1998–99 Stoke City F.C. season

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Stoke City
1998–99 season
Chairman Keith Humphreys
Manager Brian Little
Stadium Britannia Stadium
Football League Second Division 8th (69 Points)
FA Cup Second Round
League Cup First Round
League Trophy Second Round
Top goalscorer League: Graham Kavanagh (11)
All: Graham Kavanagh (13)
Highest home attendance 23,272 vs Preston North End (26 December 1998)
Lowest home attendance 6,569 vs Wycombe Wanderers (14 March 1999)
Average home league attendance 12,732
Home colours

The 1998–99 season was Stoke City's 92nd season in the Football League and the fifth in the third tier.

Stoke entered a new era at their 28,000 seater stadium in the third tier of English football with heavy debts of around £5 million and had no manager the future seemed very uncertain. It came as a welcome surprise then when chairman Keith Humphreys appointed former Aston Villa manager Brian Little. And Little's new look side started the season on fire winning six straight matches as it looked like that Stoke would be too good for their Second Division opponents. By November it seemed a matter of when and not if Stoke would gain promotion but their form completely dropped off and just one win was registered from the end of November to March. Chief executive Jez Moxey was now coming in for some serious pressure to resign by the supporters due to the poor finances and with no chance of promotion Stoke finished in 8th place with 69 points. Little had since lost interest way before the end of the season and he resigned in July leaving Stoke to find another manager.[1]

Season review[edit]

League[edit]

Chief executive Jez Moxey predicted that Stoke would lose around £1 million a year through being in the Second Division, such was the price Stoke had to pay after poor financial mismanagement on moving to the Britannia Stadium.[1] In an attempt to retain fan interest season ticket prices were froze and chairman Keith Humphreys apologised for the past nine months of "bloody awful football" and he also appealed to the supporter group S.O.S (Save Our Stoke) to lift their ban on season tickets and merchandise.[1] SOS wanted the stave out the current board and force them to sell in order to breathe fresh life back into the club.[1] It came as a welcome surprise then when chairman Keith Humphreys appointed former Aston Villa manager Brian Little.[1] Accepting that there was hardly any money available, Little signed players from the lower leagues such as Bryan Small, Phil Robinson and David Oldfield.[1]

Little's new look side started the 1998–99 season with a bang, winning their first six matches which included a thrilling 4–3 win at Preston North End and saw Stoke installed by the bookies as promotion favourites.[1] However a remainder that the club still had incompetent people working there when Jez Moxey divulges that they had budgeted for three rounds in the League Cup, Stoke lost to Macclesfield Town in the first round and therefore lost some £125,000.[1] On the pitch Stoke's run came to and end at Fulham and worryingly new signing Chris Short had breathing problems and had to be carried off, it would disrupt the balance of the team and his condition would eventually end his career.[1] Up front the goals dried up with Kyle Lightbourne out injured and Simon Sturridge retiring the injuries slowed Stoke's progress and David Oldfield was having a poor time and became a target for the fans.[1]

It was becoming frustrating for Stoke as promotion rivals Fulham went out and spent £2 million on Barry Hayles whose gaols would win them the title and Stoke on the other hand had to rely on free transfers and loans as well as academy players.[1] Stoke won one game between Christmas and the beginning of March, dropping out of the play-off places. Little was very unimpressed and after a 2–0 defeat at Millwall who won despite having nine men for most of the match said: "That was the worst result in my twelve years in management".[1] More protests by the supporters followed against Moxey and the directors as Stoke's slim hopes of making the play-offs ended with a humiliating 4–1 defeat at home to Bristol Rovers and Stoke finished the season in 8th place.[1] Brian Little resigned in July 1999 saying: "I have tried my best and the disappointment is very hard to take. I hope the supporters understand that it's best that I leave".[1] He soon joined West Bromwich Albion meaning that Stoke would at least get some compensation.[1]

FA Cup[edit]

Stoke won their first FA Cup away tie in 26 years against league rivals Reading alas normal service was resumed in the next match a defeat at Swansea City.[1]

League Cup[edit]

Stoke met nearby Macclesfield Town in the first round and came away embarrassed as the "Silkmen" won 3–2 on aggregate.[1]

League Trophy[edit]

After beating Blackpool Stoke lost 2–1 at home to Rochdale.[1]

