2007–08 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
2007–08 season
Chairman Bill Bratt
Manager Martin Foyle
(until September)
Lee Sinnott
(November onwards)
Stadium Vale Park
Football League One 23rd (38 Points)
FA Cup Second Round
League Cup First Round
League Trophy Preliminary Round
Player of the Year Paul Harsley
Top goalscorer League: Luke Rodgers (9)
All: Luke Rodgers (12)
Highest home attendance 7,908 vs. Leeds United (15 March 2008)
Lowest home attendance 2,730 vs. Morecambe (10 November 2007)
Average home league attendance 4,417
Home colours
Away colours

The 2007–08 season was Port Vale's ninety-sixth season of football in the Football League, and fourth successive season in League One. Vale finished second-from-bottom, and were relegated, some twelve points from safety. Manager Martin Foyle left the club in September, and Lee Sinnott failed to improve results despite making several loan signings. Vale were also knocked out the of the FA Cup at the Second Round by Southern Football League side Chasetown, a club five divisions below the Vale. Vale also had no luck in either the League Cup or the League Trophy, exiting both competitions at the first stage after a penalty shoot-out. Throughout the season the club saw a large turnover of players, as Sinnott attempted to build a squad of players of his own choosing to prepare for a promotion push the following season.

Manager Martin Foyle left the club in September.
Player of the Year Paul Harsley left at the end of the season.
Danny Whitaker played 45 games, but left at the end of the season.

Overview[edit]

League One[edit]

The pre-season saw Martin Foyle sign Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Keith Lowe on a season long loan,[1] and both Paul Edwards and Craig Rocastle from Oldham Athletic.[2] He also signed Marc Richards from Barnsley,[3] as well as Shane Tudor and Justin Miller from Leyton Orient. Calum Willock also joined on a short-term deal,[4] as did Southampton loanee David McGoldrick,[5] and Chester City's veteran defender Ashley Westwood.[6] However an audacious attempt to land Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler failed.[7]

The season started with just five points in the opening six games, with just one goal scored from open play. A few games into the season Akpo Sodje was sold to Sheffield Wednesday for an undisclosed fee.[8] With only two disappointing mid-table finishes to his name, and with Vale lying 23rd in the league, Foyle left the club by mutual consent on 26 September.[9] Caretaker-manager Dean Glover was disappointed with the players, comparing them to a pub team.[10] In October, Glover signed teenage midfielder Will Atkinson joined on loan from Hull City and left-back Adam Eckersley on loan from Manchester United.[11] On 5 November, Farsley Celtic manager Lee Sinnott was appointed as the new Vale boss.[12] This decision caused Dean Glover to consider his position at the club,[13] though he eventually chose to remain as Sinnott's assistant.[14] Sinnott warned of big changes at the club.[15] Young defender Charlie O'Loughlin was then loaned out to Nantwich Town, and Shane Tudor was sent out on loan to Shrewsbury Town.[16] Arriving at the club were midfielders Mark Salmon (Wolverhampton Wanderers) and Marc Laird (Manchester City) on short loan deals.[17][18]

In January, goalkeeper Mark Goodlad was forced to retire due to injury,[19] and young Joe Anyon faced criticism from the fans for his performances.[20] Adam Eckersley then returned to the club after his release from Manchester United, as Sinnott's first non-loan signing.[21] Sinnott then signed Dave Mulligan from Scunthorpe United on a short-term contract. Midfielder David Howland also arrived on loan from Birmingham City,[22] and would join the club permanently at the end of the season.[23] Fellow Birmingham player Krystian Pearce also signed on loan,[24] though would impress enough to win a longer stay with Birmingham. Sinnott then raided another Birmingham club, this time Aston Villa, to bring Australian teenager Chris Herd on a one month loan,[25] as well as Swedish youngster Tobias Mikaelsson.[26] He also allowed Rocastle to join Gillingham on a two-week loan.[27] Sinnott also completed the signings of Chasetown pair Chris Slater and Kyle Perry, who left their jobs to become full-time professional footballers.[28] In February, O'Loughlin was loaned out to Hinckley United. After the club lost a 2–0 lead at Victoria Park to lose 3–2 against Hartlepool United, club legend Jon McCarthy questioned the team's mental strength.[29] In April, Craig Rocastle's contract was terminated by mutual consent, and he moved to play for Greek club Thrasyvoulos.[30] Teenage goalkeeper Chris Martin made his debut on 19 April, as Vale were on the end of a 6–0 defeat by Swindon Town at The County Ground.[31] Despite just two defeats in the final ten games of the season, Vale had long been relegated.

