1928–29 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1928–29 season
Chairman Frank Huntbach
Manager Joe Schofield
Stadium The Old Recreation Ground
Football League Second Division 21st (34 Points)
FA Cup Third Round
Top goalscorer League: Wilf Kirkham (15)
All: Wilf Kirkham (15)
Highest home attendance 18,869 vs. Stoke City (26 January 1929)
Lowest home attendance 3,307 vs. Bristol City (4 May 1929)
Average home league attendance 10,207
Home colours

The 1928–29 season was Port Vale's tenth consecutive season of football (23rd overall) in the Football League.[1] For the first time in their history they suffered relegation. This was down to poor away form, at home they went a club record 19 games without a draw, picking up all but five of their points in front of their home fans. The season also saw the departure of club legends Tom Page and Wilf Kirkham.

Fenton-born Billy Briscoe added 24 league appearances to his ever-growing tally.
Chairman Frank Huntbach declared that "no efforts will be spared by the club to regain its lost status".[1]
Right-back Jack Maddock played in 25 games.

Overview[edit]

Second Division[edit]

The pre-season saw only the addition of one major player – goalkeeper Jack Prince from Oldham Athletic.[1] Otherwise the club felt confident that they had a nice blend of youth and experience.[1]

The season started with a 4–1 home defeat to Wolves, yet two days later the Vale travelled to The Dell, where they beat Southampton with two Stewart Littlewood goals – this would prove to be their only away victory of the season.[1] Picking up just two wins in September (a 5–2 win over Millwall thanks to a Littlewood hat-trick, and a 2–1 win over Tottenham Hotspur), the club soon found themselves struggling.[1] They also lost 2–1 at Stoke's Victoria Ground in front of 35,288 supporters.[1] Heading into December they won six successive home games to take them into mid-table, including a four-goal haul from Jack Simms to see off Nottingham Forest.[1] December would prove to be the month that killed the Vale. Oakes had a cartilage operation, Gillespie tore an elbow joint, and the team lost six of their seven festive games.[1] In January the popular high-scoring Littlewood was traded to Oldham Athletic for veteran striker Albert Pynegar and £1,300.[1] Falling down the table fast, in late February they were slaughtered 7–1 at Preston North End's Deepdale.[1] Back at The Old Recreation Ground they managed to regularly pick up victories, most notably demolishing West Bromwich Albion 8–1 on 9 March – the biggest victory in the division that season, Pynegar scoring a hat-trick.[1] Further good work picking up three points from Oldham Athletic and beating Chelsea was undone by a horrifying 6–0 defeat at fellow strugglers Barnsley.[1] The "Valiants" beat Bristol City 5–0 in front of a miserable home turnout thanks to a four-goal effort from Pynegar, yet it was too little too late as the club were relegated.[1]

They finished in 21st place with 34 points from 42 games, two points from safety, they suffered relegation for the first time in their history (they had previously failed re-elections).[1] Scoring 71 goals was respectable, however 86 goals conceded was the joint-worst in the league.[1] Their awful away form was not unique, Vale one of four teams with only one away win to their name, though they conceded more on their travels than any other side.

Finances[edit]

On the financial side, plans of a new stadium were shelved as the directors channelled money into rebuilding their team.[1] Vic Rouse, Alf Bennett, and David Rollo were let go, Rouse joining Crewe Alexandra.[1] Club legend Tom Page also left the club after racking up 286 Football League appearances.[1] With a £1,223 drop in gate receipts there were fears that the club might close, these fears were heightened when fellow legend Wilf Kirkham was sold to Stoke City for £2,800 (the second highest transfer the club had ever received).[1]

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, it was a repeat of the 1925–26 season as the club were drawn against Manchester United at home.[1] The First Division club returned to Old Trafford with a 3–0 victory.[1] The end of season North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary Cup was cancelled, with Vale seemingly too despondent to field a team.[1]

Final league table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GA GD Pts
1 Middlesbrough 42 14 4 3 54 22 8 7 6 38 35 92 57 1.614 + 35 55
2 Grimsby Town 42 16 2 3 49 24 8 3 10 33 37 82 61 1.344 + 21 53
3 Bradford Park Avenue 42 18 2 1 62 22 4 2 15 26 48 88 70 1.257 + 18 48
4 Southampton 42 12 6 3 48 22 5 8 8 26 38 74 60 1.233 + 14 48
5 Notts County 42 13 4 4 51 24 6 5 10 27 41 78 65 1.200 + 23 47
6 Stoke City 42 12 7 2 46 16 5 5 11 28 35 74 51 1.451 + 23 46
7 West Bromwich Albion 42 13 4 4 50 25 6 4 11 30 54 80 79 1.013 + 1 46
8 Blackpool 42 13 4 4 49 18 6 3 12 43 58 92 76 1.211 + 16 45
9 Chelsea 42 10 6 5 40 30 7 4 10 24 35 64 65 0.985 – 1 44
10 Tottenham Hotspur 42 16 3 2 50 26 1 6 14 25 55 75 81 0.926 – 6 43
11 Nottingham Forest 42 8 6 7 34 33 7 6 8 37 37 71 70 1.014 + 1 42
12 Hull City 42 8 8 5 38 24 5 6 10 20 39 58 63 0.921 – 5 40
13 Preston North End 42 12 6 3 58 27 3 3 15 20 52 78 79 0.987 – 1 39
14 Millwall 42 10 4 7 43 35 6 3 12 28 51 71 86 0.826 – 15 39
15 Reading 42 12 3 6 48 30 3 6 12 15 56 63 86 0.733 – 23 39
16 Barnsley 42 12 4 5 51 28 4 2 15 18 38 69 66 1.045 + 3 38
17 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 9 6 6 41 31 6 1 14 36 50 77 81 0.951 – 4 37
18 Oldham Athletic 42 15 2 4 37 24 1 3 17 17 51 54 75 0.720 – 21 37
19 Swansea Town 42 12 3 6 46 26 1 7 13 16 49 62 75 0.827 – 13 36
20 Bristol City 42 11 6 4 37 25 2 4 15 21 47 58 72 0.806 – 14 36
21 Port Vale 42 14 1 6 53 25 1 3 17 18 61 71 86 0.826 – 15 34
22 Clapton Orient 42 10 4 7 29 25 2 4 15 16 47 45 72 0.625 – 28 32

