1970–71 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1970–71 season
Chairman England Mark Singer
(until February)
United Kingdom Graham Bourne
(February onwards)
Manager England Gordon Lee
Stadium Vale Park
Football League Third Division 17th (42 Points)
FA Cup First Round
League Cup First Round
Player of the Year Scotland Tommy McLaren
Top goalscorer League: John James (15)
All: John James (15)
Highest home attendance 11,224 vs. Aston Villa (19 October 1970)
Lowest home attendance 3,450 vs. Reading (13 March 1971)
Average home league attendance 5,437
Home colours

The 1970–71 season was Port Vale's fifty-ninth season of football in the Football League, and their first (seventh overall) season back in the Third Division following their promotion from the Fourth Division.[1] Gordon Lee led his team to safety in the league, though Vale exited both cup competitions at the first stage.

Overview[edit]

Third Division[edit]

The pre-season saw the arrival of centre-half Roy Cross (Walsall); inside-forward Brian Horton (Hednesford Town); and full-back Mick Hopkinson (Mansfield Town).[1]

The season began with two wins, but a run of one win in ten games then followed. In September, four of the five directors resigned, one of them (Len Cliff) stated that "the club is being run by outsiders".[1] A new board was formed by November.[1] Meanwhile on 13 September the club suffered a loss of 7–3 at Gay Meadow to Shrewsbury Town, despite a Bobby Gough hat-trick – the match also saw a sending off, an attempted pitch invasion, and a £35 fine for Gordon Lee for remarks he made to referee Ricky Nicholson.[1] Tommy McLaren then returned from injury to lead Vale on a four match winning streak that included a 2–0 win over fallen-giants Aston Villa in front of a Burslem crowd of 11,224 fans.[1] Four straight defeats soon came after this sequence however, as Vale's form was patchy.[1] In December, Ron Wilson left the club as he emigrated to South Africa due to his son's ill health.[1] A 1–0 defeat at Villa Park on 16 January was the first of a nine match streak without a victory.[1] At the end of the month Lee signed John Brodie from Northern Premier League side Bradford Park Avenue for £250.[1] During this spell forward Sammy Morgan began to be jeered by fans after losing his scoring touch.[1] He also began studying to be a teacher.[1] Lee said that "I really feel some of our lads have been singled out by the boo boys. If only they realised that encouragement can lift players, things would be so much better".[1] In February, Mark Singer resigned as chairman, and was replaced by Graham Bourne.[1] By then the club were hovering above the relegation zone, but a record of just ten goals conceded in their final twelve games was enough to secure safety, with Brian Horton in good form.[1]

They finished in seventeenth spot, their 42 points leaving them three clear of relegation.[1] John James was the top-scorer with fifteen goals.[1] As a reward for their endeavours, the players were taken on a working holiday to Benidorm, Spain.[1]

Finances[edit]

On the financial side, a profit of £3,424 was made, the club's first profitable season since 1962–63.[1] A £19,322 donation from the Sportsmen's Association and the Development Fund helped to reduce the club's total debt to £134,640.[1] Three players were released: Mick Hopkinson (Boston United); John Green (Northwich Victoria); and John King (Wigan Athletic).[1]

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, Vale were knocked out in the First Round by Fourth Division Notts County 1–0 in a 'physical' encounter at Meadow Lane.[1]

In the League Cup, Vale were eliminated once again at the first stage, this time Walsall left Burslem with a 1–0 win.

Final league table[edit]

P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Preston North End 46 22 17 7 63 39 1.615 61
2 Fulham 46 24 12 10 68 41 1.659 60
3 Halifax Town 46 22 12 12 74 55 1.345 56
4 Aston Villa 46 19 15 12 54 46 1.174 53
5 Chesterfield 46 17 17 12 66 38 1.737 51
6 Bristol Rovers 46 19 13 14 69 50 1.380 51
7 Mansfield Town 46 18 15 13 64 62 1.032 51
8 Rotherham United 46 17 16 13 64 60 1.067 50
9 Wrexham 46 18 13 15 72 65 1.108 49
10 Torquay United 46 19 11 16 54 57 0.947 49
11 Swansea City 46 15 16 15 59 56 1.054 46
12 Barnsley 46 17 11 18 49 52 0.942 45
13 Shrewsbury Town 46 16 13 17 58 62 0.935 45
14 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 14 16 16 50 47 1.064 44
15 Plymouth Argyle 46 12 19 15 63 63 1.000 43
16 Rochdale 46 14 15 17 61 68 0.897 43
17 Port Vale 46 15 12 19 52 59 0.881 42
18 Tranmere Rovers 46 10 22 14 45 55 0.818 42
19 Bradford City 46 13 14 19 49 62 0.790 40
20 Walsall 46 14 11 21 51 57 0.895 39
21 Reading 46 14 11 21 48 85 0.565 39
22 Bury 46 12 13 21 52 60 0.867 37
23 Doncaster Rovers 46 13 9 24 45 66 0.682 35
24 Gillingham 46 10 13 23 42 67 0.627 33

