Martin Tideswell: Barnet point may yet prove crucial in title chase
I WASN'T too disappointed with the goalless draw against Barnet.
It was a classic case of a game where league positions were irrelevant with a team near the bottom scrapping for their Football League existence.
We were lucky to come away with a point, by all accounts, but the fact is we did. Who knows, that point – or the one we rescued at Wimbledon – may prove crucial come the end of the season.
If nothing else, last Saturday reminded the players, coaching staff and fans that we can't take anything, or any game, for granted.
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It is, and always has been, a case of one game at a time and a matter of changing up the formation and tactics depending on the opposition.
Forget the 10-point cushion between Vale and the play-off positions: If we win at least six of our remaining 15 games and also pick up two or three draws that should see us promoted automatically.
There's every chance we could go up as champions, which would be terrific, but promotion without the lottery of the play-offs is really all that matters.
What is particularly encouraging about recent results is that we have tightened up at the back. The influence and experience of Darren Purse is clearly paying dividends.
Top-scorer Pope will doubtless return to the scoresheet tomorrow as the club and fans look to pay a fitting tribute to former club chairman Bill Bell, who died this week.
There will be flags at half mast, black arm bands and a minute's applause, which will echo the gesture made at the supporters' club annual meeting on Tuesday night.
He was always a divisive figure, but there is no denying Bell's shrewd investments and his partnership with John Rudge delivered the best period in Port Vale's history to date.
His legacy is a stadium to be proud of and the foundations of what will hopefully soon be a Championship club.
As someone said to me earlier in the week: "Billy Bell may have been a rogue, but he was our rogue."
Who knows, very soon the new owners of our club may see fit to honour "our rogue" – and possibly even his partner in success, JR – with some sort of lasting tribute.
It's something perhaps for the new supporters' club committee to work towards as we all look forward to a bright new era for Vale while paying a respectful nod to our past.