Final league table[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Fulham 46 31 8 7 79 32 +47 101
2 Walsall 46 26 9 11 63 47 +16 87
3 Manchester City 46 22 16 8 69 33 +36 82
4 Gillingham 46 22 14 10 75 44 +31 80
5 Preston North End 46 22 13 11 78 50 +28 79
6 Wigan Athletic 46 22 10 14 75 48 +27 76
7 Bournemouth 46 21 13 12 63 41 +22 76
8 Stoke City 46 21 6 19 59 63 –4 69
9 Chesterfield 46 17 13 16 46 44 +2 64
10 Millwall 46 17 11 18 52 59 –7 62
11 Reading 46 16 13 17 54 63 –9 61
12 Luton Town 46 16 10 20 51 60 –9 58
13 Bristol Rovers 46 13 17 16 65 56 +9 56
14 Blackpool 46 14 14 18 44 54 –10 56
15 Burnley 46 13 16 17 54 73 –19 55
16 Notts County 46 14 12 20 52 61 –9 54
17 Wrexham 46 13 14 19 43 62 –19 53
18 Colchester United 46 12 16 18 52 70 –18 52
19 Wycombe Wanderers 46 13 12 21 52 58 –6 51
20 Oldham Athletic 46 14 9 23 48 66 –18 51
21 York City 46 13 11 22 56 80 –24 50
22 Northampton Town 46 10 18 18 43 57 –14 48
23 Lincoln City 46 13 7 26 42 74 –32 46
24 Macclesfield Town 46 11 10 25 43 63 –30 43

Key: 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]

Stoke's score comes first

Legend[edit]

Win Draw Loss

Football League Second Division[edit]

Match Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
1 8 August 1998 Northampton Town A 3 – 1 6,661 Kavanagh (pen) 7', Thorne 63', Crowe 83'
2 15 August 1998 Macclesfield Town H 2 – 0 13,981 Crowe 25', Thorne 36'
3 22 August 1998 Preston North End A 4 – 3 11,587 Crowe (2) 50', 85', Kavanagh (2) 69', 72' (pen)
4 29 August 1998 Oldham Athletic H 2 – 0 12,306 Keen 22', Lightbourne 90'
5 31 August 1998 Colchester United A 1 – 0 4,728 Kavanagh 78'
6 5 September 1998 Bournemouth H 2 – 0 13,443 Thorne 70', Crowe 76'
7 8 September 1998 Fulham A 0 – 1 12,055
8 12 September 1998 Millwall H 1 – 0 12,307 Lightbourne 90'
9 19 September 1998 Wrexham A 1 – 0 7,290 Wallace 78'
10 26 September 1998 Blackpool H 1 – 3 15,002 Crowe 69' (pen)
11 3 October 1998 Reading A 1 – 2 13,089 Whittle 69'
12 12 October 1998 Chesterfield H 0 – 0 10,557
13 17 October 1998 Lincoln City A 2 – 1 6,159 Robinson 59', Sigurðsson 52'
14 20 October 1998 Bristol Rovers A 0 – 1 6,752
15 24 October 1998 Wigan Athletic H 2 – 1 11,480 Kavanagh 52', Griffiths 53' (o.g.)
16 31 October 1998 Notts County A 0 – 1 8,546
17 7 November 1998 Luton Town H 3 – 1 12,964 Oldfield 3', Forsyth 37', Lightbourne 90'
18 10 November 1998 Burnley A 2 – 0 10,575 Lightbourne 47', Thorne 62'
19 21 November 1998 York City H 2 – 0 11,795 Forsyth 30', Oldfield 35'
20 28 November 1998 Wycombe Wanderers A 1 – 0 6,023 Kavanagh 79'
21 12 December 1998 Gillingham H 0 – 0 17,233
22 19 December 1998 Walsall A 0 – 1 9,056
23 26 December 1998 Preston North End H 0 – 1 23,272
24 28 December 1998 Manchester City A 1 – 2 30,478 Sigurðsson 31'
25 9 January 1999 Northampton Town H 3 – 1 11,180 Wallace 56', Thorne 74', Lightbourne 84'
26 23 January 1999 Colchester United H 3 – 3 12,507 Gregory 30' (o.g.), Lightbourne 34', Sigurðsson 42'
27 29 January 1999 Manchester City H 0 – 1 13,679
28 6 February 1999 Bournemouth A 0 – 4 7,637
29 20 February 1999 Millwall A 0 – 2 7,855
30 27 February 1999 Wrexham H 1 – 3 10,765 Sigurðsson 82'
31 6 March 1999 Blackpool A 1 – 0 5,504 Lightbourne 34'
32 10 March 1999 Reading H 0 – 4 8,218
33 13 March 1999 Luton Town A 2 – 1 5,221 Kavanagh (2) 10' (pen), 17'
34 16 March 1999 Fulham H 0 – 1 12,298
35 20 March 1999 Notts County H 2 – 3 9,565 Oldfield 68', Keen 90'
36 27 March 1999 Wigan Athletic A 3 – 2 4,133 Thorne 54', Kavanagh 80', Strong 88'
37 3 April 1999 Lincoln City H 2 – 0 12,845 Thorne 21', 65'
38 5 April 1999 Chesterfield A 1 – 1 5,290 Oldfield 32'
39 10 April 1999 Bristol Rovers H 1 – 4 17,823 Thorne 41'
40 14 April 1999 Wycombe Wanderers H 2 – 2 6,569 Wallace 38, Oldfield 61'
41 17 April 1999 York City A 2 – 2 4,142 Kavanagh 10' (pen), 85'
42 24 April 1999 Burnley H 1 – 4 10,965 Crowe 31'
43 27 April 1999 Macclesfield Town A 2 – 1 3,825 Oldfield 31', Crowe 50'
44 1 May 1999 Gillingham A 0 – 4 8,289
45 4 May 1999 Oldham Athletic A 0 – 1 5,015
46 8 May 1999 Walsall H 2 – 0 12,091 Connor (2) 24', 50'

