2004–05 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
2004–05 season
Chairman England Bill Bratt
Manager England Martin Foyle
Stadium Vale Park
Football League One 18th (56 Points)
FA Cup Second Round
League Cup First Round
League Trophy Second Round
Player of the Year England Billy Paynter
Top goalscorer League: Lee Matthews & Billy Paynter (10)
All: Billy Paynter (13)
Highest home attendance 8,671 vs. Sheffield Wednesday (28 December 2004)
Lowest home attendance 1,970 vs. Barnsley (28 September 2004)
Average home league attendance 4,973
Home colours

The 2004–05 season was Port Vale's ninety-third season of football in the Football League, and first in the newly created League One. Martin Foyle's first full season in charge, Vale survived a relegation dogfight to finish in eighteenth place, having struggled to compete with the departures of Stephen McPhee and Steve Brooker. His side exited both the FA Cup and the League Trophy at the Second Round, and left the League Cup at the First Round.

Manager Martin Foyle.
Winger Chris Birchall managed to establish himself as a first team regular.

Overview[edit]

League One[edit]

The pre-season saw Martin Foyle add to his squad with a number of free signings: Lee Matthews (Bristol City);[1] Jeff Smith (Bolton Wanderers);[2] Dean Smith (Sheffield Wednesday); Daryl McMahon (West Ham United); and Robin Hulbert (Telford United).[3] The pre-season saw Vale finish 5th in the Isle of Man tournament at The Bowl. They also managed to battle to a draw at home to La Liga outfit Racing de Santander.

The season started positively with ten points from five games, though until the end of the season Vale failed to find form, and picked up an average of one point a game despite only playing in five draws all season. At half-time at the opening game of the season at Vale Park, fans were surprised to hear an announcement over the public address system telling them not to sing songs deriding rivals Stoke City.[4] Mark Goodlad picked up an injury, allowing Jonny Brain the chance to impress between the sticks.[5] At the end of September, star midfielder Steve Brooker was sold to Bristol City for £225,000. The club failed to bring in Christian Roberts in return, though Marc Goodfellow was signed on a four-week loan deal the following month.[6] Teenage defender James O'Connor also joined on loan from Aston Villa.[7] In November, Andreas Lipa returned to his homeland to play for Austria Lustenau, after Foyle released the injury-plagued defender.[8] McMahon also left the club to join Leyton Orient.[9] Foyle brought a new signing to Vale Park though, with striker Nathan Lowndes joining on a free transfer from Plymouth Argyle.[10] In December, defender Tyrone Loran joined on a one month loan from Tranmere Rovers,[11] though returned to Prenton Park when the loan deal was up, after Foyle failed to sign him permanently.[12] Christian Hanson was also signed from non-league Billingham Synthonia. Foyle also signed Nigerian defender George Abbey, who had been released by Macclesfield Town.[13] In January, Dean Smith retired as a player and took up coaching at Leyton Orient. As a replacement, former Vale player Tommy Widdrington joined until the end of the season on non-contract terms.[14] In February, veteran midfielder Danny Sonner joined on a one month loan from Peterborough United.[15] In March, club legend and former teammate of Foyle, Tony Naylor, joined on an emergency short-term contract, though never took to the field. Tony Dinning also was signed on loan from Bristol City.[16] In addition to this, Mark Innes joined on a free transfer from Chesterfield.[17] Sonner's loan deal was also extended until the end of the season,[18] at which point he was signed permanently,[19] as was Dinning.[20] Vale lost to fellow relegation strugglers Torquay United and Wrexham in the last five games of the season, though a 5–0 win over Barnsley ensured the club's safety from the drop.[21]

They finished in eighteenth place with 56 points, leaving them five points clear of relegated Torquay. Their 59 goals conceded was a highly respectable tally, however they failed to score in almost half of their league games, and only recorded five draws all season. Vale lost more games and scored fewer goals than all club's in the division other than Peterborough United and Stockport County, who were both cut adrift early in the season. Billy Paynter was the club's top-scorer with thirteen goals, with other contributions also coming from Lee Matthews and Chris Birchall.

At the end of the season teenage prodigy David Hibbert was snapped up by Preston North End, who paid Vale £35,000 after a tribunal.[22] Four players were also released: Simon Eldershaw (Northwich Victoria); Christian Hanson (Billingham Synthonia); Levi Reid (Stafford Rangers); and Ryan Brown (Leek Town).[23] Ian Armstrong also retired due to injury.

Finances[edit]

On the financial front, Chairman Bill Bratt announced there was a 50-50 chance that an elderly American would put funds into the club,[24][25] though the investment did not come through. Bratt also went public with his idea of Reginald Mitchell Stadium in honour of the inventor of the Spitfire, hopeful that 85 year old American billionaire Sidney Frank would thus be encouraged to invest in the club.[26][27] Foyle was desperate for more funds to attract better players,[28] and was forced to dismiss speculation that he would sell Billy Paynter to Crewe Alexandra.[29] On 13 December, shareholders voted by a margin of 119 to 3 to limit individual holdings in the club to a maximum of 24.9% "to ensure that no single shareholder can acquire undue influence or control over the company", in the words of Bill Bratt.[30] The club's shirt sponsorship came from mobile phone company Tricell, though the firm could not afford to pay the club any money as they entered administration, worsening an already bleak financial picture for the "Valiants".

