1926–27 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1926–27 season
Chairman Frank Huntbach
Manager Joe Schofield
Stadium The Old Recreation Ground
Football League Second Division 8th (45 Points)
FA Cup Fourth Round
North Staffordshire Infirmary Cup Runners-up
Top goalscorer League: Wilf Kirkham (38)
All: Wilf Kirkham (41)
Highest home attendance 21,056 vs. Middlesbrough (15 April 1927)
Lowest home attendance 5,327 vs. Grimsby Town (20 November 1926)
Average home league attendance 10,736
Home colours

The 1926–27 season was Port Vale's eighth consecutive season of football (21st overall) in the Football League.[1] Vale finished in eighth position for the third season running, obtaining 45 points, this time coming nine points off promotion to the top tier in English football. For the first time in the club's history, they played in a league above rivals Stoke City. Wilf Kirkham broke a club record by scoring 38 league goals, and 41 goals in all competitions.[1] He scored six braces, four hat-tricks, and also scored four goals in one game.

Billy Briscoe was rushed to hospital after one game having collapsed due to concussion.[1]
Chairman Frank Huntbach.
Right-back Jack Maddock posted a 42-game season.

Overview[edit]

Second Division[edit]

The pre-season additions included Stoke left-half Vic Rouse and Stockport County half-back George Whitcombe.[1]

The season started with just one defeat in the opening ten games, the defeat coming against relegation candidates Darlington. Going into October the club suffered from injuries, meaning that four of the five games that month ended in defeat, with just two goals scored.[1] Goalkeeper Tom Fern was one of the injured, and so 44-year-old Howard Matthews was re-signed, having left the club nineteen years earlier.[1] To boost the strike-force Stewart Littlewood and Jack Simms were signed from Luton Town and Leek Alexandra respectively.[1] The week after a 6–2 defeat at Fulham, the "Valiants" returned to thrash Grimsby Town 6–1, Kirkham bagging a hat-trick.

In January, Alfred Strange felt unsettled and so was transferred to The Wednesday in exchange for Harry Anstiss and an unknown sum of money.[1] Strange would later win twenty caps for England in his 30s, whereas Anstiss settled in well at the Vale, scoring eleven goals in fifteen league games during his debut season.[1] Meanwhile, injuries occasionally savaged the Vale team, with even Jack Lowe being forced to end his run of 123 consecutive games after spraining his ankle.[1] As the season drew to a close secretary Joe Schofield was made manager, meaning he was better able to work with the younger players.[1]

Finances[edit]

On the financial side, the club wished to move back to the Athletic Ground due to the lack of space to develop The Old Recreation Ground.[1] However, the council would only offer £20,000 for the land at the Old Rec, and refused to waive the first option on a repurchase, thereby killing the club's ambitions.[1]

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, Vale made it through to the Fourth Round after taking Clapton Orient to a replay. This came just two weeks after playing the club twice during the Christmas period.[1] They then faced First Division Arsenal, and following a draw at The Old Recreation Ground, the "Gunners" won 1–0 at Highbury, before going on to lose in the final.[1] Vale's hard work in the tournament earned them over £4,000 in gate receipts.[1] On 5 May 1927, Vale played Potteries derby rivals Stoke City in the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary Cup, and lost an embarrassing 5–0 to the Third Division North champions.[1] However £365 was raised for the local hospital.[2]

