1995–96 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1995–96 season
Chairman England Bill Bell
Manager England John Rudge
Stadium Vale Park
Football League First Division 12th (60 Points)
FA Cup Fifth Round
League Cup First Round
Anglo-Italian Cup Runners-up
Player of the Year Northern Ireland Jon McCarthy
Top goalscorer League: Tony Naylor (11)
All: Tony Naylor (12)
Highest home attendance 19,197 vs. Everton (14 February 1996)
Lowest home attendance 4,380 vs. Huddersfield Town (22 August 1995)
Average home league attendance 8,217
Home colours

The 1995–96 season was Port Vale's eighty-fourth season of football in the Football League, and second successive season in the First Division. Despite a poor start to the season, John Rudge led his side to a twelfth place finish. The league highlights were two derby wins over Stoke City, had these results gone the other way then Stoke would have won automatic promotion to the Premier League. Vale's excellent mid-season form also raised hopes of a promotion campaign, but they faded away at the final stages. In the FA Cup, Vale achieved a celebrated upset by knocking out holders Everton with a 2–1 win at Vale Park. They were then eliminated at the Fifth Round, after taking Leeds United to a replay. They reached the final of the Anglo-Italian Cup, where they were defeated 5–2 by Genoa. These successes did not translate to the League Cup, where Vale exited at the First Round. Key new signings were Lee Mills and Player of the Year Jon McCarthy, though it was established star Tony Naylor who was the club's top-scorer.

Overview[edit]

First Division[edit]

The pre-season saw John Rudge make three key signings.. He bought Lee Mills from Derby County with Robin van der Laan going in the opposite direction with Vale receiving an additional £475,000; as well as Jon McCarthy from York City for a, still club record, £500,000; and defender Andy Hill from Manchester City for £200,000. He also signed Dutch defender Jermaine Holwyn from AFC Ajax for a £5,000 fee.

The season started terribly, as Vale won just one of their opening ten league games, failing to find the net in half of these fixtures. However the one win during this time was against the most important of opponents, rivals Stoke City at the Victoria Ground. The derby took place on 27 August, and a crowd of 14,283 witnessed Ian Bogie score the only goal of the game. Their win over Huddersfield Town at the Alfred McAlpine Stadium at the start of the October was also followed by a sequence of eight games without a win, leaving the club staring relegation in the face. In November, Canadian international defender Randy Samuel signed after impressing on trial, but soon was sidelined with a serious knee injury. Meanwhile John Jeffers left the club for Stockport County. The Vale turned a corner in December, and would remain one of the division's form sides until April, losing just two league games in a run of nineteen games, picking up eleven wins. One of these wins was against Stoke, who left Burslem on 12 March with a 1–0 defeat. To Stoke, Bogie lived up to his name, as he scored his second league goal of the campaign in front of a Vale Park crowd of 16,737. Vale were facing the prospect of a promotion battle to reach the top-flight of English football, the Premier League, for the first time in their history. However just two wins came in the final ten games, leaving Vale to settle for a top-half finish.

They finished in twelfth place with sixty points, eleven points shy of Charlton Athletic in the play-off zone, and eight points clear of Millwall in the relegation zone. Tony Naylor was top-scorer with twelve goals in all competitions, closely followed by Martin Foyle, Andy Porter, and Jon McCarthy.

At the end of the season Kevin Kent retired, and took up a coaching role at the club. Young winger Craig Lawton had not established himself at Vale, and so was transferred to non-league Colwyn Bay. Randy Samuel was also permitted to leave for Norwegian club Harstad IL. Bradley Sandeman was another departing player, as he was given a free transfer to Rotherham United, whilst Lee Glover also joined the "Millers" for a £150,000 fee.

Finances[edit]

The club's shirt sponsors were Tunstall Assurance.

