1989–90 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1989–90 season
Chairman England Bill Bell
Manager England John Rudge
Stadium Vale Park
Football League Second Division 11th (61 Points)
FA Cup Fourth Round
League Cup Second Round
Full Members Cup Second Round
Player of the Year England Neil Aspin
Top goalscorer League: Darren Beckford (17)
All: Darren Beckford (21)
Highest home attendance 22,075 vs. Stoke City (3 February 1990)
Lowest home attendance 4,441 vs. Walsall (28 August 1989)
Average home league attendance 8,978
Home colours

The 1989–90 season was Port Vale's seventy-eighth season of football in the Football League, and first (thirty-third overall) season back in the Second Division following their promotion from the Third Division.[1] They were playing in the second tier, and at the same level as rivals Stoke City, for the first time since 1956–57. John Rudge led his side to a comfortable mid-table finish, whilst Stoke suffered relegation in bottom place despite the two derby matches finishing in draws. After beating top-flight Derby County, Vale exited the FA Cup at the Fourth Round with their biggest ever loss in the competition, losing 6–0 to Aston Villa at Villa Park. They left both the League Cup and the Full Members Cup at the Second Round.

Overview[edit]

Second Division[edit]

The pre-season saw John Rudge sign solid young defender Neil Aspin from Leeds United for £150,000; 28 year old forward Nicky Cross from Leicester City for £125,000; and veteran winger Ian Miller on a free transfer from Blackburn Rovers (as cover for an injured Gary Ford).[1] The Burslem club had never previously spent anything close to the £275,000 spent in summer 1989, yet other clubs in the division far outspent the Vale.[1] Vale Park was also upgraded at a cost of £250,000, though grants helped to halve the cost for the club itself.[1] Despite this effort, inspectors closed the Bycars End down due to safety issues, and reduced the stadium's capacity to 12,000 after cutting the capacity of the Railway Paddock by two-thirds.[1] Season ticket sales more than doubled to 2,231.[1] Phil Sproson attempted to return to the game and so the club accepted a £50,000 transfer payment from Birmingham City.[1] Meanwhile the Vale were the bookmakers favourites for relegation, having started the season with six players out injured, including Ray Walker.[1]

The season opened with a 2–2 draw with Bradford City at Valley Parade, and a 2–1 home win over West Bromwich Albion the following week.[1] The club soon scrapped their all-ticket rule after poor attendances in the first games.[1] Vale went seven games without a win in the league, though on 23 September managed a 1–1 draw with Stoke at the Victoria Ground, some 27,004 fans in attendance.[1] The police bills for Vale games reached as much as £1.50 a head for some games, though the police went some way to justify this cost by arresting 85 people on the day of the Potteries derby.[1] Rudge switched from a 4–4–2 formation to 4–3–3 so as to include Miller, and a mini-revival followed, ending with a 3–0 win over Barnsley at Oakwell.[1] Six games without a win followed, and Alan Webb broke his leg during a 2–2 draw with Newcastle United at St James' Park.[1] In November, Vale Park opened a new 48 seat disabled stand at a cost of £100,000.[1] Ron Futcher was then sold to Fourth Division Burnley for £60,000, though an injury crisis in defence exposed the club's lack of squad depth.[1] With Gary West out with damaged ligaments, big defender Tim Parkin was bought from Swindon Town for £60,000.[1] The next month the Hamil End was reopened after £175,000 worth of renewal work.[1] Rudge switched back to 4–4–2, utilizing Andy Porter in midfield.[1]

Vale went six games unbeaten over the new year, beating Ipswich Town 5–0 (their biggest win in the division since 1932) and fighting to a goalless home draw with Stoke in the process.[1] The Stoke game was a disappointment as City were adrift at the foot of the table, and the pitch was 'as lumpy as porridge'.[1] The Bycars End reopened after a £90,000 investment, 22,075 fans turned up for the game – the biggest gate for a league game since the visit of Grimsby Town in 1960.[1] This moved Vale to within three points of the play-offs.[1] A poor March dragged them down the table though, as the stadium's capacity was again reduced and the police bill spiralled.[1] In April, Rudge sold David Riley to Peterborough United for £40,000, whilst £20,000 was spent bringing in Gary McKinstry from Portadown.[1] The club's play-off dreams were killed off by a 2–1 defeat from Newcastle United, after which only two points were won from the final four games.[1] Despite this the supporters held popular player Neil Aspin aloft following the team's final home game (a 2–1 defeat to Sunderland).[1] The final game was a goalless draw with Oxford United at the Manor Ground, which was enough to ensure a top-half finish.[1]

They finished in eleventh place with 61 points, their highest finish since 1933–34.[1] Darren Beckford was top-scorer with 21 goals in all competitions, with Nicky Cross and Robbie Earle bagged 15 and 12 goals respectively.[1] The average home attendance of 8,978 was the highest since 1963–64.[1] The players were taken on a holiday to Spain as a reward for their efforts.[1] Rudge retained the entire playing staff at the end of the season.[1]

Finances[edit]

The club's shirt sponsors were ABC Minolta Copiers.

