1991–92 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1991–92 season
Chairman England Bill Bell
Manager England John Rudge
Stadium Vale Park
Football League Second Division 24th (45 Points)
FA Cup Third Round
League Cup Third Round
Full Members Cup Second Round
Player of the Year England Mark Grew
Top goalscorer League: Martin Foyle (11)
All: Martin Foyle (16)
Highest home attendance 18,725 vs. Liverpool (20 November 1991)
Lowest home attendance 4,722 vs. Notts County (24 September 1991)
Average home league attendance 7,382
Home colours

The 1991–92 season was Port Vale's eightieth season of football in the Football League, and third successive (thirty-fifth overall) season in the Second Division. For only the third time in their history they competed in a division above rivals Stoke City. However it was not a happy campaign, John Rudge was forced to deal with star players Darren Beckford and Robbie Earle being sold for combined fees of £1.7 million. He spent just £375,000 to bring future-legend Martin Foyle to the club, whilst reliable goalkeeper Mark Grew was handed the club's Player of the Year award. Vale were relegated in bottom place, just five points short of safety. They exited the League Cup at the Third Round, despite a credible 2–2 draw with Liverpool at Anfield. Leaving the FA Cup at the Third Round, they were knocked out at the Second Round stage of the Full Members Cup.

Overview[edit]

Second Division[edit]

The pre-season saw John Rudge sign aged striker Keith Houchen from Hibernian for £100,000. He also spent £300,000 on Hull City defender Peter Swan. This money was raised through the sale of top-scorer Darren Beckford to Norwich City for £925,000 after a Football League tribunal (Vale had wanted £1.5 million). As well as losing his star striker, Rudge had to deal with the departure of his midfield dynamo, Robbie Earle having been sold to Wimbledon for £775,000. To replace Beckford, Rudge signed Martin Foyle from Oxford United for a fee of £375,000. The transfers of both Beckford and Foyle were club-records.

The season started positively, with new man Foyle getting both goals in a 2–0 win over his former employers Oxford. In September, Houchen suffered a tear in his hamstring, and struggled to regain his place upon his recovery. To replace him, Jason Beckford, younger brother of Darren, was brought in on loan from Manchester City. He proved somewhat less prolific than his sibling. The Vale only picked up one victory in nine league games, Houchen bagging a brace in a 2–0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux. Heading into December they had lost just three games in a sequence of ten league matches. Yet from 7 December to 21 March they went on a club-record seventeen games without a win (recording ten defeats). During this spell Andy Williams played a handful of games after arriving on a loan deal from Leeds United. Colin West then joined the club on loan from West Bromwich Albion. In February, Rudge took forward Joe Allon on loan from Chelsea. The next month, winger David Lowe arrived on loan from Ipswich Town. Out went Ryan Kidd, signing for Preston North End on a free transfer. At the end of March, victories over Plymouth Argyle and Blackburn Rovers raised hopes of a last minute escape. Picking up five points in the first four games of April, their fate rested in their hands. They failed to escape the drop however, losing both to Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium and to Grimsby Town at Vale Park.

They finished bottom of the table with 45 points, five points short of the safety of Oxford United. With 42 goals scored Vale had the lowest tally in the division, along with Plymouth, though their 59 goals conceded was a respectable total. Foyle was top-scorer with eleven league goals and sixteen in all competitions. At the end of the season young right-back Paul West was permitted to join Bradford City on a free transfer.

Finances[edit]

The club's shirt sponsors were Kalamazoo.

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, Vale were easily dispatched by Sunderland, who recorded a 3–0 victory at Roker Park.

In the League Cup, Vale advanced past Notts County on away goals with a 2–1 win at Vale Park and a 3–2 defeat at Meadow Lane. Facing First Division Liverpool in the Third Round, the "Valiants" achieved a 2–2 draw at Anfield against a first eleven of eight internationals.[1] Robin van der Laan put the Vale ahead on seven minutes after heading past Bruce Grobbelaar from a Simon Mills corner.[1] Steve McManaman equalized three minutes later from a Mark Walters assist, and Liverpool took the lead on 65 minutes after Ian Rush headed in a McManaman flick on. Vale earned a replay on 73 minutes, when Martin Foyle hit the net from a Peter Swan header.[1] Yet they were knocked out of the competition as the "Reds" recorded a 4–1 win in Burslem in front of an 18,725 strong crowd.[1]

In the short-lived Full Members Cup, Vale progress past Blackburn Rovers with a 1–0 win through a Foyle goal. They were then eliminated in the next round with a 4–0 defeat to Leicester City at Filbert Street.

