1974–75 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1974–75 season
Chairman England Mark Singer
Manager England Roy Sproson
Stadium Vale Park
Football League Third Division 6th (51 Points)
FA Cup First Round
League Cup First Round
Player of the Year England John Connaughton
Top goalscorer League: Ray Williams (14)
All: Terry Bailey/Ray Williams (14)
Highest home attendance 9,135 vs. Blackburn Rovers (26 April 1975)
Lowest home attendance 2,704 vs. Gillingham (7 September 1974)
Average home league attendance 4,346
Home colours

The 1974–75 season was Port Vale's sixty-third season of football in the Football League, and their fifth successive season (eleventh overall) in the Third Division.[1] It was Roy Sproson's first full season in charge. With cross-town rivals Stoke City competing in Europe and running close for the First Division title, Vale's attendances waned, as they were the third least-supported club in the division. This was despite a promotion challenging season that eventually ended with a sixth place finish. Vale exited both cup competitions in the opening rounds.

Overview[edit]

Third Division[edit]

The pre-season saw Roy Sproson attempt to construct a new attacking style by signing attacking midfielder Terry Bailey from Stafford Rangers for £2,500, winger Frank Sharp from Grimsby Town, and goalkeeper John Connaughton from Sheffield United.[1] There was also a dispute with John Woodward who asked for a transfer after a disagreement over his contract; Sproson said "he is trying to hold us to ransom and we are not having that".[1]

The season opened with two Bailey goals, though Vale would have to wait until their fourth match for a victory, at which point their coffers were boosted by £10,000 following Sammy Morgan's success at Aston Villa.[1] In September, Sproson made a £10,000 bid for Keith Leonard that was rejected.[1] Instead he brought in young left-back Garry Dulson on loan from Nottingham Forest, and later bought him permanently for £5,000, using another £5,400 Villa were forced to pay Vale after Morgan hit another target.[1] The "Valiants" proved difficult to beat, and heading into Christmas they won six of their last nine league games.[1] Their 4–0 win over Huddersfield Town lifted them into third place, though attendances were still below 4,000.[1] A 3–1 win over Southend United at Roots Hall then put the club into second spot, at which point Bob Mountford was sold to Rochdale for £2,000.[1] A four day holiday in Benidorm in the new year did not seem to help the Vale, as three straight defeats followed to drag them down the table.[1] To halt the slide Sproson bought striker Derek Brownbill from Liverpool for £5,000.[1] Two sendings off in a 3–1 defeat at Leeds RoadJohn Brodie also managed to break his leg in the challenge that earned him a red card – forced Sproson to defend his team after that took the Vale's red card tally to seven for the season.[1] Nevertheless a solid spell put Vale back into the promotion race by March, though their form dropped off again, and their hopes were crushed completely on 26 April with a 3–1 defeat at home to Gordon Lee's champions-elect Blackburn Rovers.[1]

They finished in sixth place with 51 points, leaving them four points shy of promoted Charlton Athletic.[1] Just two home losses were matched by only three victories on the road.[1] The three main scorers were Ray Williams (14), Terry Bailey (14), and Brian Horton (13).[1] At the end of the season the players took a break in Malta, where they drew 1–1 with Floriana.[1] Tommy McLaren spent the summer in Oregon, playing for the Portland Timbers.[1]

Finances[edit]

On the financial side, a loss was made of £16,964 despite donations of £13,803 from the development funds.[1] The supporters group also paid £1,200 for video equipment, allowing the club to record games and show players their mistakes.[2] The average home attendance of 4,346 was the third-lowest in the division.[1] Wages stood at £72,874, gate receipts took in £43,199, and there was a loss in the transfer market of £6,000.[1] The financial situation meant that seven players were released and thirteen were retained.[1] Amongst those departing were: John Woodward (Scunthorpe United); Frank Sharp (Northwich Victoria); Roy Cross (Nuneaton Borough); Bill Summerscales (Rochdale); and Reg Edwards (Brereton Social).[1]

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, Vale lost their First Round Replay 2–0 at Lincoln City's Sincil Bank, following a 2–2 draw in Burslem.[1] Dulson scored an own goal in the original match and was sent off in the replay for punching Dick Krzywicki.[1]

In the League Cup, Vale left the competition at the first stage with a 1–0 defeat at Fourth Division Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium.[1]

Final league table[edit]

P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Blackburn Rovers 46 22 16 8 68 45 1.511 60
2 Plymouth Argyle 46 24 11 11 79 58 1.362 59
3 Charlton Athletic 46 22 11 13 76 61 1.246 55
4 Swindon Town 46 21 11 14 64 58 1.103 53
5 Crystal Palace 46 18 15 13 66 57 1.158 51
6 Port Vale 46 18 15 13 61 54 1.130 51
7 Peterborough United 46 19 12 15 47 53 0.887 50
8 Walsall 46 18 13 15 67 52 1.288 49
9 Preston North End 46 19 11 16 63 56 1.125 49
10 Gillingham 46 17 14 15 65 60 1.083 48
11 Colchester United 46 17 13 16 70 63 1.111 47
12 Hereford United 46 16 14 16 64 66 0.970 46
13 Wrexham 46 15 15 16 65 55 1.182 45
14 Bury 46 16 12 18 53 50 1.060 44
15 Chesterfield 46 16 12 18 62 66 0.939 44
16 Grimsby Town 46 15 13 18 55 64 0.859 43
17 Halifax Town 46 13 17 16 49 65 0.754 43
18 Southend United 46 13 16 17 46 51 0.902 42
19 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 16 10 20 56 64 0.875 42
20 Aldershot 46 14 11 21 53 63 0.841 38
21 Bournemouth 46 13 12 21 44 58 0.759 38
22 Tranmere Rovers 46 14 9 23 55 57 0.965 37
23 Watford 46 10 17 19 52 75 0.693 37
24 Huddersfield Town 46 11 10 25 47 76 0.618 32

