1990–91 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1990–91 season
ChairmanBill Bell
ManagerJohn Rudge
StadiumVale Park
Football League Second Division15th (57 Points)
FA CupFourth Round
(knocked out by Manchester City)
League CupSecond Round
(knocked out by Oxford United)
Full Members' CupFirst Round
(knocked out by Notts County)
Player of the YearRay Walker
Top goalscorerLeague: Darren Beckford (21)
All: Darren Beckford (23)
Highest home attendance19,132 vs. Manchester City, 26 January 1991
Lowest home attendance5,265 vs. Oxford United, 24 September 1990
Average home league attendance8,092
Biggest win5–1 vs. Plymouth Argyle, 1 December 1990
Biggest defeat0–4 vs. Middlesbrough, 9 April 1991

The 1990–91 season was Port Vale's 79th season of football in the English Football League, and second successive (34th overall) season in the Second Division. For the first time since 1926–27 they played in a league above rivals Stoke City. Vale finished in mid-table, exiting the FA Cup at the Fourth Round, the League Cup at the Second Round, and the Full Members' Cup at the First Round. John Rudge continued to uncover hidden 'gems', signing Dutchman Robin van der Laan for £80,000. Darren Beckford was top-scorer once again, though the club's Player of the Year award went to Ray Walker.

Overview[]

Second Division[]

The pre-season saw John Rudge follow up a recommendation by signing young Irish forward Derek Swan from Bohemians for £15,000. Meanwhile, more than £250,000 was taken in by the club from season-ticket sales. Much of this went on improving Vale Park, with 3,750 yellow and white seats fitted in the Railway Paddock, and 1,121 seats added to the upper tier of the Bycars End. The Bycars End roof was removed for safety reasons, whilst a police box was constructed between the Railway Paddock and the Hamil End. Admission rates increased to £5 for a terrace place, £6 for a seat in the Paddock and £7 in the stand. Season tickets ranged between £75 and £105. With police bills set to spiral upwards, a record five-figure shirt sponsorship deal was struck with Kalamazoo (a business systems company). A 25,000 seater stadium was planned for Festival Park, however Chairman Bill Bell was 'frightened to death by the cost', and the plans were binned.

The season opened with two defeats, though a 2–0 win over Leicester City on 1 September kick-started the Vale's campaign. A week later they beat Portsmouth 4–2 at Fratton Park. However their 3–2 win over Middlesbrough was followed by seven league games without a win. Left-back Colin Gibson scored on his debut, having arrived on loan from Manchester United; whilst future-Nigerian international Reuben Agboola also arrived on loan from Sunderland. The streak ended when Ray Walker and Darren Beckford found their scoring form, firing the club to five victories in seven games, including a 5–1 home win over Plymouth Argyle. The Vale lost their form around Christmastime however, and they remained in indifferent form until the end of the season. Rudge took in Nick Platnauer on loan from Notts County, though results failed to pick up.

In February, Ronnie Jepson was sold to Preston North End for £80,000, having previously been loaned out to Peterborough United. Gary West also spent much of the season away from Vale Park, spending time on loan at Gillingham and Lincoln City (signing permanently for Lincoln at the end of the season for a £25,000 fee). All of the money raised from Jepson's sale went on bringing Dutchman Robin van der Laan to Burslem from Wageningen. Right-back Paul West also arrived for a £3,800 fee from non-league Alcester Town. In March, Gary Ford and £80,000 were traded to Mansfield Town in exchange for Kevin Kent. Also of note during this spell was a hat-trick for Beckford in a 3–0 win over Blackburn Rovers on 9 March, and a run of four goals in the final four games for Robbie Earle. Striker Brian Mills made his debut in a final day win over Swindon Town, and would later be picked for the England squad for the 1991 FIFA World Youth Championship.

They finished in fifteenth place with 57 points, twelve points away from Middlesbrough in the play-offs, but nine points clear of relegated West Bromwich Albion. Beckford scored 23 goals in all competitions, whilst Earle contributed twelve goals.

Finances[]

The club's shirt sponsors were Kalamazoo.

Cup competitions[]

In the FA Cup, Vale advanced into the Fourth Round with a 2–1 victory over Fourth Division Peterborough United. There they lost at home to First Division Manchester City in front of a season-high crowd of 19,132.

In the League Cup, the "Valiants" faced Oxford United. A 2–0 defeat on the home leg meant they were eliminated after a goalless draw at the Manor Ground.

