TOWN almost snatched a draw from the jaws of victory.
No matter how it was achieved a victory was vital but why, oh why, when we could have been enjoying some festive cheer in the form of a four or five-goal romp, did Jacko's men have us clinging to the edge of our seats right up to the last minute?
Jackson's expected switch to 4-4-2 materialised with the only surprise being the inclusion of McAliskey up front to provide the aerial power and flick-ons for Abbott.
Such was Town's dominance in the early minutes that I was ready to dive back into the archives and recall the 7-1 thrashing we gave them back in the 80s when first Schofield and then Abbott punished a hesitant defence with cracking finishes.
The inter-play between Carss, McAliskey and Abbott which provided the path for Schofield to lash home was a clear indication that the side were more comfortable on the ball playing this way.
And when Abbott teed up his shot we all realised how he had claimed his hat trick back in September and sat back waiting for the floodgates to open.
But no, the festive presents expected to be handed out by the Vale defence were never opened by the Town forward line as chance after chance was created but not converted.
Then, just after the wake-up call was sounded when Birchall lost his marker and shot across the mouth of the goal, he floated the perfect cross for Eldershaw to head down and reduce the deficit.
Rachubka's reputation went up a few extra notches, saving two certain equalisers.
Quite frankly, Martin Foyle's men can feel hard done by not having claimed a point.
It's the time of year for a half term report: Town have clearly found their level in League I (mid-table). Talk of a play-off place is misguided unless fresh faces are brought in.
A relegation scrap is not an option but Town have to kill teams off if they don't want to achieve mid-table mediocrity.