Final league table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA W D L GF GA GF GA GD Pts
1 Ipswich Town 46 16 3 4 42 22 8 9 6 28 28 70 50 + 20 84
2 Middlesbrough 46 15 6 2 37 13 8 5 10 21 28 58 41 + 17 80
3 Derby County 46 11 4 8 35 24 12 5 6 34 27 69 51 + 18 78
4 Leicester City 46 14 4 5 41 24 9 4 10 21 31 62 55 + 7 77
5 Cambridge United 46 10 9 4 34 19 9 8 6 31 28 65 47 + 18 74
6 Blackburn Rovers 46 14 5 4 41 21 7 6 10 29 32 70 53 + 17 74
7 Charlton Athletic 46 9 7 7 25 23 11 4 8 29 25 54 48 + 6 71
8 Swindon Town 46 15 3 5 38 22 3 12 8 31 33 69 55 + 14 69
9 Portsmouth 46 15 6 2 41 12 4 6 13 24 39 65 51 + 14 69
10 Watford 46 9 5 9 25 23 9 6 8 26 25 51 48 + 3 65
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 11 6 6 36 24 7 4 12 25 30 61 53 + 8 64
12 Southend United 46 11 5 7 37 26 6 6 11 26 37 61 61 ± 0 62
13 Bristol Rovers 46 11 9 3 43 29 5 5 13 17 34 60 63 – 3 62
14 Tranmere Rovers 46 9 9 5 37 32 5 10 8 19 24 56 56 ± 0 61
15 Millwall 46 10 4 9 32 32 7 6 10 32 39 64 71 – 7 61
16 Barnsley 46 11 4 8 27 25 5 7 11 19 32 45 57 – 12 59
17 Bristol City 46 10 8 5 30 24 3 7 13 25 47 55 71 – 16 54
18 Sunderland 46 10 8 5 36 23 4 3 16 25 42 61 65 – 4 53
19 Grimsby Town 46 7 5 11 25 28 7 6 10 22 34 47 62 – 15 53
20 Newcastle United 46 9 8 6 38 30 4 5 14 28 54 66 84 – 18 52
21 Oxford United 46 10 6 7 39 30 3 5 15 27 43 66 73 – 7 50
22 Plymouth Argyle 46 11 5 7 26 26 2 4 17 16 38 42 64 – 22 48
23 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 7 7 9 36 37 5 4 14 20 40 56 77 – 21 47
24 Port Vale 46 7 8 8 23 25 3 7 13 19 34 42 59 – 17 45

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 H A A H H A H A A H A H A H A A H H A A H A H H A A H H A A H H A H A A H A H H A H A H A H
Result W L L D D W D L L D L W W D L D W L L W W D D D D L L L D D L L D L L L L L W W L W D D L L
Position 4 10 14 13 10 5 7 13 16 18 19 17 10 14 14 17 14 15 15 14 12 11 11 12 11 14 17 17 19 18 20 20 19 21 21 24 24 24 24 24 24 22 22 23 23 24

Sourced from Statto.[2]

Football League Second Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
17 August 1991 Oxford United H 2–1 6,984 Foyle (2)
20 August 1991 Ipswich Town A 1–2 8,646 Walker (pen)
24 August 1991 Portsmouth A 0–1 8,033
27 August 1991 Barnsley H 0–0 6,299
31 August 1991 Bristol City H 1–1 7,057 S.Mills
3 September 1991 Wolverhampton Wanderers A 2–0 16,115 Houchen (2)
7 September 1991 Swindon Town H 2–2 7,168 Foyle (2)
14 September 1991 Blackburn Rovers A 0–1 10,225
18 September 1991 Brighton & Hove Albion A 1–3 5,790 Houchen
21 September 1991 Southend United H 0–0 5,988
28 September 1991 Charlton Athletic A 0–2 4,049
5 October 1991 Cambridge United H 1–0 5,991 Porter
12 October 1991 Grimsby Town A 2–1 8,218 S.Mills, Beckford
19 October 1991 Sunderland H 3–3 7,525 Swan, Foyle, van der Laan
26 October 1991 Middlesbrough A 0–1 11,403
2 November 1991 Bristol Rovers A 3–3 3,547 Foyle (2), van der Laan
6 November 1991 Derby County H 1–0 8,589 Jalink
9 November 1991 Millwall H 0–2 8,944
16 November 1991 Plymouth Argyle A 0–1 4,363
23 November 1991 Leicester City A 1–0 11,450 Jeffers
30 November 1991 Watford H 2–1 5,777 Foyle, van der Laan
7 December 1991 Newcastle United A 2–2 18,386 Hughes, Glover (pen)
13 December 1991 Tranmere Rovers H 1–1 6,426 West
21 December 1991 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 1–1 8,480 van der Laan
26 December 1991 Barnsley A 0–0 8,843
28 December 1991 Bristol City A 0–3 9,235
1 January 1992 Ipswich Town H 1–2 8,075 Hughes
11 January 1992 Portsmouth H 0–2 5,925
18 January 1992 Oxford United A 2–2 4,199 Houchen, Swan
1 February 1992 Sunderland A 1–1 19,505 Foyle
8 February 1992 Middlesbrough H 1–2 7,019 o.g.
15 February 1992 Leicester City H 1–2 8,084 Foyle
22 February 1992 Watford A 0–0 6,602
29 February 1992 Newcastle United H 0–1 10,321
6 March 1992 Tranmere Rovers A 1–2 8,477 Jeffers
11 March 1992 Derby County A 1–3 15,345 Jeffers
14 March 1992 Bristol Rovers H 0–1 5,861
21 March 1992 Millwall A 0–1 6,148
28 March 1992 Plymouth Argyle H 1–0 5,310 Walker (pen)
31 March 1992 Blackburn Rovers H 2–0 10,384 van der Laan, Foyle
4 April 1992 Swindon Town A 0–1 8,567
11 April 1992 Brighton & Hove Albion H 2–1 6,441 Swan, Lowe
15 April 1992 Southend United A 0–0 4,462
21 April 1992 Charlton Athletic H 1–1 8,461 B.Mills
25 April 1992 Cambridge United A 2–4 7,599 B.Mills, Lowe
2 May 1992 Grimsby Town H 0–1 8,678

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1991–92 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R3 4 January 1992 Sunderland A 0–3 Byrne (3)

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R2 1st Leg 24 September 1991 Notts County H 2–1 4,722 Foyle, B.Mills
R2 2nd Leg 9 October 1991 Notts County A 2–3 4,419 Foyle, Houchen
R3 1st Leg 20 October 1991 Liverpool A 2–2 21,553 van der Laan, Foyle
R3 2nd Leg 20 November 1991 Liverpool H 1–4 18,725 Foyle

Player statistics[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sherwin, Phil (29 October 2011). "Glory of Anfield draw will never be forgotten". The Sentinel: The Way We Were. 
  2. ^ Port Vale 1991–1992 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.