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 H A A H A H A A H A A H A H H A A H H A H A A H A H A H H H A H H A H A H A H A A H H
Result D D L W L D W D D L D W L D W W D W L W W W L W W L L L D D D W W L W W D W L D D W D L L W
Position 9 9 22 14 16 16 12 16 12 16 16 13 14 14 13 13 11 11 14 10 9 3 7 2 2 6 7 11 9 10 9 9 7 9 7 4 6 5 5 5 6 4 4 6 8 6

Sourced from Statto.[3]

Football League Third Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
17 August 1974 Wrexham A 2–2 6,314 Bailey (2)
24 August 1974 Swindon Town H 2–2 3,446 Williams, Sharp
31 August 1974 Grimsby Town A 0–3 5,383
7 September 1974 Gillingham H 2–1 2,704 Horton (pen), Sharp
13 September 1974 Tranmere Rovers A 0–1 3,033
18 September 1974 Brighton & Hove Albion A 1–1 12,340 Bailey
21 September 1974 Hereford United H 3–0 3,433 Williams, Horton, Bailey
28 September 1974 Halifax Town A 1–1 1,935 Bailey
30 September 1974 Colchester United H 2–2 3,722 Williams, Bailey
5 October 1974 Aldershot A 1–2 3,406 Horton
8 October 1974 Walsall A 0–0 6,507
12 October 1974 Plymouth Argyle H 2–0 3,634 Horton, Woodward
15 October 1974 Colchester United A 0–2 5,184
19 October 1974 Blackburn Rovers A 2–2 9,777 Bailey, Woodward
26 October 1974 Crystal Palace H 2–1 5,148 Bailey, Horton
2 November 1974 Bournemouth A 2–1 5,143 Williams (2)
4 November 1974 Walsall H 1–1 4,859 Williams
9 November 1974 Chesterfield H 3–2 3,941 Woodward (2), Williams
16 November 1974 Watford A 2–3 6,659 Bailey, o.g.
30 November 1974 Peterborough United A 2–0 7,627 Chadwick, Horton
7 December 1974 Bury H 1–0 4,038 Horton (pen)
14 December 1974 Huddersfield Town H 4–0 3,986 Horton, Chadwick, Bailey, Lacey
21 December 1974 Preston North End A 0–1 8,743
26 December 1974 Tranmere Rovers H 1–0 6,196 Horton
28 December 1974 Southend United A 3–1 6,535 Williams, Chadwick, Horton (pen)
11 January 1975 Bury A 1–3 7,204 Horton
18 January 1975 Peterborough United H 1–3 4,979 Horton
1 February 1975 Chesterfield A 0–1 4,348
8 February 1975 Bournemouth H 0–0 3,710
15 February 1975 Charlton Athletic A 2–2 9,449 Chadwick (2)
22 February 1975 Watford H 0–0 4,164
1 March 1975 Grimsby Town H 1–0 3,335 Williams
3 March 1975 Charlton Athletic H 1–0 4,638 Brownbill
8 March 1975 Huddersfield Town A 1–3 6,705 Williams
15 March 1975 Halifax Town H 2–1 3,334 Brownbill, Bailey
17 March 1975 Wrexham H 2–0 4,661 McLaren, Lacey
22 March 1975 Gillingham A 0–0 7,524
29 March 1975 Preston North End H 2–1 6,583 Bailey (2)
31 March 1975 Hereford United A 0–1 6,976
1 April 1975 Southend United H 0–0 4,178
5 April 1975 Crystal Palace A 1–1 15,195 Horton (pen)
12 April 1975 Aldershot H 3–1 3,382 Williams (2), Brownbill
19 April 1975 Plymouth Argyle A 1–1 22,447 Brownbill
22 April 1975 Swindon Town A 2–3 7,637 Harris, Williams
26 April 1975 Blackburn Rovers H 1–4 9,135 Williams
28 April 1975 Brighton & Hove Albion H 1–0 2,754 Woodward

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1974–75 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 23 November 1974 Lincoln City H 2–2 4,840 Bailey, Mountford
R1 Replay 27 November 1974 Lincoln City A 0–2 6,824

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 20 August 1974 Northampton Town A 0–1 5,688

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). "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. ^ Kent, Jeff (December 1991). Port Vale Tales: A Collection Of Stories, Anecdotes And Memories. Witan Books. p. 42. ISBN 0-9508981-6-3. 
  3. ^ Port Vale 1974–1975 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  • Kent, Jeff (1993). The Port Vale Record 1879-1993. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9508981-9-8.