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, Vale avoided embarrassment by coming from behind to defeat local side Kidderminster Harriers 3–1.[31] They then lost out to Blackpool in the Second Round with a 1–0 defeat at Bloomfield Road.[32]

In the League Cup, Vale travelled to Belle Vue, where they were knocked out by Doncaster Rovers after a 3–1 defeat.

In the League Trophy, the "Valiants" advanced past Barnsley in front of a Vale Park crowd of just 1,970. However they then exited at the Second Round after a 2–1 defeat to Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.[33]

Final league table[edit]

P W D L F A GD Pts
P 1 Luton Town 46 29 11 6 87 48 +39 98
P 2 Hull City 46 26 8 12 80 53 +27 86
  3 Tranmere Rovers 46 22 13 11 73 55 +18 79
  4 Brentford 46 22 9 15 57 60 −3 75
P 5 Sheffield Wednesday 46 19 15 12 77 59 +18 72
  6 Hartlepool United 46 21 8 17 76 66 +10 71
  7 Bristol City 46 18 16 12 74 57 +17 70
  8 Bournemouth 46 20 10 16 77 64 +13 70
  9 Huddersfield Town 46 20 10 16 74 65 +9 70
  10 Doncaster Rovers 46 16 18 12 65 60 +5 66
  11 Bradford City 46 17 14 15 64 62 +2 65
  12 Swindon Town 46 17 12 17 66 68 −2 63
  13 Barnsley 46 14 19 13 69 64 +5 61
  14 Walsall 46 16 12 18 65 69 −4 60
  15 Colchester United 46 14 17 15 60 50 +10 59
  16 Blackpool 46 15 12 19 54 59 −5 57
  17 Chesterfield 46 14 15 17 55 62 −7 57
  18 Port Vale 46 17 5 24 49 59 −10 56
  19 Oldham Athletic 46 14 10 22 60 73 −13 52
  20 Milton Keynes Dons 46 12 15 19 54 67 −13 51
R 21 Torquay United 46 12 15 19 55 79 −24 51
R 22 Wrexham 46 13 14 19 62 80 −18 43*
R 23 Peterborough United 46 9 12 25 49 73 −24 39
R 24 Stockport County 46 6 8 32 48 98 −50 26

* Deducted 10 points for going into administration

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 A H A A H A H A H A H H A A H A H A H A H H A A H A H A H A H A H A H A H A H A H A H
Result L W W D W L W L L L L W L W D L W L L W L W L L L W L L L W W L L W L D D W D L W L W L L W
Position 15 11 4 9 4 6 3 6 13 16 17 13 15 13 14 16 13 15 17 16 18 16 16 17 18 17 17 17 17 18 16 17 18 16 17 17 18 16 17 18 17 18 18 18 18 18

Sourced from Statto.[34]

Football League One[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
7 August 2004 Walsall A 2–3 8,225 Paynter, Matthews
10 August 2004 Milton Keynes Dons H 3–2 4,602 Armstrong (2), Brooker
14 August 2004 Hull City H 3–2 6,736 Brooker (2), Collins
21 August 2004 Wrexham A 1–1 5,005 Brooker
28 August 2004 Bristol City H 3–0 5,377 James, Brooker, Armstrong
31 August 2004 Chesterfield A 0–1 5,150
4 September 2004 Bradford City A 2–0 7,043 Paynter, J.Smith
11 September 2004 Huddersfield Town H 0–3 6,298
18 September 2004 Brentford A 0–1 5,442
25 September 2004 Blackpool H 0–3 5,347
2 October 2004 Colchester United A 1–2 3,230 Matthews
8 October 2004 Doncaster Rovers H 2–0 5,314 Paynter, Collins
16 October 2004 Bournemouth A 0–4 6,119
19 October 2004 Swindon Town H 1–0 3,872 Birchall
23 October 2004 Stockport County H 0–0 5,025
30 October 2004 Hartlepool United A 0–1 4,755
6 November 2004 Barnsley A 2–1 8,642 Paynter, Williams (og)
20 November 2004 Torquay United H 1–2 4,763 Cummins
27 November 2004 Peterborough United A 0–4 3,785
7 December 2004 Tranmere Rovers H 3–1 4,027 Birchall (2), Paynter
11 December 2004 Luton Town A 0–1 6,974
18 December 2004 Oldham Athletic H 3–1 4,849 Paynter, Birchall, Matthews (pen)
26 December 2004 Huddersfield Town A 1–2 12,243 Eldershaw
28 December 2004 Sheffield Wednesday H 0–2 8,671
1 January 2005 Bradford City H 0–1 5,001
3 January 2005 Blackpool A 2–0 5,115 Matthews (2 [1 pen])
8 January 2005 Doncaster Rovers A 0–2 5,209
15 January 2005 Brentford H 0–1 4,230
21 January 2005 Sheffield Wednesday A 0–1 18,465
5 February 2005 Bournemouth H 2–1 4,186 Paynter, Birchall
12 February 2005 Stockport County A 2–0 4,587 Lowndes, Paynter
19 February 2005 Hartlepool United H 0–1 4,366
23 February 2005 Swindon Town A 0–1 4,724
26 February 2005 Luton Town H 3–1 5,353 Hibbert (2), Matthews
5 March 2005 Oldham Athletic A 0–3 5,799
8 March 2005 Colchester United H 0–0 3,496
12 March 2005 Milton Keynes Dons A 1–1 4,676 Matthews
19 March 2005 Walsall H 2–0 5,085 Cummins, Matthews
26 March 2005 Hull City A 2–2 17,678 Matthews, Delaney (og)
2 April 2005 Bristol City A 0–2 10,284
9 April 2005 Chesterfield H 1–0 4,489 Matthews
16 April 2005 Torquay United A 0–1 3,592
23 April 2005 Barnsley H 5–0 4,324 Dinning (2), Paynter (2), Birchall
26 April 2005 Wrexham H 0–2 4,151
29 April 2005 Tranmere Rovers A 0–1 8,940
7 May 2005 Peterborough United H 1–0 4,815 Dinning

