1986–87 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1986–87 season
Chairman Jim Lloyd
Manager John Rudge
Stadium Vale Park
Football League Third Division 12th (57 Points)
FA Cup Second Round
League Cup Second Round
League Trophy Northern Section Quarter-finalists
Player of the Year Andy Jones
Top goalscorer League: Andy Jones (31)
All: Andy Jones (37)
Highest home attendance 10,568 vs. Manchester United (7 October 1986)
Lowest home attendance 994 vs. Hereford United (22 December 1986)
Average home league attendance 3,312
Home colours

The 1986–87 season was Port Vale's 75th season of football in the Football League, and first (16th overall) season back in the Third Division following promotion from the Fourth Division.[1] John Rudge led to Vale to a mid-table finish, his Player of the Year signing Andy Jones scoring 37 goals in all competitions. Vale Park saw its record lowest attendance for a competitive encounter when only 994 loyal supporters turned out for a League Trophy clash with Hereford United. More than ten times this number turned out to see the Vale beaten by Manchester United in the Second Round of the League Cup. Rudge also signed Ray Walker to the club, and Andy Porter made his debut.

Overview[edit]

Third Division[edit]

The pre-season saw John Rudge bring 28-year-old stopper Mark Grew to the club from Ipswich Town.[1] He also bought Aston Villa's Ray Walker for £12,000; Sheffield United winger Paul Smith for £10,000; and Walsall's 'cultured' striker Richard O'Kelly for £6,000.[1] Rudge was connected with the vacant management position at Preston North End, but declared himself happy at Vale Park.[1] The season would see its midweek games played on a Tuesday, rather than the traditional Monday, and the play-offs were also introduced.[1]

The season opened with a 2–2 draw at crisis club Middlesbrough, who were forced to play the fixture at Hartlepool, after finding themselves kicked out of Ayresome Park.[1] Vale also drew their opening home match the following week against Rotherham United, and Grew was forced off with a knee injury and Alan Webb split his shinbone.[1] Jim Arnold agreed to return to the club on non-contract terms to replace the injured Grew.[1] Playing a 'fluent, passing game', Vale defeated bogey-team Walsall, who had maintained a 21-game unbeaten league run against the "Valiants" since 1965.[1] Ageing Arnold failed to maintain his fitness and Vale struggled around the foot of the table.[1] Rudge signed 'giant' Alex Williams on loan from Manchester City.[1] Despite Andy Jones leading the scoring charts, Vale still suffered, and Rudge's attempts to sign Steve Bull from West Bromwich Albion failed.[1] On 9 November, Vale Park hosted an American football match, in which Locomotive Derby beat the Stoke Spitfires 13–8.[1] By the end of the month Vale were cut four points adrift at the bottom of the league.[1] The next month John Williams was sold to Bournemouth for £30,000, having been in poor form for Vale.[1] Rudge then splashed out £5,000 on Bristol City's Gary Hamson.[1] He also brought Bob Hazell in from Reading on a free transfer.[1]

Hazell successfully shored up the Vale defence, as in his first three games the Vale kept three clean sheets.[1] In January, O'Kelly required a knee operation, but good news came as Alex Williams was signed permanently for £10,000.[1] On 27 January, Robbie Earle made his 142nd consecutive appearance in a 1–1 draw with Rotherham United at Millmoor, picking up a groin injury that put him into the treatment room.[1] The next week a 4–2 win over Doncaster Rovers was the last of a streak of six games unbeaten, that took the Vale up to fourteenth in the table.[1] Rudge attempted to sign Don Goodman, who was transfer listed at Bradford City, but ended his interest after being quoted £100,000.[2] A bad February ended with a 6–1 capitulation at home to Blackpool, Vale's biggest home defeat since March of the disastrous 1956–57 season.[1] Vale picked up eleven of a possible eighteen points in March, with Rudge also signing Darren Beckford on loan from Manchester City.[1] On 28 March, the club recorded their biggest ever away win by thumping Fulham 6–0 at Craven Cottage, with Jones bagging a hat-trick.[1] On 1 April, Jones was selected for the Wales squad, and scored past Finland.[1] Vale lost five of their seven April games, but ensured their safety by ripping apart Newport County on 4 May, with Jones hitting five goals.[1]

They finished in twelfth spot with 57 points, twelve points clear of Bolton Wanderers.[1] Andy Jones scored 37 goals in all competitions.[1]

Finances[edit]

On the financial side, a loss was made of £53,373.[1] Match receipts earned £228,422, whilst the market rents raised £100,614.[1] The bank overdraft stood at £216,453, whilst the club's total debts were £363,878.[1] The club's shirt sponsors were Browns Transport. Both Geoff Hunter and Wayne Ebanks left on free transfers, Hunter joining Wrexham.[1] Chairman Jim Lloyd also resigned due to his deteriorated relationship with the board.[1] He was replaced by garage owner Bill Bell, who was one of many men to have worked on building Vale Park in the 1940s.[1] Bell stated that he was not afraid to cut loose any deadwood.[1]

