1930–31 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1930–31 season
Chairman England Frank Huntbach
Manager United Kingdom Tom Morgan
Stadium The Old Recreation Ground
Football League Second Division 5th (47 Points)
FA Cup Fourth Round
Top goalscorer League: Sam Jennings (16)
All: Sam Jennings (17)
Highest home attendance 18,043 vs. West Bromwich Albion (3 April 1931)
Lowest home attendance 5,570 vs. Bradford City (2 May 1931)
Average home league attendance 10,445
Home colours

The 1930–31 season was Port Vale's twenty-fifth season of football in the Football League, and their twenty-fourth in the Second Division following their promotion from the Third Division North the previous season.[1] They finished fifth with 47 points, making it the most successful season in the club's history in terms of league position. They were seven points short of promotion to the top-flight, and seventeen points clear of relegation.

Long-serving Billy Briscoe was given a free transfer to Congleton Town at the end of the season.[1]
Chairman Frank Huntbach.
Right-back Jack Maddock joined Crewe Alexandra at the end of the season.

Overview[edit]

Second Division[edit]

The pre-season saw the arrival of goalscoring forward Harry Roberts from Lincoln City; big goalkeeper Arthur Slater from Clapton Orient; and young outside-left Clarence Spencer from Birmingham F.C.[1]

The season started with a stylish 5–2 victory over Barnsley in front of a disappointingly low attendance of under 10,000.[1] Two defeats followed, and Albert Pynegar put in a transfer request after being dropped from the first team. Bob Connelly picked up an injury and so Jack Round was signed from Bolton Wanderers.[1] On 20 September they travelled to Goodison Park to triumph over previously undefeated league leaders Everton 3–2 in front of 27,142 spectators.[1] Two days later they tore Bradford Park Avenue apart 8–2, with a four goal haul from Sam Jennings.[1] On 4 October they travelled to Home Park, where they lost 2–1 to Plymouth Argyle; later in the day a horrific tragedy almost killed many of the Vale players – they had hired a speedboat at Devon resort which burst into flames whilst at sea, fortunately the pilot managed to extinguish the flames and returned them safely to harbour.[1]

Pynegar left the club in October following rumours of a rift with teammate Jennings, he signed with Chesterfield of the Third Division North.[1] Bert Fishwick was a more than able deputy.[1] The defensive duo of Jimmy Oakes and Shino Shenton also proved formidable at the back.[1] On 29 November promotion dreams took a knock at White Hart Lane, Spurs picking up a 5–0 win.[1] Despite competing at the top end of the table The Old Recreation Ground rarely saw much more than 10,000 spectators.[1] In December, reserve half-back George Whitcombe was sold to Notts County for 'a substantial amount', the money went towards ground improvements.[1] The following month £10,000 worth of mortgage debenture bonds were released to the same ends.[1] The Football Association would reject the club's ground improvement scheme, without giving a reason.[1]

As the season entered its final stretch top scorer Jennings was dropped from the squad, and no adequate replacement was found until Stewart Littlewood was re-signed from Oldham Athletic, with Fishwick sold to Tranmere Rovers in order to meet Oldham's demands.[1] In early April the "Valiants" beat high-flying West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur, thereby keeping hopes of promotion high.[1] West Brom won the return leg at The Hawthorns to put daylight between the two clubs.[1] In late April Vale travelled to the Netherlands for a short tour, beating Dutch Southern XI 5–1 and Zwaluwen 2–0.[1]

They finished fifth with 47 points, making it the most successful season in the club's history in terms of league position.[1] They were seven points short of second placed West Bromwich Albion. Only 61 goals were conceded, a record bettered only by West Brom and Spurs. A 67 goals scored tally however was almost half that of champions Everton. Sam Jennings finished with 17 goals, and Phil Griffiths and Harry Roberts were the only other major contributors. The ground improvements paid for were 3,500 seats on the Bryan Street stand, with a covered terrace.[1]

Finances[edit]

On the financial side, an £800 loss was made, with the weather blamed for an average gate figure of 10,537. Numerous players were released, including Billy Briscoe, Frank Watkin, and Jack Maddock.[1] Harry Roberts was also sold to Millwall.[1] Meanwhile Stewart Littlewood was also selected by the FA for a summer tour of Canada.[1]

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, Vale overcame amateur side Corinthians 3–1 in the Third Round, but then found themselves eliminated by First Division Birmingham at St Andrew's in the Fourth Round. The 44,119 attendance raised £2,763 for the club.[1]