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against;
GA = Goal average; 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
Ground H A A H A A H H A A H A H A H A H A H A A H A H A H H A A H A H A H H A A H A H A H
Result L W L W L L L W L W W L W L W D W L L L L L L W L L W L L W L W D L W L D W L D L W
Position 18 14 17 13 13 18 18 16 19 17 15 17 16 17 14 13 12 13 15 16 17 19 19 19 19 20 19 20 21 20 21 21 20 20 20 21 21 21 21 21 21 21

Sourced from Statto.[2]

Football League Second Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
25 August 1928 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 1–4 12,274 Fishwick (pen)
27 August 1928 Southampton A 2–1 11,743 Littlewood (2)
1 September 1928 Notts County A 0–3 15,314
8 September 1928 Millwall H 5–2 10,578 Littlewood (3), Briscoe (2)
15 September 1928 Stoke City A 1–2 35,288 Griffiths
22 September 1928 Hull City A 0–2 11,728
24 September 1928 Southampton H 1–2 7,344 Fishwick
29 September 1928 Tottenham Hotspur H 2–1 12,502 Gillespie, Littlewood
6 October 1928 Reading A 1–2 11,276 Simms
13 October 1928 Preston North End H 3–2 12,098 Littlewood (2), Mandley
20 October 1928 Clapton Orient H 3–0 10,007 Littlewood, Simms, Anstiss
27 October 1928 West Bromwich Albion A 1–3 10,851 Anstiss
3 November 1928 Nottingham Forest H 4–2 9,936 Simms (4)
10 November 1928 Grimsby Town A 1–3 9,017 Kirkham
17 November 1928 Barnsley H 3–0 7,417 Kirkham (2), Gillespie
24 November 1928 Chelsea A 3–3 23,305 Kirkham (2), Simms
1 December 1928 Blackpool H 1–0 8,244 Simms
8 December 1928 Swansea Town A 0–2 8,968
15 December 1928 Bradford Park Avenue H 0–1 7,339
22 December 1928 Bristol City A 1–2 10,459 Simms
25 December 1928 Middlesbrough A 1–5 21,977 Fishwick
26 December 1928 Middlesbrough H 2–3 13,988 Fishwick, Mandley
29 December 1928 Wolverhampton Wanderers A 0–4 11,426
5 January 1929 Notts County H 3–0 7,475 Kirkham (2), Jones
19 January 1929 Millwall A 1–2 20,056 Kirkham
26 January 1929 Stoke City H 1–2 18,869 Mandley
2 February 1929 Hull City H 4–1 6,065 Fishwick, Kirkham, o.g., Pynegar
9 February 1929 Tottenham Hotspur A 2–4 21,342 Fishwick, Simms
23 February 1929 Preston North End A 1–7 9,356 Kirkham
25 February 1929 Reading H 4–0 4,303 Kirkham (3), Simms
2 March 1929 Clapton Orient A 0–1 15,543
9 March 1929 West Bromwich Albion H 8–1 11,539 Pynegar (3), Jones (2), Mandley, Simms, Kirkham
16 March 1929 Nottingham Forest A 2–2 7,388 Kirkham, Jones
23 March 1929 Grimsby Town H 0–3 13,085
29 March 1929 Oldham Athletic H 2–1 17,697 Pynegar, Anstiss
30 March 1929 Barnsley A 0–6 9,615
1 April 1929 Oldham Athletic A 1–1 19,571 Mandley
6 April 1929 Chelsea H 1–0 11,701 Pynegar
13 April 1929 Blackpool A 0–4 8,696
20 April 1929 Swansea Town H 0–0 8,587
27 April 1929 Bradford Park Avenue A 0–2 9,132
4 May 1929 Bristol City H 5–0 3,307 Pynegar (4), Griffiths

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1928–29 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R3 12 January 1929 Manchester United H 0–3 17,519

Player statistics[edit]

Transfers[edit]

Transfers in[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
May 1928 GK England Jack Prince Oldham Athletic Free transfer [3]
January 1929 FW England Albert Pynegar Oldham Athletic Exchange [3]

Transfers out[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
January 1929 FW England Stewart Littlewood Oldham Athletic Exchange + £1,300 [3]
May 1929 GK England Alf Bennett Released [3]
May 1929 DF Republic of Ireland David Rollo Fleetwood Windsor Villa Free transfer [3]
May 1929 MF England Vic Rouse Crewe Alexandra Free transfer [3]
May 1929 MF Wales Frank Williams Wales Oswestry Town Free transfer [3]
Summer 1929 FW England Robert Gillespie Wrexham Free transfer [3]
Summer 1929 FW England Wilf Kirkham Stoke City £2,800 [3]
Summer 1929 FW England Tom Page Scotland New Brighton Released [3]
Summer 1929 MF England Herbert Smith Stafford Rangers Released [3]

References[edit]

Specific
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Kent, Jeff (1990). "Keeping in Good Company (1919-1929)". The Valiants' Years The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 98–123. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  2. ^ Port Vale 1928–1929 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
General
  • Kent, Jeff (1993). The Port Vale Record 1879-1993. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9508981-9-8.