1957–58 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1957–58 season
ChairmanFred Burgess
ManagerNorman Low
StadiumVale Park
Football League Third Division South15th (42 Points)
FA CupSecond Round
(knocked out by Hull City)
Top goalscorerLeague: Stan Steele (21)
All: Stan Steele (22)
Highest home attendance17,286 vs. Coventry City, 26 December 1957
Lowest home attendance5,149 vs. Brentford, 24 March 1958
Average home league attendance10,457
Biggest win5–0 and 6–1
Biggest defeat0–3 and 1–4

The 1957–58 season was Port Vale's 46th season of football in the English Football League, and their first full season (eighth overall) back in the Third Division South following their relegation from the Second Division. An unusual season, the regional split was to be abolished at the season's end, meaning the bottom two clubs of the Second Division and the clubs placed 2nd to 12th in the Third Division North and the Third Division South would be the founder members of the Third Division. It also meant that the bottom twelve clubs of the Third Division North and the Third Division South would be the founder members of the Fourth Division. In effect, the team's performance in this season could see them placed in either the second, third or fourth tier the following season. Finishing in fifteenth, what would have otherwise been a mid-table finish of little consequence saw them relegated to the Fourth Division.

Overview[]

Third Division South[]

The pre-season saw manager Norman Low sign a number of young new players to replace those released at the end of the previous season, saying his team would 'fight like hell to get back into the Second Division'. Four of these signings were: impressive forward Jack Wilkinson (Sheffield United); Welsh international goalkeeper Keith Jones (signed from Aston Villa for £3,500); defender Bert Carberry (Gillingham); and Alan Martin – who returned to the club as a part-time professional.

The season opened with a 1–0 win over Aldershot at the Recreation Ground. This started a sequence of just four defeats in seventeen games, which included doing the double over Southampton (a 3–0 win at The Dell followed by a 4–0 win at Vale Park). This was achieved with Low's attacking policy, a stark contract to 'the Steele Curtain' defence. However their five clean sheets in their first eight games also illustrated their defensive strength. In September, right-half Selwyn Whalley turned part-time, dividing his duties between playing football and teaching at Hanley High School. Winger Alan Bennett was also transferred to Crewe Alexandra. By November, Vale were third in the league, and Low signed Bert Carberry and Jack Wilkinson. Following this top-scorer Stan Steele went off the boil, as the Vale lost their form in the Christmas period, losing 1–0 twice to Coventry City in two days. Though before this a 6–1 victory was recorded over Aldershot.

In January, Ken Griffiths was sold to Mansfield Town for a four-figure fee, having mostly languished in the reserves. By February, Vale were in seventh position, only four points off top spot (with three games in hand) despite their loss of form. Four straight defeats dragged them down towards the bottom half of the table. They bought former Wales international Noel Kinsey from Birmingham City for £5,000 in an attempt to bolster their form. He helped the club achieve a 5–0 win over Watford on 8 March, scoring two goals. Though as injuries developed the club's form again declined, and the team lost eight of their final twelve games. Two points from their final six games doomed them to the fourth tier.

They finished in fifteenth position with 42 points from 46 games. Five points away from the top half of the table, their 'remarkable decline' continued with a second relegation in two years. Their 58 goals conceded was a respectable total, as was their 67 goals scored. Stan Steele, Jack Wilkinson, and Harry Poole all proved themselves consistent goalscorers, scoring 22, 19, and 16 goals respectively.

Finances[]

On the financial side, a decline in average attendance by around 3,500 left the club with an average gate of 10,457. Gate receipts were down to £33,800, however a small staff helped to make a profit of £145 despite player wages rising to £24,158. Five players were released in the summer, most notably Bert Carberry (Exeter City) and Bill Cleary (King's Lynn). Low also sold Colin Askey to Walsall for 'a fairly substantial fee' and Basil Hayward to Portsmouth for 'a fair fee'.

Cup competitions[]

In the FA Cup, Vale narrowly defeated Shrewsbury Town with two goals from Wilkinson. Third Division North Hull City knocked the Vale out in the Second Round however, winning the replay 4–3 at Boothferry Park.