Final league table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GA GD Pts
1 Everton 42 18 1 2 76 31 10 4 7 45 35 121 66 1.833 + 55 61
2 West Bromwich Albion 42 14 3 4 40 16 8 7 6 43 33 83 49 1.694 + 34 54
3 Tottenham Hotspur 42 15 5 1 64 20 7 2 12 24 35 88 55 1.600 + 33 51
4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 15 2 4 56 25 6 3 12 28 42 84 67 1.254 + 17 47
5 Port Vale 42 15 3 3 39 16 6 2 13 28 45 67 61 1.098 + 6 47
6 Bradford Park Avenue 42 15 4 2 71 24 3 6 12 26 42 97 66 1.470 + 31 46
7 Preston North End 42 12 5 4 55 31 5 6 10 28 33 83 64 1.297 + 19 45
8 Burnley 42 13 5 3 55 30 4 6 11 26 47 81 77 1.052 + 4 45
9 Southampton 42 13 4 4 46 22 6 2 13 28 40 74 62 1.194 + 12 44
10 Bradford City 42 12 5 4 39 26 5 5 11 22 37 61 63 0.968 – 2 44
11 Stoke City 42 11 6 4 34 17 6 4 11 30 54 64 71 0.901 – 7 44
12 Oldham Athletic 42 13 5 3 45 28 3 5 13 16 44 61 72 0.847 – 11 42
13 Bury 42 14 3 4 44 20 5 0 16 31 62 75 82 0.915 – 7 41
14 Millwall 42 12 4 5 47 25 4 3 14 24 55 71 80 0.887 – 9 39
15 Charlton Athletic 42 11 4 6 35 33 4 5 12 24 53 59 86 0.686 – 27 39
16 Bristol City 42 11 5 5 29 23 4 3 14 25 59 54 82 0.659 – 28 38
17 Nottingham Forest 42 12 6 3 54 35 2 3 16 26 50 80 85 0.941 – 5 37
18 Plymouth Argyle 42 10 3 8 47 33 4 5 12 29 51 76 84 0.905 – 8 36
19 Barnsley 42 13 3 5 42 23 0 6 15 17 56 59 79 0.747 – 20 35
20 Swansea Town 42 11 5 5 40 29 1 5 15 11 45 51 74 0.689 – 23 34
21 Reading 42 11 2 8 47 33 1 4 16 25 63 72 96 0.750 – 24 30
22 Cardiff City 42 7 6 8 32 31 1 3 17 15 56 47 87 0.540 – 40 25

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 A H A H H A H A H A H A H A H A H H A A H A H A H A H H A A H A H H A A H A H
Result W L D L W W W L L W W L D W W W L W L W D L L W L L W W L W W L L D W W W L L D W W
Position 7 10 11 12 10 10 7 9 10 9 6 9 9 7 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 10 8 9 10 7 6 6 6 5 6 8 8 7 4 4 4 8 7 6 5

Sourced from Statto.[2]

Football League Second Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
30 August 1930 Barnsley H 5–2 9,853 Pynegar (2), Jennings (2), Griffiths
3 September 1930 Bradford City A 1–2 16,000 Jennings
6 September 1930 Bristol City A 1–1 13,206 Jennings
8 September 1930 Bradford Park Avenue A 1–5 10,296 Anstiss
13 September 1930 Cardiff City H 2–0 9,693 Griffiths, Baxter
20 September 1930 Everton A 3–2 27,142 Baxter, Pynegar, Anstiss
22 September 1930 Bradford Park Avenue H 8–2 8,621 Jennings (4), Anstiss (2), Griffiths, o.g.
27 September 1930 Bury H 0–1 12,906
4 October 1930 Plymouth Argyle A 1–2 20,243 Griffiths
11 October 1930 Swansea Town H 2–0 10,970 Jennings, Griffiths
18 October 1930 Reading A 3–0 10,927 Anstiss, Spencer, Jones
25 October 1930 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 0–1 9,578
1 November 1930 Oldham Athletic A 3–3 11,625 Fishwick, Marshall, Griffiths
8 November 1930 Nottingham Forest H 3–2 9,753 Jennings, Fishwick, Griffiths
15 November 1930 Burnley A 2–1 12,277 Fishwick (2)
22 November 1930 Preston North End H 1–0 10,086 Jennings
29 November 1930 Tottenham Hotspur A 0–5 23,609
6 December 1930 Southampton H 1–0 8,828 Jennings
13 December 1930 Stoke City A 0–1 26,609
20 December 1930 Millwall H 3–2 8,448 Roberts, Jennings, Round (pen)
25 December 1930 Charlton Athletic H 1–1 15,827 Roberts
26 December 1930 Charlton Athletic A 1–3 4,768 Anstiss
27 December 1930 Barnsley A 2–5 6,469 Jennings, Roberts
3 January 1931 Bristol City H 1–0 7,411 Griffiths
17 January 1931 Cardiff City A 1–2 10,455 Roberts
26 January 1931 Everton H 1–3 9,028 Roberts
31 January 1931 Bury A 3–0 3,430 Jennings, Roberts, Henshall
7 February 1931 Plymouth Argyle H 2–1 10,236 Jennings, Roberts
14 February 1931 Swansea Town A 1–2 8,602 Henshall
21 February 1931 Reading H 2–1 8,474 Roberts, Chell
7 March 1931 Oldham Athletic H 2–0 7,720 Marshall, Oakes
11 March 1931 Wolverhampton Wanderers A 0–3 4,243
14 March 1931 Nottingham Forest A 0–1 9,281
21 March 1931 Burnley H 0–0 9,185
28 March 1931 Preston North End A 3–1 7,696 Griffiths (2), Littlewood
3 April 1931 West Bromwich Albion H 1–0 18,043 Littlewood
4 April 1931 Tottenham Hotspur H 3–0 14,290 Griffiths (2), Round (pen)
6 April 1931 West Bromwich Albion A 1–4 23,879 Griffiths
11 April 1931 Southampton A 0–2 9,452
18 April 1931 Stoke City H 0–0 13,403
25 April 1931 Millwall A 1–0 8,188 Roberts
2 May 1931 Bradford City H 1–0 5,570 Rowbotham

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1930–31 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 10 January 1931 Corinthians A 3–1 12,832 Roberts (2), Jennings
R2 24 January 1931 Birmingham A 0–2 44,119

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 v w x y z Kent, Jeff (1990). "From Glory to Despair (1929–1939)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 124–150. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  2. ^ Port Vale 1930–1931 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  • Kent, Jeff (1993). The Port Vale Record 1879-1993. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9508981-9-8.