Oh! Mr Porter, what shall I do?
I want to go to Birmingham and they’re taking me on to Crewe,
Take me back to London, as quickly as you can,
Oh! Mr Porter, what a silly girl I am."
(George and Thomas Le Brunn, 1892 - popularised as a music-hall song by Marie Lloyd, with the salacious sub-text (for its time) of “a girl going too far”)
We travel to Gresty Road (sorry, “The People’s Pension Stadium”) to try and maintain our 100% League 2 away record, while extending The Railwaymen’s 0% League 2 home record. They started the season with a wake-up call from promotion favourites Plymouth Argyle but have shown character since then, knocking Middlesbrough out of the EFL Cup and landing Premier League opposition in the next round, even if it is only Dean Smith’s Aston Villa!! There is a “live” connection between the clubs in the form of Olly Lancashire, although he was substituted in the Middlesbrough game. And if you think their goalkeeper sounds familiar (if selected) with a name like Jaaskelainen, you’d be half right - it’s Will, the son of former Bolton Wanderers and Finland’s Jussi…
Current form for the Alex:-
Aug 3 Plymouth Argyle (H) Lost 0-3
Aug 10 Oldham Athletic (A) Won 1-2
Aug 13 Middlesbrough (A, EFL Cup) Drew 2-2 but won 2-4 on penalties
Darrell Clarke has had the opportunity of seeing his squad in 3 competitive games now, and he used the EFL Cup game to bring in some fringe players - so his selections for this fixture should really confirm his thinking on a preferred starting XI. Certainly James Hardy, Caolan Lavery and possibly Rory Holden have staked their claim for a place, and Clarke then has the headache of who to drop to the bench. The composition of the team is perhaps not as important as the performance on the pitch though, and while very few people would prefer eleven “headless chickens” it is noticeable that there is an energy and a team spirit that translates into a positive experience in a competitive fixture. The return of first-choice defenders combined with a tiny bit of luck in the final third could bring three points back to God’s own country.
Prediction… let’s be ambitious and say a 1-2 away win, with Lavery and Adebayo on target. Chris Porter to net a late consolation goal for The Alex.