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, Vale faced a difficult tie against Crystal Palace. After a goalless draw at Selhurst Park, the Vale advanced with a 4–3 win thanks to a brace from Ray Walker. They then faced the Premier League cup-holders Everton at Goodison Park. Foyle equalized after the "Toffees" scored the opener, and Ian Bogie saved the day with a deflected goal in injury time after Everton had again taken the lead through Duncan Ferguson.[1] This goal saved the blushes of Foyle, who missed a sitter from six yards earlier in the game, and Paul Musselwhite, who gifted Ferguson his goal when he spilled Anders Limpar's cross.[2] Back at Vale Park, the "Valiants" added another scalp to their collection with goals from Bogie and McCarthy to win the match 2–1.[3] The club also took in their highest ever gate receipt total, as the game saw Vale bank £170,349. They then faced another top side away in the Fifth Round, Leeds United at Elland Road. A goalless draw raised hopes of another cup upset, and hopes turned to expectations as Naylor put Vale ahead in the replay. However two goals from Gary McAllister saved United's blushes, dumping Vale out of the cup. For their efforts, John Rudge's side were handed the FA's Giantkillers award for the season.

In the League Cup, Vale faced league rivals Huddersfield Town. Despite a 2–1 victory at the Alfred McAlpine Stadium, the "Terries" escaped from Burslem with a 3–1 victory to knock Vale out of the competition.

In the Anglo-Italian Cup, Vale drew 2–2 with Cesena, beat Ancona 2–0, and drew 0–0 with Genoa, before beating Perugia 5–3. This took Vale through the Group Stage, along with Birmingham City, as they finished ahead of both Oldham Athletic and Luton Town. Facing Ipswich Town in the English semi-final, they progressed with a 4–2 win. They still had to beat West Bromwich Albion in a two-legged affair to reach the final. They beat the "Baggies" 3–1 to become the last English team in the competition, and face Genoa once again, this time to decide the tournament's winner. Despite a brace from Foyle, the Serie B side were the 5–2 victors, former Italian international Gennaro Ruotolo scoring a hat-trick.

Final league table[edit]

Pos Team Pl W D L F A Pts
1. Sunderland 46 22 17 7 59 33 83
2. Derby County 46 21 16 9 71 51 79
3. Crystal Palace 46 20 15 11 67 48 75
4. Stoke City 46 20 13 13 60 49 73
5. Leicester City 46 19 14 13 66 60 71
6. Charlton Athletic 46 17 20 9 57 45 71
7. Ipswich Town 46 19 12 15 79 69 69
8. Huddersfield Town 46 17 12 17 61 58 63
9. Sheffield United 46 16 14 16 57 54 62
10. Barnsley 46 14 18 14 60 66 60
11. West Bromwich Albion 46 16 12 18 60 68 60
12. Port Vale 46 15 15 16 59 66 60
13. Tranmere Rovers 46 14 17 15 64 60 59
14. Southend United 46 15 14 17 52 61 59
15. Birmingham City 46 15 13 18 61 64 58
16. Norwich City 46 14 15 17 59 55 57
17. Grimsby Town 46 14 14 18 55 69 56
18. Oldham Athletic 46 14 14 18 54 50 56
19. Reading 46 13 17 16 54 63 56
20. Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 13 16 17 56 62 55
21. Portsmouth 46 13 13 20 61 69 52
22. Millwall 46 13 13 20 43 63 52
23. Watford 46 10 18 18 62 70 48
24. Luton Town 46 11 12 23 40 64 45

P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; 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 H H A A H A H A H A H H A A H H A A H A A H A A A H H H H A H A A H A H H H H A A
Result D L W D L L L L D D W L D L D L D L D W W W L W L W D D D D W W W W W W D L L L W D W L L D
Position 14 22 18 18 20 22 24 24 23 24 23 23 22 24 23 24 24 24 24 24 20 21 21 18 19 18 19 21 12 23 23 19 17 17 14 12 11 12 16 17 10 12 9 10 11 12

Sourced from Statto.[4]