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, Vale were drawn against top-flight Derby County in the Third Round, and progressed 3–2 in the replay at The Baseball Ground having 'gave as good as they received' as they drew the original tie 1–1.[1] The win was 'another famous cup victory' for the club, as three goals were put past Peter Shilton.[1] Another difficult fixture awaited in the Fourth Round. On 27 January, Aston Villa inflicted Vale's biggest ever cup defeat with a 6–0 win in front of 36,532 fans at Villa Park. Nevertheless the cup run raised £150,000.[1]

In the League Cup, Vale overcame Third Division Walsall 3–1 on aggregate, having won 1–0 at home and 2–1 at Fellows Park. They then came unstuck against First Division Wimbledon, losing 2–1 at home before getting beat 3–0 at Plough Lane.

In the short-lived Full Members Cup, Vale made it past the First Round with a 2–1 win over Sunderland at Roker Park, Walker and Cross getting the goals. They were then eliminated by Middlesbrough at the next stage, after losing 3–1 at Ayresome Park despite a Jeffers goal.

Final league table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA W D L GF GA GF GA GD Pts
1 Leeds United 46 16 6 1 46 18 8 7 8 33 34 79 52 + 27 85
2 Sheffield United 46 14 5 4 43 27 10 8 5 35 31 78 58 + 20 85
3 Newcastle United 46 17 4 2 51 26 5 10 8 29 29 80 55 + 25 80
4 Swindon Town 46 12 6 5 49 29 8 8 7 30 30 79 59 + 20 74
5 Blackburn Rovers 46 10 9 4 43 30 9 8 6 31 29 74 60 + 14 74
6 Sunderland 46 10 8 5 41 32 10 6 7 29 32 70 64 + 8 74
7 West Ham United 46 14 5 4 50 22 6 7 10 30 35 80 57 + 23 72
8 Oldham Athletic 46 15 7 1 50 23 4 7 12 20 34 70 57 + 13 71
9 Ipswich Town 46 13 7 3 38 22 6 5 12 29 44 67 51 + 16 69
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 12 5 6 37 20 6 8 9 30 40 67 50 + 17 67
11 Port Vale 46 11 9 3 37 20 4 7 12 25 37 62 57 + 5 61
12 Portsmouth 46 9 8 6 40 34 6 8 9 22 31 62 65 – 3 61
13 Leicester City 46 10 8 5 34 29 5 6 12 33 50 67 79 – 12 59
14 Hull City 46 7 8 8 27 31 7 8 8 31 34 58 65 – 7 58
15 Watford 46 11 6 6 41 28 3 9 11 17 32 58 60 – 2 57
16 Plymouth Argyle 46 9 8 6 30 23 5 5 13 28 40 58 63 – 5 55
17 Oxford United 46 8 7 8 35 31 7 2 14 22 35 57 66 – 9 54
18 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 10 6 7 28 27 5 3 15 28 45 56 72 – 16 54
19 Barnsley 46 7 9 7 22 23 6 6 11 27 48 49 71 – 22 54
20 West Bromwich Albion 46 6 8 9 35 37 6 7 10 32 34 67 71 – 4 51
21 Middlesbrough 46 10 3 10 33 29 3 8 12 19 34 52 63 – 11 50
22 Bournemouth 46 8 6 9 30 31 4 6 13 27 45 57 76 – 19 48
23 Bradford City 46 9 6 8 26 24 0 8 15 18 44 44 68 – 24 41
24 Stoke City 46 4 11 8 20 24 2 8 13 15 39 35 63 – 28 37

P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; 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 43 44 45 46
Ground A H A H H A A A H H A A H A H H A H A H A H A A H A H H H A H A A H A H H A H A A H A H H A
Result D W L D D L D L D W W L D D D L L W W W L D L D W W W D W L W L D D L W W D L W L W L D L D
Position 10 7 13 17 12 19 18 20 20 20 13 15 16 15 15 15 16 15 14 13 13 14 15 16 14 12 9 10 9 10 9 9 10 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11