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, the First Round tie with non-league neighbours Stafford Rangers attracted a healthy crowd of 5,738 (the second highest attendance of the season), and Vale advanced with a 1–0 win. Travelling to Walsall for the Second Round, they were on the end of a 5–0 drubbing at the Bescot Stadium. Jim Lloyd called the 'tame surrender' a 'disgrace' and Rudge ordered extra training for the players.[1]

In the League Cup, Vale advanced past Notts County 7–1 on aggregate following wins both at home and at Meadow Lane. They then faced Ron Atkinson's First Division Manchester United at the Second Round, just as they had in 1983. United picked up a 3–0 victory at Old Trafford before eliminating the Vale with a 5–2 win in Stoke-on-Trent.

In the League Trophy, the opening match against Fourth Division Hereford United set a club-record for the lowest-ever attendance for a competitive first team game, as only 994 fans turned up at Vale Park on 22 December to witness Vale win through a Jones goal.[1] The missing fans only missed 'a long yawn in freezing conditions'.[1] A 2–1 defeat to Newport County at Somerton Park failed to prevent Vale advancing to the First Round. Vale then eliminated Exeter City with a 1–0 win at St James Park. However Gillingham defeated Vale 4–3 on penalties after a 3–3 draw in Burslem.

Final league table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Bournemouth 46 29 10 7 76 40 + 36 97
2 Middlesbrough 46 28 10 8 67 30 + 37 94
3 Swindon Town 46 25 12 9 77 47 + 30 87
4 Wigan Athletic 46 25 10 11 83 60 + 23 85
5 Gillingham 46 23 9 14 65 48 + 17 78
6 Bristol City 46 21 14 11 63 36 + 27 77
7 Notts County 46 21 13 12 77 56 + 21 76
8 Walsall 46 22 9 15 80 67 + 13 75
9 Blackpool 46 16 16 14 74 59 + 15 64
10 Mansfield Town 46 15 16 15 52 55 – 3 61
11 Brentford 46 15 15 16 64 66 – 2 60
12 Port Vale 46 15 12 19 76 70 + 6 57
13 Doncaster Rovers 46 14 15 17 56 62 – 6 57
14 Rotherham United 46 15 12 19 48 57 – 9 57
15 Chester City 46 13 17 16 61 59 + 2 56
16 Bury 46 14 13 19 54 60 – 6 55
17 Chesterfield 46 13 15 18 56 69 – 13 54
18 Fulham 46 12 17 17 59 77 – 18 53
19 Bristol Rovers 46 13 12 21 49 75 – 26 51
20 York City 46 12 13 21 55 79 – 24 49
21 Bolton Wanderers 46 10 15 21 46 58 – 12 45
22 Carlisle United 46 10 8 28 39 78 – 39 38
23 Darlington 46 7 16 23 45 77 – 32 37
24 Newport County 46 8 13 25 49 86 – 37 37

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 A H H A H A H A A H H A A H A H A H A A H A H A H H H H A H A H A H A H A H A H A A H A
Result D D W L D L W L L W D L L D L L L W L D W W W D W L D D L W D W L D W L L L W W L L L D W W
Position 7 14 7 10 12 16 12 15 16 13 14 16 17 20 20 21 24 22 23 24 20 17 16 16 14 14 14 14 19 15 13 13 14 15 12 12 15 16 13 11 13 14 14 15 13 12

Sourced from Statto.[3]

