its bare bones. Imagine if Dieng is properly injured, if Glover plays between the sticks and does well so plays in the league games, too. Does that mean that as a "regular" again, he might find himself on international duty in the early New Year?  Should I be looking to buy some goalkeeping gloves?

I agree with Powmill. I would take a 1-0 win now, if offered.  We could then look forward to a (lucrative?) semi-final against one of the Big Boys.  But let's see if the team can get us there, first.

This post was modified 4 months ago by Forever Dormo

   
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@mw-in-darwin. Me too.  I had travelled up with my pal from London to see the game against Stoke.  If I remember correctly we were stood on an open terrace without any cover and it was Baltic and as you say we lost! 😎


   
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Thanks OFB for an enjoyable and optimistic opener.

I am not as positive and would not be surprised to see “typical Boro” turn up, having beaten Swansea they then lose to lower league opposition.  

If we do progress then I suspect we will just scrape through, given everyone is looking very tired but you never know they may surprise us all. CoB 😎


   
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Is Port Vale v Boro on TV?  I'm thinking of a pub nearby....


   
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TV

 

As per attached photo showing overseas stations streaming the game  no UK mainstream TV channels showing the game.

 

OFB


   
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@original-fat-bob  -  Cheers!


   
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Port Vale vs. Middlesbrough: How to watch

In the United States, the game is available on ESPN+. Click here for more details.


   
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Boro on TV tomorrow on ,Bein sports xtra 1 , 

 

OFB


   
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Won't be able to watch the match as I will be in Wetherspoons Guisborough but will be checking my phone discretly!!

From Connor Ripley

If we can get into the next round that would be incredible. It's at home, why can't we?

"I'm excited for multiple reasons. I've got a lot of friends who are Middlesbrough fans - I am a Middlesbrough fan as well - and I'll see a lot of old faces I grew up with.

"I've played against some of my best friends who were in the opposing team before and it doesn't really matter.

"I'm here for a job. I'm not here to be a fanboy - I'm here to try and knock them out of the cup.

"I like the emotional side of it but when I'm out on that pitch I'm totally focused.

"I'm confident in myself and proud of how my career's gone. Middlesbrough was amazing. I was there as a 15-year-old. They did so much for me and I'll always be grateful.

"But I actually don't care when it comes to this game. I'm a Port Vale player now - and I hope we can cause an upset."

This post was modified 4 months ago by Malcolm

   
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@malcolm That is the RIGHT attitude from Connor Ripley. Let's hope Boro can get one over his team tomorrow though. #UTB.


   
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Clive Hurren
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A lovely opener, Bob! Many thanks. 

I think tomorrow’s game will be a stiff challenge. Vale will definitely be up for it, especially Uche and Rippers. I can see it going to extra time and even penalties (I assume that’s still the format at this stage?) I think we’ll have some very tired legs at the end if that happens, 

I’ve been to Vale Park once before. We played there in 1998, the Merson promotion season, and needed to win to stay in the promotion pack. We did, 1-0, with Magic Merse getting the goal. I recall only 2 other things from that game - Hamilton Ricard missing a sitter, and the fan violence that broke out in our end. A group of so-called ‘fans’ in the Boro end - wearing no colours - spent most of the game abusing and gesturing at another group of louts in the side stand. Each group focussed on the other; neither paid much attention to the game. Eventually, those idiots in the side stand invaded and there was a punch-up, with our genuine fans, including women, being scattered amongst the seats as the mayhem unfolded. It was unpleasant and frightening. These imbeciles obviously didn’t care who they hurt. Fortunately, the police calmed it all down fairly rapidly. My brother and I remain convinced to this day that the whole fracas had been planned in advance, perhaps even between the 2 groups. I hope to goodness nothing like that happens tomorrow. 

Memories of Hutton Road. As a boy I lived only a short distance away, so sometimes ‘snuck in’ with a friend to see Boro training. There didn’t seem to be anyone to stop us wandering in, as I recall. I must have been 13.  I got John O’Rourke’s autograph - what a treasure! What a striker! I stood a couple of yards behind Willy Whigham’s goal - all through, he kept muttering meaningless little noises to himself, ‘DickedyDoo,’  which was really quite strange. But he was a great keeper, and that 1967 promotion season was simply magic. It was the year my Boro supporting started in earnest, the year I really fell in love with Boro. 


   
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Selwynoz
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Posted by: @original-fat-bob

Boro on TV tomorrow on ,Bein sports xtra 1 , 

 

OFB

requires a subscription - at least in Oz, it does. 

utb

 


   
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@clive-hurren 

Apparemtly the Police have posted special warnings of possible violence at the game tonight between both sets of fans and told everyone to take care.

Most fans who read the warning were most surprised 😳 

OFB


   
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Martin Bellamy
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Thanks OFB for the amusing yet informative fizzing preview of the big quarter-final tie that even the BBC headline for tonight's live text has carelessly overlooked (EFL Cup: Everton v Fulham and Chelsea v Newcastle - radio & text) - thankfully, it's been shown on DAZN in Germany where I'd be able to watch tonight's Carabao Cup game if I simply sign up to a €25 Super Sports monthly package where it's a European Soccer stocking filler. Thanks but no thanks and I'll probably take my chances with an unofficial stream instead.

Like the police, I'm also expecting trouble at this evening's game with some criminal defending and serious wrongdoing in front of goal - whether it will go unpunished is hard to say at this stage as the jury is still out on a few of our charges but let's at least hope they don't catch Crooks tonight - though I doubt even sleeping policemen could slow down his tired legs any further.

It's an odd game for Michael Carrick as Wembley is almost in touching distance after edging through a rather low-key set of cup draws but if they do progress then can his team negotiate their way past one of the six remaining PL teams over 2 legs in January?

Indeed, January originally had some less-demanding Championship fixtures (Brum, Rotherham, Millwall and Coventry) but now potentially shaping up to be a tough month with Villa in the FA Cup and two more games against PL sides - that's 7 games or even 8 if Boro draw against Villa and need a replay. That would certainly be a test for the injury-hit squad.

Anyway, I'm sure everyone would look forward to playing two legs against Newcastle in the semi-final but first Boro must find a way past Port Vale and upset their biggest fan Robbie Williams - hopefully, we won't see Boro Come Undone tonight...


Clive Hurren
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@original-fat-bob 

Is that true, OFB? I haven’t heard anything. 


   
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@werdermouth.  Details of unofficial streams great fully received.  Hesgoal.one? 😎


   
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@clive-hurren 

 

quote

 

Port Vale Football Club wishes to make supporters planning to attend Tuesday night's Carabao Cup Quarter Final against Middlesbrough aware of the following:

Police presence

Due to the high attendance expected at Vale Park, Staffordshire Police will have a larger-than-normal presence at this fixture.

 

They have also decided to include police horses and police dogs in their operation. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask an officer in attendance on Tuesday night.

There will also be a police drone flying over Vale Park ahead of kick-off, again this is nothing to worry about and if you have any questions please speak to an officer on duty.

unquote 

 

OFB


   
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@werdermouth - If only I knew how to on this laptop, and if it were possible, I'd send a laughing/weeping face - particularly after reading  🤣  the second paragraph of your post (above). 

Ooops! I appear to have stumbled upon the secret!


   
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@k-p-in-spain 

An early prediction: Hesgoal one DAZN nil 😉 


   
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