1969–70 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1969–70 season
Chairman Arthur McPherson
(until March)
Mark Singer
(March onwards)
Manager Gordon Lee
Stadium Vale Park
Football League Fourth Division 4th (59 Points)
FA Cup Second Round
League Cup First Round
Player of the Year John Green
Top goalscorer League: John James (14)
All: John James (17)
Highest home attendance 12,538 vs. Crewe Alexandra (15 September 1969)
Lowest home attendance 3,955 vs. York City (7 February 1970)
Average home league attendance 6,894
Home colours

The 1969–70 season was Port Vale's 58th season of football in the Football League, and their fifth successive season (sixth overall) in the Fourth Division.[1] They achieved promotion with a fourth-place finish, taking them back into the Third Division. They started the season with an eighteen match unbeaten run in the league, and finished with nine games unbeaten following a dip in form around January. Manager Gordon Lee credited the teamwork and fitness of an extremely settled side for the promotion campaign, as ten players made at least 35 league appearances.

Overview[edit]

Fourth Division[edit]

In the pre-season there were talks of bringing speedway to Vale Park, introducing a new team to the British League Division Two.[1] However many were opposed to the idea, and a 2,600 strong petition was given to local MP John Forrester.[1] The idea was killed when the council failed to grant planning permission, despite a 3,000 strong petition in favour of the proposal.[1] The club had hoped to profit from the venture, however many locals were concerned about noise pollution.[1] Gordon Lee meanwhile had little in the way of funds when it came to signing new players, and so he was only able to bring in three new attackers on free transfers: Ken Wookey (Newport County); Stuart Shaw (Southport); and Eric Magee (Oldham Athletic).[1]

They continued on from their unbeaten result at the end of the previous season, to make a club-record unbeaten sequence of ten away games, and nineteen games home and away {5 May to 8 November}. Five of these results were goalless draws, as the defence proved stronger than the attack following the departure of top-scorer Roy Chapman at the end of the previous season.[1] Nevertheless, the run put them at the top of the table, and Lee credited his team's hard work and fitness.[1] John James played on despite an injured ankle, Mick Morris found himself a permanent fixture as an energetic utility man, whilst Tommy McLaren also worked his way into the first eleven.[1] The defence conceded just six goals in the opening fifteen league games. The run included a 1–0 win over Chesterfield at Saltergate, a 2–0 win over nearby Crewe Alexandra in front of a season-best Burslem crowd of 12,538, and a 'war of attrition' in a 1–1 draw 'full of ugly incidents' with Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground in front of a crowd of 19,946.[1] Their 22 November fixture at the Old Showground with Scunthorpe United could have seen the Vale equal the best start to an English League season in the twentieth century.[1] After a Wookey goal put them ahead they lost after a disputed penalty and a bizarre own goal from Roy Sproson.[1] Meanwhile, Vale could not afford the £500 registration fee for Ian Buxton following the player's departure from Notts County, and so the club could only sign him for an initial three-month period.[1]

Injuries and suspensions helped to dent the Vale's form, as they lost their status as league leaders.[1] On 17 January, Sproson made his 800th senior appearance in a 2–0 victory over Exeter City.[1] In an attempt to lift the club, Lee signed wing-half Tony Lacey on loan from Stoke City, and also bought Bill Summerscales from Leek Town for £400.[1] Heading into a six-game unbeaten run, Lee signed Buxton permanently, despite the player's decision to retire at the end of the season.[1] In March, Chairman Arthur McPherson pleaded guilty to receiving stolen goods and so was sentenced to an eighteen-month suspended sentence and fined £1,500.[1] Resigning his position at the club, he was replaced by Mark Singer.[1] On 9 March, the match against Hartlepool had to be suspended for five minutes after Vale fans continually pelted the opposition keeper with snowballs.[1] Signing Lacey permanently for £2,500, and Sammy Morgan on a free from Gorleston, Vale were in a close battle for promotion.[1] Unbeaten in their final nine games, they secured promotion with what The Sentinel's Peter Hewitt called a 'blockade formula' – they conceded just four goals in this run.[1]