In the short-lived Full Members' Cup, Vale lost 1–0 to Notts County at Meadow Lane to exit the competition at the first stage.

League table[]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
13 Bristol Rovers 46 15 13 18 56 59 −3 58
14 Ipswich Town 46 13 18 15 60 68 −8 57
15 Port Vale 46 15 12 19 56 64 −8 57
16 Charlton Athletic 46 13 17 16 57 61 −4 56
17 Portsmouth 46 14 11 21 58 70 −12 53

Results[]

Port Vale's score comes first

Football League Second Division[]

Results by matchday[]

Round12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546
GroundAHHAHHAAHHAAHHAAHAHHHAAHAHAAHAAHAHHAHAHAAHAAHH
ResultLLWWLWDLLDLDLWWLWDWWLLDLDWLLWLLWDDLWDWLLWLDDDW
Position2424129157913131415151617151815131081012121215141516151516141515161616151516151516171615
Source: Statto
A = Away; H = Home; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Loss

Matches[]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
25 August 1990 Oxford United A 2–5 4,837 Jeffers, Earle
28 August 1990 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 1–2 12,746 Beckford (pen)
1 September 1990 Leicester City H 2–0 8,837 Earle, Beckford
8 September 1990 Portsmouth A 4–2 8,835 Beckford (2), Cross, Earle
15 September 1990 Newcastle United H 0–1 10,040
17 September 1990 Middlesbrough H 3–1 7,880 Beckford (2), Earle
22 September 1990 Barnsley A 1–1 8,533 Beckford
29 September 1990 Hull City A 2–3 5,185 Gibson, Cross
1 October 1990 Notts County H 0–1 7,723
6 October 1990 Charlton Athletic H 1–1 6,706 Beckford
13 October 1990 Ipswich Town A 0–3 10,438
20 October 1990 Sheffield Wednesday A 1–1 24,527 Gibson
22 October 1990 West Bromwich Albion H 1–2 8,824 Walker (pen)
27 October 1990 Bristol City H 3–2 7,451 Walker (2 [1 pen]), Beckford
3 November 1990 Swindon Town A 2–1 8,364 Ford, Beckford
10 November 1990 Bristol Rovers A 0–2 5,661
17 November 1990 Oldham Athletic H 1–0 11,384 Cross
23 November 1990 Blackburn Rovers A 1–1 8,061 Walker (pen)
1 December 1990 Plymouth Argyle H 5–1 6,717 Beckford (2), Jeffers, Ford, Walker
15 December 1990 Oxford United H 1–0 5,953 Beckford
22 December 1990 Brighton & Hove Albion H 0–1 6,750
26 December 1990 Watford A 1–2 8,084 Earle
29 December 1990 West Ham United A 0–0 23,603
1 January 1991 Millwall H 0–2 8,418
12 January 1991 Leicester City A 1–1 9,307 Earle
19 January 1991 Portsmouth H 3–2 6,314 Aspin, Glover, Beckford
2 February 1991 Newcastle United A 0–2 14,480
16 February 1991 Oldham Athletic A 0–2 12,907
23 February 1991 Bristol Rovers H 3–2 7,166 Millar, Beckford, Walker (pen)
26 February 1991 Wolverhampton Wanderers A 1–3 15,919 Earle
2 March 1991 Plymouth Argyle A 0–2 5,145
9 March 1991 Blackburn Rovers H 3–0 7,004 Beckford (3)
12 March 1991 Notts County A 1–1 6,305 Beckford
16 March 1991 Hull City H 0–0 6,103
18 March 1991 Ipswich Town H 1–2 5,820 van der Laan
23 March 1991 Charlton Athletic A 1–0 5,225 van der Laan
30 March 1991 Watford H 0–0 6,661
3 April 1991 Brighton & Hove Albion A 2–1 9,733 Beckford, van der Laan
6 April 1991 West Ham United H 0–1 9,658
9 April 1991 Middlesbrough A 0–4 15,063
13 April 1991 Millwall A 2–1 10,860 van der Laan, Beckford
15 April 1991 Barnsley H 0–1 6,939
27 April 1991 West Bromwich Albion A 1–1 13,650 Earle
4 May 1991 Bristol City A 1–1 11,555 Earle
6 May 1991 Sheffield Wednesday H 1–1 13,317 Earle
11 May 1991 Swindon Town H 3–1 7,713 Mills (2), Earle

