2000–01 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
2000–01 season
Chairman England Bill Bell
Manager England Brian Horton
Stadium Vale Park
Football League Second Division 11th (62 Points)
FA Cup First Round
League Cup First Round
League Trophy Winners
Staffordshire Senior Cup Winners
Player of the Year England Dave Brammer
Top goalscorer League: Tony Naylor (15)
All: Tony Naylor (21)
Highest home attendance 8,948 vs. Stoke City (17 September 2000)
Lowest home attendance 1,919 vs. Notts County (9 January 2001)
Average home league attendance 4,458
Home colours

The 2000–01 season was Port Vale's eighty-ninth season of football in the Football League, and first season back (thirty-eighth overall) in the Second Division. A season of two halves, Vale were struggling at the bottom of the table when Isthmian League minnows Canvey Island knocked the Vale out of the FA Cup with a 2–1 victory at Vale Park in 'one of the great shocks in FA Cup history'.[1] They also exited the League Cup at the First Round. Things turned round in the second half of the season, as a twelve game unbeaten run in the league was complimented with a League Trophy Final win over Brentford – the second time the club lifted the trophy. In the background of this was a financial crisis at the club, which motivated fan protests against Chairman Bill Bell.

Overview[edit]

Second Division[edit]

The pre-season saw Brian Horton sign Irish goalkeeper Dean Delany (Everton); midfielder Marc Bridge-Wilkinson (Derby County);[2] and Michael Twiss (Manchester United)[3] – all on free transfers. He also brought in David Freeman on a loan deal from Nottingham Forest, as well as David Beresford from Huddersfield Town. Horton also signed South African striker Sincliar Le Geyt on a one month contract,[4] though he would not make a first team appearance. On the eve of the season, top scorer Tony Rougier was sold to Reading for £325,000.[5]

The season opened with a disappointing 4–1 defeat at Boundary Park to Oldham Athletic, though the Vale then recovered to record two 3–0 victories. Two points from the next seven games follow, turning hopes of promotion into fears of relegation, and putting pressure onto Horton.[6] During this run the Vale renewed hostilities with rivals Stoke City, recording a 1–1 draw at Burslem on 17 September. Their form stabilized with a four game unbeaten run throughout November, but then no points were gained from any of the four December games. Horton attempted to sign Isaiah Rankin on loan from Bradford City, but Bill Bell rejected the move as he felt the wage bill was already too high. In January, young striker Steve Brooker was signed from Watford for a £15,000 fee. Jamaican international striker Onandi Lowe also arrived on a short-team deal, and Wayne Gray joined on loan from Wimbledon. Vale then found their feet in February, and managed to avoid defeat to Stoke at the Britannia Stadium, as they lost just three of their final 21 league games. In March, Jeff Minton was transferred to Rotherham United, and Ashley Dodd arrived at Vale Park on loan from Manchester United. The next month Richard Burgess also joined the club after leaving Bromsgrove Rovers. A cup run and numerous fixture postponements meant the club were forced to play eight games in April, of which only two ended in defeat; for this achievement Horton was named Manager of the Month.[7] The 1 May draw with Manor Ground was the final match in the stadium's 125 year history. Two days later, the final home game of the season, Billy Paynter made his debut aged only 16 years and 294 days.

They finished in eleventh place with 62 points, some distance from both the play-off and the relegation zones. They finished six places and fifteen points away from Stoke, who went on to lose in the play-offs. Tony Naylor was the club's top-scorer with 21 goals in all competitions, with new players Bridge-Wilkinson and Brooker also hitting double figures.

