1927–28 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1927–28 season
Chairman England Frank Huntbach
Manager England Joe Schofield
Stadium The Old Recreation Ground
Football League Second Division 9th (44 Points)
FA Cup Fifth Round
Top goalscorer League: Wilf Kirkham (13)
All: Wilf Kirkham (14)
Highest home attendance 21,071 vs. Stoke City (17 March 1928)
Lowest home attendance 5,371 vs. Blackpool (14 April 1928)
Average home league attendance 11,127
Home colours

The 1927–28 season was Port Vale's ninth consecutive season of football (twenty-second overall) in the Football League.[1] They finished in ninth place, following three consecutive eighth placed finishes in the previous campaigns. Vale were once again looking strong in the division, yet unable to find the consistency necessary to win promotion to the top-flight. Top scorer Wilf Kirkham managed 14 goals, a whole 27 short of his previous record-breaking tally. Still one of the most successful season's in their history, they would better this finish on only three occasions over the next 85 years.

For the third season running Billy Briscoe found himself battling against severe injury, this time he fractured a cheekbone but refused to leave the pitch for treatment.[1]
Chairman Frank Huntbach.
Right-back Jack Maddock made 35 appearances and scored two penalties.

Overview[edit]

Second Division[edit]

The pre-season saw the players enjoy an outing at Rhyl, which helped new signings Alf Bennett (Nottingham Forest), David Rollo (Blackburn Rovers), Alex Trotter (South Shields), and Robert Gillespie (Luton Town) settle in.[1]

The season started terribly, with an opening day draw with Nottingham Forest followed by four consecutive defeats.[1] The team was changed around, with new signing Rollo dropped from the starting eleven; this helped the Vale to turn things around with convincing wins over Bristol City and Swansea.[1] Their third 4–0 away loss followed, and more injuries followed, along with cash offers from rival clubs for their best players.[1] By mid-October a settled side was formed, and the "Valiants" defeated derby rivals Stoke 2–0 in front of a record 31,493 at the Victoria Ground.[1] Going from strength to strength they travelled to Bloomfield Road and went from 1–0 down to 6–1 up within an amazing 25 minute spell.[1] Three more victories followed until Christmas saw a downturn in form.[1] Five consecutive post-Christmas defeats to four promotion candidates ended the Vale's promotion campaign.[1] In February Wilf Kirkham was eventually rested, and replacement Stewart Littlewood bagged five in two games to end the run of poor results.[1] Littlewood had previously scored seventy goals for the reserves in just over a season and brought the necessary firepower to help the club surge up the league.[1] Manager Schofield had something of a headache in choosing either the out-of-form legend Kirkham or consistent Littlewood, and only added to the conundrum by signing Blackpool forward Bert Fishwick.[1] Following defeats to doomed South Shields and to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, they finished the season with six consecutive clean sheets, though only won three of these games.[1]

They finished in ninth place with 44 points, almost in exactly the same spot they had finished for the past two seasons. The defence had tightened up, but the attack, and especially top-scorer Kirkham had been somewhat off the boil.[1] This led to Jack Lowe, Sidney Blunt, and Alex Trotter all being handed free transfers; they left for Oldham Athletic, Shrewsbury Town, and Manchester Central respectively.[1] Meanwhile back-up keepers Matthews and Holdcroft were also released, the former went to Halifax Town; however the latter would eventually find himself an England international and FA Cup winner at Preston North End.[1]

Finances[edit]

On the financial side, the directors wished to leave The Old Recreation Ground for new and bigger stadia, however attempts to move to the greyhound track at Sun Street were blocked by Stoke City, who claimed the Vale would be too close to them.[1] Overall the club lost £1,051 on the season, with their income £1,155 lower than the previous campaign.[1]

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, Vale breezed past league rivals Barnsley and Third Division North New Brighton with two 3–0 home victories.[1] Yet they came unstuck at Ewood Park, First Division Blackburn Rovers won 2–1 and would go on to win the final.[1]

Final league table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GA GD Pts
1 Manchester City 42 18 2 1 70 27 7 7 7 30 32 100 59 1.695 + 41 59
2 Leeds United 42 16 2 3 63 15 9 5 7 35 34 98 49 2.000 + 49 57
3 Chelsea 42 15 2 4 46 15 8 6 7 29 30 75 45 1.667 + 30 54
4 Preston North End 42 15 3 3 62 24 7 6 8 38 42 100 66 1.515 + 34 53
5 Stoke City 42 14 5 2 44 17 8 3 10 34 42 78 59 1.322 + 19 52
6 Swansea City 42 13 6 2 46 17 5 6 10 29 46 75 63 1.190 + 12 48
7 Oldham Athletic 42 15 3 3 55 18 4 5 12 20 33 75 51 1.471 + 24 46
8 West Bromwich Albion 42 10 7 4 50 28 7 5 9 40 42 90 70 1.286 + 20 46
9 Port Vale 42 11 6 4 45 20 7 2 12 23 37 68 57 1.193 + 11 44
10 Nottingham Forest 42 10 6 5 54 37 5 4 12 29 47 83 84 0.988 – 1 40
11 Grimsby Town 42 8 6 7 41 41 6 6 9 28 42 69 83 0.831 – 14 40
12 Bristol City 42 11 5 5 42 18 4 4 13 34 61 76 79 0.962 – 3 39
13 Barnsley 42 10 5 6 43 36 4 6 11 22 49 65 85 0.765 – 20 39
14 Hull City 42 9 8 4 25 19 3 7 11 16 35 41 54 0.759 – 13 39
15 Notts County 42 10 4 7 47 26 3 8 10 21 48 68 74 0.919 – 6 38
16 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 11 5 5 43 31 2 5 14 20 60 63 91 0.692 – 28 36
17 Southampton 42 11 3 7 54 40 3 4 14 14 37 68 77 0.883 – 11 35
18 Reading 42 9 8 4 32 22 2 5 14 21 53 53 75 0.707 – 22 35
19 Blackpool 42 11 3 7 55 43 2 5 14 28 58 83 101 0.822 – 28 34
20 Clapton Orient 42 9 7 5 32 25 2 5 14 23 60 55 85 0.647 – 30 34
21 Fulham 42 12 7 2 46 22 1 0 20 22 67 68 89 0.764 – 21 33
22 South Shields 42 5 5 11 30 41 2 4 15 26 70 56 111 0.505 – 55 23