They finished in 23rd place with 38 points, above Luton Town only because the "Hatters" were hit with a ten point deduction. Vale were twelve points behind Crewe Alexandra, who finished one place above the relegation zone. Luke Rodgers was the club's top scorer with twelve goals in all competitions. There was a distinct lack of goals in the side, though their goals conceded tally of 81 was the highest in the league.

At the end of the season there was an exodus of players: Robin Hulbert (Darlington);[32] Colin Miles (Woking);[33] Jason Talbot (Livingston);[34] Mark McGregor (Altrincham);[35] Joe Cardle (Airdrie United);[36] Adam Eckersley (Horsens);[37] Dave Mulligan (Wellington Phoenix);[38] Justin Miller (Chelmsford City);[39] Charlie O'Loughlin (Nantwich Town);[40] as well as club captain George Pilkington (Luton Town).[41] Sinnott claimed this cull was necessary to turn the club around.[42] Danny Whitaker rejected Vale's contract offer,[43] and their revised offer,[44][45] to move off to Oldham Athletic.[46] Player of the Year Paul Harsley also turned down a new deal, and instead signed with Chesterfield.[47] Marc Richards discussed a £100,000 move to Cheltenham Town,[48] though chose to stay in Burslem.

Finances[edit]

The club had to make monthly repayments of around £19,000 for a £2.25 million loan taken out from the local council in 2005.[49] The club's shirt sponsorship came from Sennheiser.

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, Sinnott's first cup game in charge saw Vale take revenge on Morecambe with a 2–0 win at Vale Park,[50] to give the "Valiants" what seemed to be an easy Second Round tie with Southern League side Chasetown (an eighth tier team 101 league places below them).[51] Vale sacrificed a one goal lead over the amateurs to limp to a 1–1 draw at Vale Park, after conceding from a 40 yard free kick taken by trainee accountant Mark Branch.[52][53] Chasetown then made a giant-killing with a late goal on their home ground, after Luke Rodgers missed two penalties.[54]

In the League Cup, Vale exited at the First Round after losing to League Two side Wrexham 5–3 on penalties, following a 1–1 home draw.[55]

In the League Trophy, Vale were beaten on penalties by a League Two side for the second time in the season, this time after a 2–2 draw with Morecambe at Christie Park. Caretaker-manager Dean Glover likened his side to a "pub team".[56]

Marc Richards rejected a £100,000 move to Cheltenham Town.
Chris Martin conceded six goals on his debut.

Final league table[edit]

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 Swansea City 46 27 11 8 82 42 +40 92
P 2 Nottingham Forest 46 22 16 8 64 32 +32 82
P 3 Doncaster Rovers 46 23 11 12 65 41 +24 80
  4 Carlisle United 46 23 11 12 64 46 +18 80
  5 Leeds United 46 27 10 9 72 38 +34 76 F
  6 Southend United 46 22 10 14 70 55 +15 76
  7 Brighton and Hove Albion 46 19 12 15 58 50 +6 69
  8 Oldham Athletic 46 18 13 15 58 45 +13 67
  9 Northampton Town 46 17 15 14 60 55 +5 66
  10 Huddersfield Town 46 20 6 20 50 62 -12 66
  11 Tranmere Rovers 46 18 11 17 52 47 +5 65
  12 Walsall 46 16 16 14 52 46 +6 64
  13 Swindon Town 46 16 13 17 63 56 +7 61
  14 Leyton Orient 46 16 12 18 49 63 -14 60
  15 Hartlepool United 46 15 9 22 62 65 -3 54
  16 Bristol Rovers 46 12 17 17 45 53 -8 53
  17 Millwall 46 14 10 22 45 61 -16 52
  18 Yeovil Town 46 14 10 22 38 59 -21 52
  19 Cheltenham Town 46 13 12 21 42 64 -22 51
  20 Crewe Alexandra 46 12 14 20 47 65 -18 50
R 21 Bournemouth 46 17 7 22 62 72 -10 48 A
R 22 Gillingham 46 11 13 22 44 73 -29 46
R 23 Port Vale 46 9 11 26 47 81 -34 38
R 24 Luton Town 46 11 10 25 43 63 -20 33 A