Football League First Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
13 August 1995 Derby County A 0–0 10,869
19 August 1995 Millwall H 0–1 8,202
27 August 1995 Stoke City A 1–0 14,283 Bogie
30 August 1995 Sunderland H 1–1 7,693 Porter
2 September 1995 Norwich City A 1–2 13,908 Mills
9 September 1995 Portsmouth H 0–2 7,374
12 September 1995 Leicester City H 0–2 8,814
16 September 1995 Grimsby Town A 0–1 4,066
23 September 1995 Reading A 2–2 7,819 ?, ?
30 September 1995 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 2–2 11,550 Porter, Richards (og)
7 October 1995 Huddersfield Town A 2–0 11,335 Guppy, McCarthy
15 October 1995 Crystal Palace H 1–2 6,935 L.Glover
21 October 1995 Barnsley A 1–1 7,332 Guppy
29 October 1995 Birmingham City H 1–2 8,875 Porter
5 November 1995 Oldham Athletic A 2–2 5,138 Mills (2)
11 November 1995 Sheffield United H 2–3 7,284 Mills, Naylor
18 November 1995 Watford H 1–1 6,265 Samuel
22 November 1995 Tranmere Rovers A 1–2 6,681 Naylor
25 November 1995 Charlton Athletic A 2–2 10,174 Griffiths, Porter
2 December 1995 Huddersfield Town H 1–0 7,701 Foyle
9 December 1995 Reading H 3–2 6,376 Foyle, Guppy, Porter
16 December 1995 Wolverhampton Wanderers A 1–0 23,329 Porter
20 December 1995 Southend United A 1–2 4,506 Naylor
26 December 1995 West Bromwich Albion H 3–1 10,807 Foyle, Guppy, Naylor
1 January 1996 Ipswich Town A 1–5 9,926 Naylor
13 January 1996 Millwall A 2–1 14,220 Foyle, Naylor
20 January 1996 Derby County H 1–1 11,947 Naylor
10 February 1996 Sunderland A 0–0 15,954
17 February 1996 Leicester City A 1–1 13,758 McCarthy
2 March 1996 West Bromwich Albion A 1–1 13,707 McCarthy
9 March 1996 Southend United H 2–1 6,222 L.Glover, McCarthy
12 March 1996 Stoke City H 1–0 16,737 Bogie
20 March 1996 Norwich City H 1–0 6,085 Foyle
23 March 1996 Ipswich Town H 2–1 7,277 Bogie, McCarthy
27 March 1996 Portsmouth A 2–1 6,335 Griffiths, Naylor
30 March 1996 Barnsley H 3–0 7,358 Foyle, Naylor, Porter
2 April 1996 Crystal Palace A 2–2 14,180 Foyle, McCarthy
6 April 1996 Birmingham City A 1–3 17,469 Porter
8 April 1996 Oldham Athletic H 1–3 7,796 Mills
13 April 1996 Watford A 2–5 9,066 McCarthy, Porter
16 April 1996 Grimsby Town H 1–0 5,796 Aspin
20 April 1996 Tranmere Rovers H 1–1 7,419 Naylor
23 April 1996 Luton Town H 1–0 6,054 Mills
27 April 1996 Charlton Athletic H 1–3 8,428 McCarthy
30 April 1996 Luton Town A 2–3 5,443 ?, ?
4 May 1996 Sheffield United A 1–1 18,741 Naylor

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1995–96 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R3 6 January 1996 Crystal Palace A 0–0 10,456
R3 Replay 16 January 1996 Crystal Palace H 4–3 6,754 Walker (2), Foyle, Porter
R4 27 January 1996 Everton A 2–2 33,168 Bogie, Foyle
R4 Replay 14 February 1996 Everton H 2–1 19,197 Bogie, McCarthy
R5 21 February 1996 Leeds United A 0–0 18,607
R5 Replay 27 February 1996 Leeds United H 1–2 14,023 Naylor

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 1st Leg 15 August 1995 Huddersfield Town A 2–1 5,363 Sedgley (og)
R1 2nd Leg 22 August 1995 Huddersfield Town H 1–3 4,380 L.Glover

Player statistics[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Valiants: official Matchday Magazine. 7 February 1996. p. 4. 
  2. ^ The Valiants: official Matchday Magazine. 7 February 1996. p. 4. 
  3. ^ Owen, Gareth (31 January 2012). "My Favourite Game". port-vale.co.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Port Vale 1995–1996 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.