At the end of the season numerous players left the club: seven-year club legend and top-scorer Tony Naylor (Cheltenham Town); eight-year club veteran Allen Tankard (Mansfield Town);[8] former Player of the Year Tommy Widdrington (Hartlepool United);[9] Alex Smith (Reading);[10] Richard Eyre (Macclesfield Town); Dele Olaoye (Stafford Rangers); and Michael Twiss (Leigh RMI). Dave Brammer was also sold to Crewe Alexandra for £500,000 – a move that highly upset many Vale fans.[11]

Finances[edit]

Before the season began director Peter Wright quit the club, though Bell said he had in fact been sacked. Work on the Lorne Street stand ground to a halt, as the club ran out of money to complete the project. Vale were in a financial crisis, and fans protested against Chairman Bill Bell.[12] There were rumours of a merger with Stoke City,[13] as the media reported the possible financial collapse of the club.[14] A rare positive note was a £250,000 five-year sponsorship deal with the Bass Brewery.[15] Local barrister Charles Machin was appointed onto the club board in July 2000, and in November stated that "my 10-year ambition is to see the Vale in the top five clubs in Europe. It is my profound belief the power of God will help get the Vale to the top."[16] Machin handed Brian Horton a 60 section questionnaire on each player on the team every two weeks, and was branded as "belligerent, uncooperative and bizarre" by the League Managers Association.[16] Nevertheless the director insists that he has the club's backing to sign players from Cameroon and Italy, and publicly berates rival club Stoke City, whilst Bell states that he is in negotiations for a player-exchange deal with Brazilian club Corinthian. In October, Machin tells the press that he would sack Brian Horton if the club had the money to pay for his severance package; meanwhile Marketing Manager Rob Edwards resigns after less than two months into the job. Machin quit the club in November, and two months later set up 'Valiant2001', a fan based consortium looking to buy the club off Bill Bell.[16] Former vice-chairman Mike Thompstone also attempted a takeover of the club, which was resisted by Bell.[16] The Valiant2001 project took off with Machin at the helm, who said he should be the new chairman as "I can't think of anyone I trust more than myself".[16] The project raised £73,000 by June, and Thompstone also pledged his support.[16] Ex-director Stephen Plant also sued the Bell and the club in November, and made a £100,000 settlement in May. Another director, shopkeeper Neil Hughes, resigned in February; he returned to the club the next month, only to resign for a second time in six weeks. Dave Jolley (who had previously resigned at Stockport County after proposing a move to Maine Road[17]) was appointed Chief Executive in February.[18] The club's shirt sponsors were Tunstall Assurance.

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, Vale suffered humiliation. Leading 2–0 at half-time, they reached full-time with a 4–4 draw at non-league Canvey Island after two last-minute Canvey goals.[19] Back at Vale Park, the game was goalless after normal time, and Canvey scored two extra-time goals to win the match 2–1 after a last second strike from Naylor.[20] Vale responded to the humiliation by putting five players on the transfer list: Liam Burns, Ville Viljanen, Sagi Burton, Jeff Minton and Michael Twiss.[21]

In the League Cup, for the third consecutive season Vale lost in the First Round to a Third Division side, this time Chesterfield. After a 2–1 defeat at Saltergate, Chesterfield held on to a 2–2 draw in Burslem.

In the League Trophy, the Vale eased past Notts County with a 3–0 win.[22] They then faced Chester City of the Conference, who they defeated 2–0.[22] The area quarter-final also proved to be no challenge for Vale, as they triumphed 4–0 over Darlington.[22] The semi-final stage held a real challenge however, with the match against rivals Stoke City held at the Britannia Stadium despite the draw giving Vale a home tie.[22] Cummins put Vale ahead before Nicky Mohan equalized to take the match into extra-time.[22] A 105th minute Bridge-Wilkinson penalty put Vale into the regional final. It was a two-legged affair with Lincoln City, and Vale were the victors with a 2–0 win at Sincil Bank, thanks to goals from Bridge-Wilkinson and Naylor. Brentford awaited in the final at the Millennium Stadium.[23] Vale lifted the trophy for the second time with a 2–1 victory, Bridge-Wilkinson and Steve Brooker scoring the goals.