They finished in fourth place with 59 points, three points clear of fifth place. His side promoted, Lee said that 'no team could have deserved reward as much for their hard work and strength of character'.[1] With 33 goals conceded, only Chesterfield conceded fewer.[1] Only seventeen players were used all season, whilst eight barely missed a game between them.[1] On 31 May, they played a Potteries derby friendly with First Division Stoke and won 3–2 at the Victoria Ground.[1]

Finances[edit]

On the financial side, a loss of £3,003 was made despite fund raising donations of £17,925.[1] Gate receipts were up by over £13,000 as home attendances were encouraging, however expenditure had increased and there was a transfer deficit of £2,900.[1] Six players were let go at the season's end, including Ken Wookey (Workington); Stuart Shaw (Morecambe); Eric Magee (Linfield); Stuart Chapman (Stafford Rangers); and Gordon Logan (Kettering Town).[1]

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, they had to overcome Northern Premier League Wigan Athletic at Springfield Park, but could only manage a 1–1 draw.[1] After a 2–2 draw back in Stoke-on-Trent, the second replay was held at Old Trafford, Manchester.[1] James scored two minutes from the end of extra-time to finally kill off the non-leaguers.[1] After a 3–1 defeat at Prenton Park to Tranmere Rovers in a replay, the Vale were out of the competition with a profit of £5,000 from their five games.[1]

In the League Cup, a First Round exit came courtesy of Third Division Tranmere Rovers at Vale Park.

Final league table[edit]

P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Chesterfield 46 27 10 9 77 32 2.406 64
2 Wrexham 46 26 9 11 84 49 1.714 61
3 Swansea City 46 21 18 7 66 45 1.467 60
4 Port Vale 46 20 19 7 61 33 1.848 59
5 Brentford 46 20 16 10 58 39 1.487 56
6 Aldershot 46 20 13 13 78 65 1.200 53
7 Notts County 46 22 8 16 73 62 1.177 52
8 Lincoln City 46 17 16 13 66 52 1.269 50
9 Peterborough United 46 17 14 15 77 69 1.116 48
10 Colchester United 46 17 14 15 64 63 1.016 48
11 Chester 46 21 6 19 58 66 0.879 48
12 Scunthorpe United 46 18 10 18 67 65 1.031 46
13 York City 46 16 14 16 55 62 0.887 46
14 Northampton Town 46 16 12 18 64 55 1.164 44
15 Crewe Alexandra 46 16 12 18 51 51 1.000 44
16 Grimsby Town 46 14 15 17 54 58 0.931 43
17 Southend United 46 15 10 21 59 85 0.694 40
18 Exeter City 46 14 11 21 57 59 0.966 39
19 Oldham Athletic 46 13 13 20 60 65 0.923 39
20 Workington 46 12 14 20 46 64 0.719 38
21 Newport County 46 13 11 22 53 74 0.716 37
22 Darlington 46 13 10 23 53 73 0.726 36
23 Hartlepool 46 10 10 26 42 82 0.512 30
24 Bradford Park Avenue 46 6 11 29 41 96 0.427 23

P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GA = Goal average; 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 H A H A A H A H H A A H H A H A H A A H H A A A H A A H H H A A H A H H H A A H H A A H A H
Result D W W D D W W W W W D D D W D D W W L W W D L L W L L D W W D W W L D W L W D W D W D D D D
Position 7 3 1 3 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 2 1 2 2 2 2 4 4 3 2 2 2 3 4 5 3 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4

Sourced from Statto.[2]