Sourced from Statto.[2]

Football League Second Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
19 August 1989 Bradford City A 2–2 10,242 Glover (pen), Beckford
26 August 1989 West Bromwich Albion H 2–1 7,695 Glover (pen), Futcher
2 September 1989 Brighton & Hove Albion A 0–2 7,218
9 September 1989 Blackburn Rovers H 0–0 7,601
12 September 1989 Hull City H 1–1 6,168 Earle
16 September 1989 Watford A 0–1 8,445
23 September 1989 Stoke City A 1–1 27,004 Earle
26 September 1989 Bournemouth A 0–1 6,511
30 September 1989 Leeds United H 0–0 11,156
7 October 1989 Leicester City H 2–1 7,268 Beckford, Cross
14 October 1989 Barnsley A 3–0 6,475 Cross (2), Earle
17 October 1989 Wolverhampton Wanderers A 0–2 18,123
21 October 1989 West Ham United H 2–2 8,899 o.g., Futcher
28 October 1989 Newcastle United A 2–2 17,824 o.g., Futcher
30 October 1989 Middlesbrough H 1–1 7,708 Glover (pen)
4 November 1989 Oxford United H 1–2 6,994 Jeffers
11 November 1989 Portsmouth A 0–2 7,708
18 November 1989 Swindon Town H 2–0 7,393 Beckford, Cross
25 November 1989 Plymouth Argyle A 2–1 7,034 Cross (2)
2 December 1989 Bradford City H 3–2 6,762 Earle (2), Beckford
9 December 1989 Hull City A 1–2 4,207 Earle
16 December 1989 Sheffield United H 1–1 9,813 Cross
26 December 1989 Oldham Athletic A 1–2 11,274 Parkin
30 December 1989 Sunderland A 2–2 21,377 o.g., Millar
1 January 1990 Ipswich Town H 5–0 8,617 Beckford (2), Earle, Cross, Miller
13 January 1990 West Bromwich Albion A 3–2 13,575 Cross, Beckford, Porter
20 January 1990 Brighton & Hove Albion H 2–1 8,666 Cross (2)
3 February 1990 Stoke City H 0–0 22,075
10 February 1990 Watford H 1–0 7,064 Earle
17 February 1990 Blackburn Rovers A 0–1 9,257
24 February 1990 Plymouth Argyle H 3–0 7,254 Hughes, Beckford, Mills
3 March 1990 Swindon Town A 0–3 8,314
7 March 1990 Leeds United A 0–0 29,550
10 March 1990 Bournemouth H 1–1 7,131 Millar
17 March 1990 Leicester City A 0–2 10,076
19 March 1990 Barnsley H 2–1 7,036 o.g., Beckford
24 March 1990 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 3–1 12,506 Millar, Beckford, Earle
31 March 1990 West Ham United A 2–2 20,507 Beckford, Cross
7 April 1990 Newcastle United H 1–2 10,290 Earle
11 April 1990 Middlesbrough A 3–2 14,973 Beckford (2), Glover (pen)
14 April 1990 Ipswich Town A 2–3 10,652 Earle, Cross (pen)
16 April 1990 Oldham Athletic H 2–0 11,451 Beckford (2)
21 April 1990 Sheffield United A 1–2 16,809 Beckford
28 April 1990 Portsmouth H 1–1 7,492 Beckford
1 May 1990 Sunderland H 1–2 9,447 Millar
5 May 1990 Oxford United A 0–0 4,708

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1989–90 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R3 7 January 1990 Derby County H 1–1 17,478 Beckford
R3 Replay 10 January 1990 Derby County A 3–2 21,389 o.g., Walker, Cross
R4 27 January 1990 Aston Villa A 0–6 36,532

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 1st Leg 22 August 1989 Walsall A 2–1 4,774 Beckford (2)
R1 2nd Leg 28 August 1989 Walsall H 1–0 4,441 Beckford
R2 1st Leg 18 September 1989 Wimbledon H 1–2 5,827 Futcher
R2 2nd Leg 4 October 1989 Wimbledon A 0–3 2,851

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 aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj Kent, Jeff (1990). "From Rags to Riches (1979–1990)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 258–290. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  2. ^ Port Vale 1989–1990 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  • Kent, Jeff (1993). The Port Vale Record 1879-1993. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9508981-9-8.