Final league table[edit]

Pos Team Pl W D L F A GD Pts
1. Millwall 46 28 9 9 89 38  +51 93
2. Rotherham United 46 27 10 9 79 55  +24 91
3. Reading 46 25 11 10 86 52  +34 86
4. Walsall 46 23 12 11 79 50  +29 81
5. Stoke City 46 21 14 11 74 49  +25 77
6. Wigan Athletic 46 19 18 9 53 42  +11 75
7. Bournemouth 46 20 13 13 79 55  +24 73
8. Notts County 46 19 12 15 62 66  -4 69
9. Bristol City 46 18 14 14 70 56  +14 68
10. Wrexham 46 17 12 17 65 71  -6 63
11. Port Vale 46 16 14 16 55 49  +6 62
12. Peterborough United 46 15 14 17 61 66  -5 59
13. Wycombe Wanderers 46 15 14 17 46 53  -7 59
14. Brentford 46 14 17 15 56 70  -14 59
15. Oldham Athletic 46 15 13 18 53 65  -12 58
16. Bury 46 16 10 20 45 59  -14 58
17. Colchester United 46 15 12 19 55 59  -4 57
18. Northampton Town 46 15 12 19 46 59  -13 57
19. Cambridge United 46 14 11 21 61 77  -16 53
20. Swindon Town 46 13 13 20 47 65  -18 52
21. Bristol Rovers 46 12 15 19 53 57  -4 51
22. Luton Town 46 9 13 24 52 80  -28 40
23. Swansea City 46 8 13 25 47 73  -26 37
24. Oxford United 46 7 6 33 53 100  -47 27

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

Sourced from Statto.[24]

Football League Second Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
12 August 2000 Oldham Athletic A 1–4 5,639 Twiss
19 August 2000 Oxford United H 3–0 3,814 Bridge-Wilkinson (2), Naylor
28 August 2000 Swindon Town H 3–0 3,926 Naylor (2), Smith
2 September 2000 Reading H 0–1 4,701
9 September 2000 Bournemouth A 1–1 3,859 Viljanen
12 September 2000 Cambridge United A 0–4 3,660
17 September 2000 Stoke City H 1–1 8,948 Bridge-Wilkinson
23 September 2000 Bury A 0–2 3,176
30 September 2000 Wycombe Wanderers H 0–1 3,615
8 October 2000 Peterborough United A 0–2 4,752
14 October 2000 Colchester United H 3–1 3,192 Naylor (2), Tankard
17 October 2000 Northampton Town H 2–2 4,215 Tankard, Viljanen
21 October 2000 Wigan Athletic A 0–1 6,275
24 October 2000 Brentford H 1–1 3,338 Widdrington
28 October 2000 Swansea City A 1–0 3,715 Cummins
4 November 2000 Millwall H 1–1 4,559 Brammer
25 November 2000 Luton Town H 3–0 4,194 Walsh, Naylor, Minton
2 December 2000 Walsall A 1–2 5,597 O'Callaghan
16 December 2000 Bristol City H 1–2 4,113 Bridge-Wilkinson
22 December 2000 Rotherham United H 0–2 4,110
26 December 2000 Wrexham A 0–1 4,941
6 January 2001 Oldham Athletic H 0–0 4,313
13 January 2001 Swindon Town A 1–0 5,175 Widdrington
27 January 2001 Rotherham United A 2–3 5,044 Cummins, Brooker
3 February 2001 Reading A 0–1 9,026
10 February 2001 Bournemouth H 2–1 3,956 Naylor, Brisco
17 February 2001 Stoke City A 1–1 22,133 Brammer
20 February 2001 Cambridge United H 4–2 3,558 Bridge-Wilkinson (pen), Lowe, Naylor, Brooker
24 February 2001 Bury H 1–1 4,331 Bridge-Wilkinson
3 March 2001 Wycombe Wanderers A 1–0 4,828 Brooker
7 March 2001 Colchester United A 1–0 2,579 Brammer
10 March 2001 Peterborough United H 5–0 4,787 Naylor, Tankard, Smith, Bridge-Wilkinson (pen), Twiss
24 March 2001 Wigan Athletic H 0–0 5,017
27 March 2001 Notts County A 1–0 4,603 Brooker
31 March 2001 Bristol City A 1–1 11,782 Brooker
3 April 2001 Wrexham H 1–1 4,234 Naylor
9 April 2001 Bristol Rovers H 1–0 3,962 Naylor
11 April 2001 Millwall A 0–1 11,944
14 April 2001 Brentford A 1–1 3,671 Bridge-Wilkinson (pen)
16 April 2001 Swansea City H 1–0 4,396 Brooker
26 April 2001 Northampton Town A 2–0 4,775 Naylor, Brooker
28 April 2001 Notts County H 2–3 5,236 Brooker (2)
30 April 2001 Bristol Rovers A 3–0 7,340 Naylor (2), Bridge-Wilkinson
1 May 2001 Oxford United A 1–1 7,080 Naylor
3 May 2001 Walsall H 0–2 6,027
5 May 2001 Luton Town A 1–1 5,260 Tankard