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against;
GA = Goal average; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points

Results[edit]

Port Vale's score comes first

Legend[edit]

Win Draw Loss
Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42
Ground H A A H A H H A H A A H A H A H A H A H H A H A A H H A H H A H A H H A A H A A H A
Result D L L L L W W L W L W W W W L D W W W W L L L L L W W L D W W D L D L L W W D W D D
Position 6 17 18 18 21 18 16 18 16 17 16 13 12 12 13 13 11 9 7 6 8 8 11 13 13 12 9 10 11 10 8 8 9 9 12 12 12 10 9 9 9 9

Sourced from Statto.[2]

Football League Second Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
27 August 1927 Nottingham Forest H 2–2 14,524 Lowe, Briscoe
31 August 1927 Bristol City A 0–4 20,305
3 September 1927 Manchester City A 0–1 37,583
10 September 1927 Hull City H 1–2 12,169 Kirkham
17 September 1927 Preston North End A 0–4 18,127
19 September 1927 Bristol City H 5–1 11,319 Kirkham (2), Page (2), Briscoe
24 September 1927 Swansea City H 2–0 10,197 Kirkham (2)
1 October 1927 Fulham A 0–4 10,560
8 October 1927 Barnsley H 2–1 10,070 Simms (2)
15 October 1927 Wolverhampton Wanderers A 1–2 18,026 Gillespie
22 October 1927 Notts County A 4–2 9,053 Kirkham (2), Anstiss, Trotter
29 October 1927 Southampton H 4–0 10,679 Gillespie (2), Trotter, Kirkham
5 November 1927 Stoke City A 2–0 31,493 Anstiss, Kirkham
12 November 1927 Oldham Athletic H 1–0 10,000 Briscoe
19 November 1927 Grimsby Town A 0–3 10,119
26 November 1927 Chelsea H 1–1 14,115 Gillespie
3 December 1927 Blackpool A 6–1 7,662 Briscoe, Page, Anstiss, Gillespie, o.g., Kirkham
10 December 1927 Reading H 3–0 8,556 Briscoe, Page, Kirkham
17 December 1927 Clapton Orient A 1–0 9,287 Gillespie
24 December 1927 West Bromwich Albion H 4–1 8,216 Simms (3), Gillespie
26 December 1927 Leeds United H 1–2 18,869 Simms
27 December 1927 Leeds United A 0–3 32,275
7 January 1928 Manchester City H 1–2 14,310 Gillespie
21 January 1928 Hull City A 0–1 7,106
4 February 1928 Swansea City A 0–2 6,745
6 February 1928 Preston North End H 2–0 9,492 Littlewood (2)
11 February 1928 Fulham H 4–1 7,530 Littlewood (3), Page
20 February 1928 Barnsley A 2–4 5,423 Gillespie (2)
25 February 1928 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 2–2 11,358 Page, Littlewood
3 March 1928 Notts County H 3–0 9,664 Maddock (pen), Gillespie, Littlewood
10 March 1928 Southampton A 3–1 9,874 Kirkham, Trotter, Jones
17 March 1928 Stoke City H 0–0 21,071
24 March 1928 Oldham Athletic A 1–4 11,809 Simms
31 March 1928 Grimsby Town H 2–2 9,125 o.g., Simms
6 April 1928 South Shields H 2–3 11,081 Page, Simms
7 April 1928 Chelsea A 0–1 39,278
9 April 1928 South Shields A 1–0 4,444 Fishwick
14 April 1928 Blackpool H 3–0 5,371 Connelly, Gillespie, Griffiths
21 April 1928 Reading A 0–0 7,664
26 April 1928 Nottingham Forest A 2–0 3,713 Page, Kirkham
28 April 1928 Clapton Orient H 0–0 8,966
5 May 1928 West Bromwich Albion A 0–0 9,217

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1927–28 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R3 14 January 1928 Barnsley H 3–0 13,162 Simms, Page, Maddock (pen)
R4 28 January 1928 New Brighton H 3–0 10,867 Page, Kirkham, Anstiss
R5 18 February 1928 Blackburn Rovers A 1–2 43,000 Anstiss

Player statistics[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Kent, Jeff (1990). "Keeping in Good Company (1919-1929)". The Valiants' Years The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 98–123. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  2. ^ Port Vale 1927–1928 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  • Kent, Jeff (1993). The Port Vale Record 1879-1993. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9508981-9-8.