F Leeds deducted 15 points for failure to comply with rules on insolvency.
A Luton and Bournemouth both deducted 10 points a piece for administration entrance.
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 H A H A A H A H H A H A H A H A H A A H A H H A A H A H H A H A H A H A A H A H H A H A H A
Result D L L W D L L L W L L L W L L D L L W D L D L L L W L L D L D L L L L L W D L W W W D L D D
Position 7 17 22 17 14 20 22 22 21 22 23 23 22 23 23 22 23 24 21 22 23 24 24 24 24 23 23 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 23 23 23 23 23

Sourced from Statto.[57]

Football League One[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
11 August 2007 Bristol Rovers H 1–1 6,808 Rodgers (pen)
18 August 2007 Yeovil Town A 0–1 5,071
25 August 2007 Hartlepool United H 0–2 3,978
1 September 2007 Bournemouth A 1–0 5,444 Rodgers
8 September 2007 Walsall A 0–0 4,967
15 September 2007 Nottingham Forest H 0–2 6,521
22 September 2007 Luton Town A 1–2 6,084 Rodgers
29 September 2007 Southend United H 1–2 3,969 Rodgers (pen)
2 October 2007 Cheltenham Town H 3–0 3,102 McGoldrick, Edwards, Rocastle
6 October 2007 Northampton Town A 1–2 4,755 McGoldrick
13 October 2007 Brighton and Hove Albion H 0–1 3,490
20 October 2007 Leyton Orient A 1–3 4,555 Rodgers
27 October 2007 Swindon Town H 2–1 4,013 Rodgers (pen), Whitaker
3 November 2007 Huddersfield Town A 1–3 8,555 Rodgers
6 November 2007 Crewe Alexandra H 0–1 5,329
17 November 2007 Oldham Athletic A 1–1 5,097 Willock
24 November 2007 Doncaster Rovers H 1–3 4,581 Pilkington
4 December 2007 Leeds United A 0–3 20,301
8 December 2007 Gillingham A 2–1 7,001 Willock, King (og)
15 December 2007 Tranmere Rovers H 0–0 3,604
22 December 2007 Nottingham Forest A 0–2 21,407
26 December 2007 Walsall H 1–1 6,029 Laird
29 December 2007 Luton Town H 1–2 4,224 Willock
2 January 2008 Cheltenham Town A 0–1 3,221
5 January 2008 Carlisle United A 2–3 6,313 Harsley, Willock
12 January 2008 Millwall H 3–1 3,724 Lowe (2), Whitaker
19 January 2008 Swansea City A 0–2 12,310
26 January 2008 Bournemouth H 1–3 4,047 Pilkington
29 January 2008 Yeovil Town H 2–2 2,869 Eckersley, Edwards
2 February 2008 Bristol Rovers A 2–3 6,927 Harsley (pen), Lowe
9 February 2008 Carlisle United H 1–1 4,221 Harsley (pen)
12 February 2008 Hartlepool United A 2–3 3,630 Herd (2)
16 February 2008 Swansea City H 0–2 4,347
23 February 2008 Millwall A 0–3 7,775
1 March 2008 Oldham Athletic H 0–3 3,715
8 March 2008 Doncaster Rovers A 1–2 8,040 Whitaker
11 March 2008 Crewe Alexandra A 2–0 5,229 Harsley (pen), Rodgers
15 March 2008 Leeds United H 3–3 7,908 Harsley (pen), Whitaker, Rodgers
20 March 2008 Tranmere Rovers A 0–2 6,484
24 March 2008 Gillingham H 2–1 3,157 Richards, Whitaker
29 March 2008 Leyton Orient H 2–1 3,252 Richards, Howland
5 April 2008 Brighton and Hove Albion A 3–2 7,741 Richards (2), Whitaker
12 April 2008 Huddersfield Town H 0–0 4,150
19 April 2008 Swindon Town A 0–6 7,361
26 April 2008 Northampton Town H 2–2 4,556 Richards, Glover
3 May 2008 Southend United A 1–1 9,292 Mulligan
Chris Slater was signed from Chasetown.
Kyle Perry was signed from Chasetown.

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 2007–08 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 10 November 2007 Morecambe H 2–0 2,730 Pilkington, Willock
R2 2 December 2007 Chasetown H 1–1 5,875 Rodgers
R2 Replay 12 December 2007 Chasetown A 0–1 1,986

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 14 August 2007 Wrexham H (3)1–1(5) 2,916 Rodgers (pen)

League Trophy[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 9 October 2007 Morecambe A (2)2–2(4) 1,644 Miller, Rodgers

Player statistics[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Port Vale pull off triple swoop". BBC Sport. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
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