League table[]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv Pts Promotion or relegation
13 Northampton Town 46 19 6 21 87 79 1.101 44 Moved to 4th Division
14 Crystal Palace 46 15 13 18 70 72 0.972 43
15 Port Vale 46 16 10 20 67 58 1.155 42
16 Watford 46 13 16 17 59 77 0.766 42
17 Shrewsbury Town 46 15 10 21 49 71 0.690 40

Results[]

Port Vale's score comes first

Football League Third Division South[]

Results by matchday[]

Round12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546
GroundAAHHAAHHAHHAAHAHAAAHHHAHAAHAHAHHAHAHHAAHHAHHAA
ResultWLWDLWWWLWDDLWWWDLLDWWLLDDDWWLLLLWLWLLLWDLLDLL
Position1125510632422376435566545977977810111111121313131313131315141515
Source: Statto
A = Away; H = Home; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Loss

Matches[]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
24 August 1957 Aldershot A 1–0 6,802 Steele
26 August 1957 Shrewsbury Town A 0–1 9,869
31 August 1957 Swindon Town H 3–1 16,503 Steele (2), Wilkinson
2 September 1957 Shrewsbury Town H 0–0 15,538
7 September 1957 Millwall A 1–2 17,429 Poole
11 September 1957 Southampton A 3–0 18,887 Steele, Poole, Askey
14 September 1957 Gillingham H 2–0 14,717 Poole (2)
16 September 1957 Southampton H 4–0 11,021 Steele (3), Wilkinson
21 September 1957 Exeter City A 0–1 9,397
28 September 1957 Queens Park Rangers H 2–1 12,816 Steele, Hayward
30 September 1957 Newport County H 2–2 8,669 Poole (2)
5 October 1957 Southend United A 1–1 11,943 Steele
12 October 1957 Reading A 0–3 11,501
19 October 1957 Northampton Town H 3–0 12,443 Steele (2), Wilkinson
26 October 1957 Watford A 2–0 9,513 Wilkinson, Askey
2 November 1957 Crystal Palace H 4–0 13,602 Wilkinson (2), Poole, Askey
9 November 1957 Torquay United A 1–1 7,620 Poole
11 November 1957 Newport County A 1–2 8,480 Poole
23 November 1957 Colchester United A 1–2 9,106 Askey
30 November 1957 Norwich City H 2–2 13,816 Steele, Poole
14 December 1957 Walsall H 2–1 8,827 Wilkinson, Poole
21 December 1957 Aldershot H 6–1 8,273 Wilkinson (2), Poole (2), Cunliffe (2)
25 December 1957 Coventry City A 0–1 13,713
26 December 1957 Coventry City H 0–1 17,286
28 December 1957 Swindon Town A 0–0 15,000
4 January 1958 Brighton & Hove Albion A 0–0 13,312
11 January 1958 Millwall H 1–1 9,002 Steele
18 January 1958 Gillingham A 2–0 7,407 Wilkinson, Steele
1 February 1958 Exeter City H 3–2 9,300 Wilkinson (2), Cunliffe
8 February 1958 Queens Park Rangers A 1–2 7,594 Askey
15 February 1958 Southend United H 1–3 7,642 Wilkinson
22 February 1958 Reading H 1–2 5,940 Steele
1 March 1958 Northampton Town A 2–3 8,711 Steele (2)
8 March 1958 Watford H 5–0 8,515 Kinsey (2), Wilkinson, Steele, Whalley
15 March 1958 Crystal Palace A 0–1 13,577
22 March 1958 Colchester United H 2–0 7,151 Steele, Wilkinson
24 March 1958 Brentford H 0–1 5,149
29 March 1958 Walsall A 0–3 8,613
4 April 1958 Plymouth Argyle A 0–1 22,458
5 April 1958 Torquay United H 2–1 7,504 Sproson, Wilkinson
7 April 1958 Plymouth Argyle H 0–0 11,059
12 April 1958 Norwich City A 0–3 17,843
19 April 1958 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic H 2–3 8,481 Steele, Cunliffe
23 April 1958 Brighton & Hove Albion H 2–2 7,256 Poole, Askey
26 April 1958 Brentford A 1–4 11,923 Steele
30 April 1958 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic A 1–3 10,683 Wilkinson