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 2004–05 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 12 November 2004 Kidderminster Harriers H 3–1 4,141 Paynter (2), Reid
R2 4 December 2004 Blackpool A 0–1 4,669

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 24 August 2004 Doncaster Rovers A 1–3 3,943 D.Smith

League Trophy[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 28 September 2004 Barnsley H 1–0 1,970 Paynter (pen)
R2 2 November 2004 Tranmere Rovers A 1–2 3,735 Birchall

Player statistics[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Matthews joins Port Vale". BBC Sport. 9 June 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Port Vale snap up Smith". BBC Sport. 22 June 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Port Vale sign Hulbert". BBC Sport. 15 July 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  4. ^ Baggaley, Michael (14 April 2012). "Dear Mr Ryder, the fans need to know your plans". The Sentinel. 
  5. ^ "Goodlad blow for Vale". BBC Sport. 20 September 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Loan switch for Goodfellow". BBC Sport. 4 October 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "Vale to sign Villa defender". BBC Sport. 2 September 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Lipa time with Vale comes to end". BBC Sport. 15 November 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "Vale hand chance to Magpie McClen". BBC Sport. 25 November 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  10. ^ "Lowndes leaves Plymouth for Vale". BBC Sport. 5 November 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  11. ^ "Vale sign defender Loran on loan". BBC Sport. 2 December 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  12. ^ "Vale keen to sign defender Loran". BBC Sport. 4 January 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  13. ^ "Vale snap up former Macc defender". BBC Sport. 17 December 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  14. ^ "Widdrington joins Port Vale again". BBC Sport. 14 January 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "Sonner joins Vale in loan switch". BBC Sport. 21 February 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  16. ^ "Dinning seals loan deal with Vale". BBC Sport. 22 March 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  17. ^ "Innes joins Vale from Spireites". BBC Sport. 24 March 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  18. ^ "Sonner lengthens Vale loan move". BBC Sport. 22 March 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  19. ^ "Vale sign Posh midfielder Sonner". BBC Sport. 28 May 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  20. ^ "Port Vale complete Dinning swoop". BBC Sport. 1 June 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  21. ^ "Port Vale 5-0 Barnsley". BBC Sport. 23 April 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  22. ^ "Tribunal sets fee on Hibbert move". BBC Sport. 6 September 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  23. ^ "Vale boss Foyle releases quintet". BBC Sport. 9 May 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  24. ^ "Vale hopeful on investor interest". BBC Sport. 13 April 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  25. ^ "Vale made to wait over investment". BBC Sport. 19 May 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  26. ^ "'Mitchell Stadium' scheme mooted". BBC Sport. 9 February 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  27. ^ "Vale cash in on Spitfire legend". BBC Sport. 10 February 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  28. ^ "Vale manager wants better players". BBC Sport. 27 April 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  29. ^ "Foyle dismisses Paynter rumours". BBC Sport. 16 March 2005. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  30. ^ What If There Had Been No Port In The Vale?: Startling Port Vale Stories! p. 181 (Witan Books, 2011, ISBN 978-0-9529152-8-7)
  31. ^ "Port Vale 3-1 Kidderminster". BBC Sport. 12 November 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  32. ^ "Blackpool 1-0 Port Vale". BBC Sport. 3 December 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  33. ^ "Tranmere 2-1 Port Vale". BBC Sport. 2 November 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  34. ^ Port Vale 2004–2005 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.