FA Cup[]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R3 5 January 1991 Peterborough United H 2–1 7,490 Walker (pen), Beckford
R4 26 January 1991 Manchester City H 1–2 19,132 Beckford

League Cup[]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R2 1st Leg 24 September 1990 Oxford United H 0–2 5,265
R2 2nd Leg 10 October 1990 Oxford United A 0–0 2,333

Full Members' Cup[]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 20 November 1990 Notts County A 0–1 2,320

Player statistics[]

Appearances[]

Pos. Name Football League FA Cup League Cup Full Members' Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England Mark Grew 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 0
GK Northern Ireland Trevor Wood 32 0 2 0 2 0 1 0 37 0
DF England Alan Webb 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 6 0
DF England Simon Mills 41 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 45 0
DF England Darren Hughes 17 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 18 0
DF England Dean Glover 41 1 2 0 2 0 1 0 46 1
DF England Tim Parkin 29 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 32 0
DF England Neil Aspin 41 1 2 0 2 0 1 0 46 1
DF Nigeria Reuben Agboola 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0
DF England Paul West 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
DF England Gary West 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MF Jamaica Robbie Earle 35 11 2 0 0 0 0 0 37 11
MF England Andy Porter 40 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 44 0
MF England Ray Walker 45 6 2 1 2 0 1 0 50 7
MF England Kevin Finney 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
MF England John Jeffers 31 2 2 0 2 0 1 0 36 2
MF Northern Ireland Paul Millar 17 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 18 1
MF Netherlands Robin van der Laan 18 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 18 4
MF England Nick Platnauer 14 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 15 0
MF England Gary Ford 30 2 2 0 2 0 1 0 35 2
MF England Colin Gibson 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 2
MF England Kevin Kent 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 0
FW England Darren Beckford 43 21 2 2 2 0 0 0 47 23
FW England Ronnie Jepson 15 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 19 0
FW England Nicky Cross 19 3 0 0 2 0 1 0 22 3
FW England Brian Mills 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2

Top scorers[]

Place Position Nation Name Second Division FA Cup League Cup Full Members' Cup Total
1 FW  England Darren Beckford 21 2 0 0 23
2 MF  Jamaica Robbie Earle 11 0 0 0 11
3 MF  England Ray Walker 6 1 0 0 7
4 MF  Netherlands Robin van der Laan 4 0 0 0 4
5 FW  England Nicky Cross 3 0 0 0 3
6 MF  England Colin Gibson 2 0 0 0 2
MF  England Gary Ford 2 0 0 0 2
FW  England Brian Mills 2 0 0 0 2
MF  England John Jeffers 2 0 0 0 2
10 MF  Northern Ireland Paul Millar 1 0 0 0 1
DF  England Neil Aspin 1 0 0 0 1
DF  England Dean Glover 1 0 0 0 1
TOTALS 56 3 0 0 59

Transfers[]

Transfers in[]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
January 1991 DF England Paul West Alcester Town £8,000
February 1991 MF Netherlands Robin van der Laan Netherlands FC Wageningen £80,000
March 1991 MF England Kevin Kent Mansfield Town £80,000

Transfers out[]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
January 1991 MF England Paul Atkinson Gateshead Retired
February 1991 FW England Ronnie Jepson Preston North End £80,000
March 1991 MF England Gary Ford Mansfield Town Exchange
May 1991 MF England Kevin Finney Lincoln City Free transfer
June 1991 FW England Darren Beckford Norwich City £925,000
July 1991 MF Jamaica Robbie Earle Wimbledon £775,000
August 1991 FW Northern Ireland Paul Millar Cardiff City £60,000
August 1991 GK England Gary West Lincoln City £25,000

Loans in[]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Date to Ref.
September 1990 MF England Colin Gibson Manchester United October 1990
November 1990 DF Nigeria Reuben Agboola Sunderland December 1990
January 1991 FW England Nick Platnauer Notts County April 1991

Loans out[]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Date to Ref.
October 1990 GK England Mark Grew Blackburn Rovers December 1990
October 1990 FW Northern Ireland Paul Millar Hereford United November 1990
November 1990 GK England Gary West Gillingham November 1990
January 1991 GK England Gary West Lincoln City January 1991

References[]

Specific
  1. ^ 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. Port Vale 1990–1991 : Results & Fixtures Archived 27 November 2015 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