FA Cup[]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 16 November 1957 Shrewsbury Town H 2–1 17,660 Wilkinson (2)
R2 7 December 1957 Hull City H 2–2 14,338 Poole, Askey
R2 Replay 9 December 1957 Hull City A 3–4 17,403 Poole, Steele, Sproson

Player statistics[]

Appearances[]

Pos. Name Football League FA Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England John Poole 3 0 0 0 3 0
GK Wales Keith Jones 43 0 3 0 46 0
DF England Roy Sproson 37 1 3 1 40 2
DF England David Raine 31 0 3 0 34 0
DF England Selwyn Whalley 13 1 0 0 13 1
DF England Fred Donaldson 27 0 0 0 27 0
DF Scotland Bert Carberry 29 0 3 0 32 0
DF England Jimmy Adams 1 0 0 0 1 0
MF England Albert Leake 32 0 2 0 34 0
MF England John Cunliffe 42 4 3 0 45 4
MF England Colin Askey 35 6 2 1 37 7
MF England Terry Miles 6 0 0 0 6 0
MF England Basil Hayward 42 1 3 0 45 1
MF England Alan Martin 3 0 0 0 3 0
MF England Brian Hopkins 2 0 0 0 2 0
MF England Fred Hough 4 0 0 0 4 0
MF England Bill Cleary 8 0 2 0 10 0
FW England Ken Griffiths 3 0 0 0 3 0
FW England Harry Poole 41 14 3 2 44 16
FW England Stan Steele 46 21 3 1 49 22
FW England Jack Wilkinson 41 17 3 2 44 19
FW Scotland Jimmy McLean 3 0 0 0 3 0
FW Wales Noel Kinsey 14 2 0 0 14 2

Top scorers[]

Place Position Nation Name Third Division South FA Cup Total
1 FW  England Stan Steele 21 1 22
2 FW  England Jack Wilkinson 17 2 19
3 FW  England Harry Poole 14 2 16
4 MF  England Colin Askey 6 1 7
5 MF  England John Cunliffe 4 0 4
6 FW  England Roy Sproson 1 1 2
FW Wales Wales Noel Kinsey 2 0 2
8 DF  England Selwyn Whalley 1 0 1
MF  England Basil Hayward 1 0 1
Own goals 0 0 0
TOTALS 67 7 74

Transfers[]

Transfers in[]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
June 1957 FW England Jack Wilkinson Sheffield United Free transfer
July 1957 MF Scotland Bert Carberry Gillingham Free transfer
July 1957 GK Wales Keith Jones Aston Villa £3,500
July 1957 MF England Alan Martin Bangor City Non-contract
November 1957 MF England Bill Cleary Wisbech Town Free transfer
February 1958 FW Wales Noel Kinsey Birmingham City £5,000
March 1958 FW Scotland Jimmy McLean Alva Rangers Free transfer

Transfers out[]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
September 1957 MF England Alan Bennett Crewe Alexandra Free transfer
January 1958 FW England Ken Griffiths Mansfield Town 'four-figure fee'
January 1958 GK England Leslie Wood Southport Free transfer
March 1958 MF England Brian Hopkins Burton Albion Free transfer
May 1958 DF England Basil Hayward Portsmouth 'fair'
May 1958 MF England Fred Hough Released
July 1958 MF England Colin Askey Walsall 'fairly substantial'
July 1958 MF England Bill Cleary Boston United Free transfer
August 1957 MF Scotland Bert Carberry Exeter City Free transfer

References[]

Specific
  1. ^ Kent, Jeff (1990). "Fame and Fortune (1950–1959)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 171–196. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7.
  2. Port Vale 1957–1958 : Results & Fixtures Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  3. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.
General