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1998–99 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
R1 14 November 1998 Reading A 1 – 0 10,095 Lightbourne 27'
R2 5 December 1998 Swansea City A 0 – 1 7,460

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
R1 1st Leg 11 August 1998 Macclesfield Town A 1 – 3 2,963 Kavanagh 10'
R1 2nd Leg 19 August 1998 Macclesfield Town H 1 – 0 6,152 Thorne 78'

League Trophy[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
R1 8 December 1998 Blackpool A 2 – 0 1,759 Kavanagh 10' (pen), Thorne 76'
R2 2 February 1998 Rochdale H 1 – 2 7,661 Crowe 88'

Squad statistics[edit]

Pos. Name League FA Cup League Cup League Trophy Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England Carl Muggleton 40 0 2 0 2 0 2 0 46 0
GK England Stuart Fraser 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0
GK England Gavin Ward 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
DF England Lee Collins 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
DF England Nicky Mohan 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 0
DF England Ben Petty 9(2) 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 11(2) 0
DF England Ally Pickering 0(1) 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1(1) 0
DF England Phil Robinson 39(1) 1 2 0 2 0 0 0 43(1) 1
DF England Chris Short 19(2) 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 21(2) 0
DF Iceland Lárus Sigurðsson 38 4 2 0 1 0 2 0 43 4
DF Scotland Steven Tweed 0(1) 0 0 0 0(1) 0 1 0 1(2) 0
DF England Justin Whittle 9(5) 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 10(5) 1
DF England Steve Woods 33 0 2 0 2 0 2 0 39 0
DF England Ashley Wooliscroft 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0
DF England Bryan Small 35(2) 0 2 0 2 0 2 0 41(2) 0
DF England Ray Wallace 11(20) 3 0(1) 0 0(1) 0 1 0 12(22) 3
MF Republic of Ireland Clive Clarke 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
MF England Richard Forsyth 13(5) 2 2 0 0 0 1(1) 0 14(6) 2
MF England Robert Heath 7(3) 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 9(3) 0
MF Republic of Ireland Graham Kavanagh 36 11 2 0 2 1 2 1 42 13
MF England Jason Kavanagh 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
MF England Kevin Keen 43(1) 2 2 0 1 0 1(1) 0 47(2) 2
MF England Neil MacKenzie 3(3) 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 3(4) 0
MF Republic of Ireland James O'Connor 4 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 4(1) 0
MF Australia David Oldfield 43(3) 6 2 0 2 0 1 0 48(3) 6
MF England Greg Strong 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 1
FW England Paul Connor 2(1) 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2(1) 2
FW England Dean Crowe 19(19) 8 0 0 1 0 1 1 21(19) 9
FW Bermuda Kyle Lightbourne 28(8) 7 1 1 0 0 1 0 31(8) 8
FW England Simon Sturridge 1(2) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2(2) 0
FW England Steven Taaffe 1(2) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1(2) 0
FW England Peter Thorne 33(1) 9 2 0 2 1 1 1 38(1) 11
Own goals 2 0 0 0 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Lowe, Simon (2000). Stoke City The Modern Era - A Complete Record. Desert Island Books. ISBN 1-874287-39-2. 

See also[edit]