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 2000–01 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 19 November 2000 Canvey Island A 4–4 2,100 Minton (2), Brammer, Bridge-Wilkinson
R1 28 November 2000 Canvey Island H 1–2 3,566 Naylor

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 1st Leg 22 August 2000 Chesterfield A 1–2 3,485 Burton
R1 2nd Leg 5 September 2000 Chesterfield H 2–2 3,480 Bridge-Wilkinson, Minton

League Trophy[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 9 January 2001 Notts County H 3–0 1,919 Smith, Brooker, Naylor
R2 30 January 2001 Chester City H 2–0 2,507 Doughty (og), Naylor
RQF 6 February 2001 Darlington H 4–0 2,480 Naylor (2), Lowe, Tankard
RSF 5 March 2001 Stoke City H 2–1 11,323 Cummins, Bridge-Wilkinson (pen)
RF Leg 1 13 March 2001 Lincoln City A 2–0 4,813 Bridge-Wilkinson, Naylor
RF Leg 2 20 March 2001 Lincoln City H 0–0 5,172
F 26 April 2001 Brentford N 2–0 25,654 Bridge-Wilkinson (pen), Brooker

Player statistics[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Going Canvey crazy". BBC Sport. 29 November 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Trialist at Vale Park". BBC Sport. 5 July 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Vale sign Twiss from Man Utd". BBC Sport. 25 July 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Vale sign Derby youngster". BBC Sport. 10 July 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "Reading snap up Rougier". BBC Sport. 11 August 2000. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "The strife of Brian". BBC Sport. 23 November 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "Horton named manager of month". BBC Sport. 3 April 2001. Retrieved 2 June 2009. 
  8. ^ "Tankard's the toast of Field Mill". BBC Sport. 20 July 2001. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "Hartlepool sign trio". BBC Sport. 15 July 2001. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  10. ^ "Reading bag Vale's Smith". BBC Sport. 18 July 2001. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  11. ^ "Valiant 2001 critical of Brammer sale.". web.archive.org. 10 August 2001. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  12. ^ "Veiled threat for Vale". BBC Sport. 18 December 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  13. ^ "Vale will not merge". BBC Sport. 26 September 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  14. ^ "Port Vale not facing 'cash crisis'". BBC Sport. 29 December 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "Vale get new Bass backing". BBC Sport. 30 June 2001. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f What If There Had Been No Port In The Vale?: Startling Port Vale Stories! p. 175 (Witan Books, 2011, ISBN 978-0-9529152-8-7)
  17. ^ "Stockport MD resigns over row". BBC Sport. 5 December 2000. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  18. ^ "He's A Jolley Good Fellow". port-vale.co.uk. 17 November 2004. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  19. ^ "Canvey Island 4-4 Port Vale". BBC Sport. 19 November 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  20. ^ "Port Vale 1-2 Canvey Island (aet)". BBC Sport. 28 November 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  21. ^ "Five up for sale at Vale". BBC Sport. 4 December 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  22. ^ a b c d e "Port Vale's route to Cardiff". BBC Sport. 18 April 2001. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  23. ^ "Vale vault Brentford to lift Vans trophy". BBC Sport. 22 April 2001. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  24. ^ Port Vale 2000–2001 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.