Football League Fourth Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
9 August 1969 Peterborough United H 0–0 5,453
16 August 1969 Chesterfield A 1–0 5,062 Sproson
23 August 1969 Northampton Town H 4–1 4,809 Green, Wookey, Gough, Magee
27 August 1969 Lincoln City A 0–0 6,865
30 August 1969 Colchester United A 0–0 6,323
6 September 1969 Chester H 3–0 6,874 James, Wookey, Green
13 September 1969 Oldham Athletic A 3–2 5,777 Gough, Logan, James
15 September 1969 Crewe Alexandra H 2–0 12,538 James, Morris
20 September 1969 Grimsby Town H 1–0 8,787 James (pen)
27 September 1969 Exeter City A 2–1 5,503 Green, McLaren
29 September 1969 Southend United A 1–1 7,704 James
4 October 1969 Aldershot H 0–0 8,858
6 October 1969 Chesterfield H 1–1 9,506 Wookey
11 October 1969 York City A 1–0 7,195 Gough
18 October 1969 Swansea City H 0–0 7,195
25 October 1969 Wrexham A 1–1 19,946 McLaren
1 November 1969 Newport County H 3–1 7,477 Sproson (2), Boulton
8 November 1969 Bradford Park Avenue A 2–1 3,498 o.g., Boulton
22 November 1969 Scunthorpe United A 1–2 5,750 Wookey
29 November 1969 Workington H 3–1 4,891 James (2), Sproson
13 December 1969 Oldham Athletic H 1–0 5,387 Buxton
20 December 1969 Chester A 1–1 5,235 McLaren
26 December 1969 Northampton Town A 0–2 7,522
10 January 1970 Grimsby Town A 0–2 4,654
17 January 1970 Exeter City H 2–0 4,633 o.g., James
24 January 1970 Brentford A 0–1 8,661
31 January 1970 Aldershot A 0–2 6,858
7 February 1970 York City H 1–1 3,955 Gough
21 February 1970 Bradford Park Avenue H 4–1 4,416 James (3), Boulton
23 February 1970 Southend United H 3–0 6,333 Gough (2), James
28 February 1970 Swansea City A 0–0 6,576
2 March 1970 Darlington A 2–2 2,152 Boulton, James
9 March 1970 Hartlepool H 3–0 5,456 Boulton (2), Lacey
14 March 1970 Workington A 2–3 2,047 Buxton, Gough
16 March 1970 Brentford H 0–0 7,944
21 March 1970 Darlington H 4–0 4,717 Buxton (2), Green, Gough
23 March 1970 Scunthorpe United H 1–2 6,394 Gough
28 March 1970 Hartlepool A 2–0 2,227 Morris, Buxton
30 March 1970 Newport County A 1–1 2,218 Morgan
1 April 1970 Wrexham H 1–0 10,954 James (pen)
4 April 1970 Lincoln City H 0–0 7,414
8 April 1970 Notts County A 2–1 5,010 Sproson, Buxton
15 April 1970 Crewe Alexandra A 0–0 7,155
18 April 1970 Notts County H 1–1 8,042 Morris
22 April 1970 Peterborough United A 0–0 3,844
25 April 1970 Colchester United H 1–1 5,626 McLaren

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1969–70 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 15 November 1969 Wigan Athletic A 1–1 12,622 James
R1 Replay 18 November 1969 Wigan Athletic H 2–2 9,703 McLaren, Sproson
R1 Replay 24 November 1969 Wigan Athletic N 1–0 16,453 James
R2 6 December 1969 Tranmere Rovers H 2–2 6,883 James, Green
R2 Replay 8 December 1969 Tranmere Rovers A 1–3 7,156 Magee

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 13 August 1969 Tranmere Rovers H 0–1 4,955

Player statistics[edit]

Transfers[edit]

Transfers in[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
July 1969 MF England Stuart Shaw Southport Free transfer [3]
July 1969 FW England Eric Magee Oldham Athletic Free transfer [3]
July 1969 FW England Ken Wookey Newport County Free transfer [3]
December 1969 FW England Ian Buxton Notts County £500 [3]
January 1970 FW Northern Ireland Sammy Morgan Gorleston Free transfer [3]
February 1970 DF England Bill Summerscales Leek Town £400 [3]
April 1970 MF England Tony Lacey Stoke City £2,500 [3]

Transfers out[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
May 1970 MF England Malcolm Bailey Northwich Victoria Free transfer [3]
May 1970 DF Scotland Gordon Logan Kettering Town Free transfer [3]
May 1970 FW England Eric Magee Northern Ireland Linfield Free transfer [3]
May 1970 MF England Stuart Shaw Morecambe Free transfer [3]
May 1970 FW England Ken Wookey Workington Free transfer [3]
Summer 1970 FW England Ian Buxton Ilkeston Town Retired [3]
Summer 1970 MF England Stuart Chapman Stafford Rangers Free transfer [3]

Loans in[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Date to Ref.
February 1970 MF England Tony Lacey Stoke City April 1970 [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 x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag Kent, Jeff (1990). "Surviving on a Shoestring (1969–1979)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 227–257. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  2. ^ Port Vale 1969–1970 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o 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.