Football League Third Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
23 August 1986 Middlesbrough A 2–2 3,690 O'Kelly, Maguire
30 August 1986 Rotherham United H 1–1 3,734 O'Kelly
6 September 1986 Brentford A 2–0 3,150 Maguire, Smith
13 September 1986 York City H 2–3 4,893 Jones (2 [1 pen])
16 September 1986 Notts County H 1–1 3,725 Jones
20 September 1986 Bolton Wanderers A 0–3 4,872
27 September 1986 Walsall H 4–1 4,531 Jones (2 [1 pen]), Bowden, Earle
30 September 1986 Blackpool A 0–2 4,585
4 October 1986 Fulham H 0–1 3,862
11 October 1986 Chesterfield A 4–2 2,755 Jones (2), Earle, Maguire
18 October 1986 Bristol Rovers A 0–0 3,054
21 October 1986 Swindon Town H 3–4 3,420 Earle, Jones, o.g.
25 October 1986 Gillingham H 1–2 3,055 Jones
1 November 1986 Bury A 2–2 2,598 Jones (pen), Smith
4 November 1986 Carlisle United A 0–2 2,748
8 November 1986 Wigan Athletic H 0–1 3,339
22 November 1986 Doncaster Rovers A 1–2 2,455 O'Kelly
14 December 1986 Chester City H 2–1 3,397 Earle, Smith
19 December 1986 Darlington A 2–3 1,052 Jones (2)
26 December 1986 Bristol City H 0–0 4,168
27 December 1986 Newport County A 2–0 2,105 Jones (pen), Smith
1 January 1987 Mansfield Town A 1–0 3,053 Hazell
24 January 1987 Brentford H 4–1 3,062 Jones (2 [1 pen]), Earle, Smith
27 January 1987 Rotherham United A 1–1 2,397 Walker
3 February 1987 Doncaster Rovers H 4–2 2,835 Jones (2 [1 pen]), Hamson, Maguire
7 February 1987 Notts County A 1–4 5,277 Bowden
14 February 1987 Bolton Wanderers H 1–1 3,678 Bowden
17 February 1987 Middlesbrough H 0–0 3,263
28 February 1987 Blackpool H 1–6 3,765 Sproson
3 March 1987 Bury H 2–0 2,261 Smith, Maguire
7 March 1987 Gillingham A 0–0 3,929
14 March 1987 Bristol Rovers H 4–1 2,758 Jones (2 [1 pen]), Walker, Maguire
17 March 1987 Swindon Town A 0–1 7,347
21 March 1987 Chesterfield H 2–2 2,903 Bowden, Sproson
28 March 1987 Fulham A 6–0 3,798 Jones (3), Smith, Walker, Maguire
31 March 1987 Bournemouth H 1–2 3,228 Walker
4 April 1987 Wigan Athletic A 1–2 3,567 Jones
11 April 1987 Carlisle United H 0–1 2,449
14 April 1987 York City A 4–1 2,804 Webb, Jones, Sproson, Maguire
18 April 1987 Mansfield Town H 3–2 2,625 Beckford, Jones, Maguire
20 April 1987 Bristol City A 0–1 8,669
25 April 1987 Darlington H 1–2 2,492 Jones
28 April 1987 Walsall A 2–5 5,696 Beckford, Bromage
2 May 1987 Bournemouth A 0–0 9,559
4 May 1987 Newport County H 6–1 2,733 Jones (5 [2 pens]), Sproson
9 May 1987 Chester City A 2–1 3,021 Earle, Beckford

FA Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 15 November 1986 Stafford Rangers H 1–0 5,738 Earle
R2 6 December 1986 Walsall A 0–5 7,033

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 1st Leg 26 August 1986 Notts County A 3–1 2,167 Jones (2 [2 pens]), O'Kelly
R1 2nd Leg 3 September 1986 Notts County H 4–1 3,486 Jones, O'Kelly, Walker, Smith
R2 1st Leg 24 September 1986 Manchester United A 0–3 18,906
R2 2nd Leg 7 October 1986 Manchester United H 2–5 10,568 Jones (pen), o.g.

League Trophy[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
P 22 December 1986 Hereford United H 1–0 994 Jones
P 6 January 1987 Newport County A 1–2 826 o.g.
R1 20 January 1987 Exeter City A 1–0 1,365 Maguire
SSQF 10 February 1987 Gillingham H 3–3 (4-5 on pens) 2,768 Jones, Smith, Hazell

Player statistics[edit]

Transfers[edit]

Transfers in[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
June 1986 GK England Mark Grew Ipswich Town Free transfer [4]
July 1986 FW England Richard O'Kelly Walsall £6,000 [4]
July 1986 MF England Paul Smith Sheffield United £10,000 [4]
July 1986 MF England Ray Walker Aston Villa £12,000 [4]
December 1986 MF England Gary Hamson Bristol City £5,000 [4]
December 1986 DF England Bob Hazell Reading Free transfer [4]
December 1986 MF England Andy Porter Free transfer [4]
January 1987 GK England Alex Williams Manchester City £10,000 [4]
March 1987 FW England Darren Beckford Manchester City £15,000 [4]

Transfers out[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
December 1986 GK England Jim Arnold Kidderminster Harriers Retired [4]
December 1986 DF England John Williams Bournemouth £30,000 [4]
May 1987 DF England Wayne Ebanks Cambridge United Free transfer [4]
May 1987 MF England Geoff Hunter Wrexham Free transfer [4]
July 1987 MF England Jon Bowden Wrexham £12,500 [4]
August 1987 MF England Russell Bromage Bristol City £25,000 [4]

Loans in[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Date to Ref.
November 1986 GK England Alex Williams Manchester City January 1987 [4]
December 1986 DF England Alan Dodd Sweden IF Elfsborg December 1986 [4]

Loans out[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Date to Ref.
1987 MF England Andy Porter New Zealand Hutt Valley United 1987 [4]

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 ah ai aj ak al Kent, Jeff (1990). "From Rags to Riches (1979–1990)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 258–290. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  2. ^ "Goodman too expensive for the likes of Port Vale". Staffordshire Sentinel Green 'Un. 11 February 2017. p. 30. 
  3. ^ Port Vale 1986–1987 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r 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.