P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GA = Goal average; 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 43 44 45 46
Ground A H A A H A H H A A H A H H H A H H A A H A H A H A A H A H A H A A H H A A H A H A H A H H
Result W W L L W L D L L L D D W W W W D L L L L W L W W L D L D D L D L L W W D L W D L L W D W D
Position 1 1 4 10 6 15 14 16 19 18 19 19 17 12 11 9 9 10 14 16 18 16 18 15 12 15 13 15 15 14 18 19 20 20 18 13 15 15 15 16 18 18 16 17 15 17

Sourced from Statto.[2]

Football League Third Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
15 August 1970 Swansea City A 2–0 10,713 Wilson, Morgan
22 August 1970 Rochdale H 4–1 6,196 McLaren (2), James, Morris
29 August 1970 Plymouth Argyle A 1–2 7,753 Morgan
1 September 1970 Bristol Rovers A 0–3 7,931
5 September 1970 Preston North End H 1–0 6,954 James (pen)
12 September 1970 Shrewsbury Town A 3–7 5,856 Gough (3)
19 September 1970 Gillingham H 1–1 5,178 James
21 September 1970 Chesterfield H 0–2 5,930
26 September 1970 Walsall A 1–3 5,456 James (pen)
28 September 1970 Mansfield Town A 0–2 8,121
3 October 1970 Barnsley H 1–3 4,490 Gough
10 October 1970 Brighton & Hove Albion A 0–0 9,383
17 October 1970 Swansea City H 4–0 4,962 Gough (2), James, Morris
19 October 1970 Aston Villa H 2–0 11,224 James, Gough
24 October 1970 Rotherham United H 1–0 7,215 McLaren
31 October 1970 Bury A 3–2 3,669 Lacey, Horton, Boulton
7 November 1970 Tranmere Rovers H 2–2 5,495 Morris, McLaren
9 November 1970 Fulham H 0–1 8,728
14 November 1970 Reading A 1–2 5,036 Morris
28 November 1970 Halifax Town A 0–2 3,404
5 December 1970 Torquay United H 0–1 4,252
19 December 1970 Rochdale A 3–0 3,619 James, Summerscales, Morris
26 December 1970 Wrexham H 0–3 6,303
2 January 1971 Doncaster Rovers A 2–1 2,997 Cross, Gough
9 January 1971 Mansfield Town H 2–0 4,412 Morris, James
16 January 1971 Aston Villa A 0–1 28,933
23 January 1971 Bradford City A 1–1 4,436 Morris
30 January 1971 Halifax Town H 0–1 4,059
5 February 1971 Torquay United A 1–1 6,817 Morris
12 February 1971 Bradford City H 0–0 4,361
20 February 1971 Fulham A 1–4 10,389 Green
27 February 1971 Bury H 0–0 3,805
6 March 1971 Rotherham United A 1–2 6,866 James
10 March 1971 Chesterfield A 0–3 7,592
13 March 1971 Reading H 3–1 3,450 McLaren (2), Morgan
15 March 1971 Doncaster Rovers H 1–0 4,782 James (pen)
22 March 1971 Tranmere Rovers A 1–1 3,734 James
27 March 1971 Preston North End A 0–1 16,591
3 April 1971 Plymouth Argyle H 2–1 3,518 James, Morgan
10 April 1971 Wrexham A 1–1 8,186 Boulton
12 April 1971 Shrewsbury Town H 0–1 5,655
13 April 1971 Barnsley A 0–1 4,837
17 April 1971 Brighton & Hove Albion H 2–1 3,789 Morgan (2)
24 April 1971 Gillingham A 1–1 2,207 James
26 April 1971 Bristol Rovers H 2–0 4,525 James (2)
1 May 1971 Walsall H 1–1 5,758 Lacey

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1970–71 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 21 November 1970 Notts County A 0–1 15,965

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 18 August 1970 Walsall H 0–1 6,605

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 Kent, Jeff (1990). "Surviving on a Shoestring (1969–1979)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 227–257. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  2. ^ Port Vale 1970–1971 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  • Kent, Jeff (1993). The Port Vale Record 1879-1993. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9508981-9-8.