Final league table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GA GD Pts
1 Middlesbrough 42 18 2 1 78 23 9 6 6 44 37 122 60 2.033 + 62 62
2 Portsmouth 42 14 4 3 58 17 9 4 8 29 32 87 49 1.776 + 38 54
3 Manchester City 42 15 3 3 65 23 7 7 7 43 38 108 61 1.770 + 47 54
4 Chelsea 42 13 7 1 40 17 7 5 9 22 35 62 52 1.192 + 10 52
5 Nottingham Forest 42 14 6 1 57 23 4 8 9 23 32 80 55 1.455 + 25 50
6 Preston North End 42 14 4 3 54 29 6 5 10 20 43 74 72 1.028 + 2 49
7 Hull City 42 13 4 4 43 19 7 3 11 20 33 63 52 1.212 + 11 47
8 Port Vale 42 11 6 4 50 26 5 7 9 38 52 88 78 1.128 + 10 45
9 Blackpool 42 13 5 3 65 26 5 3 13 30 54 95 80 1.188 + 15 44
10 Oldham Athletic 42 12 3 6 50 37 7 3 11 24 47 74 84 0.881 – 10 44
11 Barnsley 42 13 5 3 56 23 4 4 13 32 64 88 87 1.011 + 1 43
12 Swansea City 42 13 5 3 44 21 3 6 12 24 51 68 72 0.944 – 4 43
13 Southampton 42 9 8 4 35 22 6 4 11 25 40 60 62 0.968 – 2 42
14 Reading 42 14 1 6 47 20 2 7 12 17 52 64 72 0.889 – 8 40
15 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 10 4 7 54 30 4 3 14 19 45 73 75 0.973 – 2 35
16 Notts County 42 11 4 6 45 24 4 1 16 25 72 70 96 0.729 – 26 35
17 Grimsby Town 42 6 7 8 39 39 5 5 11 35 52 74 91 0.813 – 17 34
18 Fulham 42 11 4 6 39 31 2 4 15 19 61 58 92 0.630 – 34 34
19 South Shields 42 10 8 3 49 25 1 3 17 22 71 71 96 0.740 – 25 33
20 Clapton Orient 42 9 3 9 37 35 3 4 14 23 61 60 96 0.625 – 36 31
21 Darlington 42 10 3 8 53 42 2 3 16 26 56 79 98 0.806 – 19 30
22 Bradford City 42 6 4 11 30 28 1 5 15 20 60 50 88 0.568 – 38 23

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against;
GA = Goal average; 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
Ground A A H A A H H A H H A A H A H A H A H A H A H A H A H H H A A H A H H A H H A A H A
Result W L D D D W W D W D L L L L W L L D D D L W W L D D D W W L L L W W W D W L W L D W
Position 8 10 10 10 12 9 7 7 3 4 5 7 11 11 11 12 11 11 11 11 11 11 10 10 11 11 12 12 10 11 11 12 11 10 8 9 8 9 8 9 8 8

Sourced from Statto.[3]

Football League Second Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
28 August 1926 Bradford City A 2–1 14,077 Kirkham, Strange
30 August 1926 Darlington A 3–4 6,081 Maddock, Lowe, Kirkham
4 September 1926 Chelsea H 0–0 14,720
11 September 1926 Preston North End A 4–4 18,960 Maddock (pen), Lowe, Page, Kirkham
13 September 1926 Southampton A 2–2 8,681 Page, Briscoe
18 September 1926 South Shields H 4–2 12,474 Lowe (2), Kirkham (2)
20 September 1926 Darlington H 3–2 8,827 Lowe, Page, Strange
25 September 1926 Hull City A 0–0 7,793
27 September 1926 Southampton H 3–1 9,594 Page (2), Briscoe
2 October 1926 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 1–1 14,083 Briscoe
9 October 1926 Notts County A 1–2 11,838 Maddison
16 October 1926 Barnsley A 0–2 5,520
23 October 1926 Manchester City H 0–2 14,467
30 October 1926 Portsmouth A 0–4 12,372
6 November 1926 Oldham Athletic H 3–0 7,339 Kirkham (2), Simms
13 November 1926 Fulham A 2–6 3,102 Lowe, Kirkham
20 November 1926 Grimsby Town H 6–1 5,327 Kirkham (3), Maddock, Lowe, Simms
27 November 1926 Blackpool A 2–2 7,656 Strange (2)
4 December 1926 Reading H 1–1 9,340 Kirkham
11 December 1926 Swansea City A 2–2 16,344 Kirkham, Simms
18 December 1926 Nottingham Forest H 0–2 8,046
25 December 1926 Clapton Orient A 2–1 14,378 Littlewood (2)
27 December 1926 Clapton Orient H 3–0 16,457 Kirkham (2), Briscoe
1 January 1927 Middlesbrough A 2–5 26,163 Kirkham (2 [1 pen])
15 January 1927 Bradford City H 0–0 9,732
5 February 1927 South Shields A 3–3 4,603 Kirkham (3)
12 February 1927 Hull City H 0–0 10,654
26 February 1927 Notts County H 6–2 9,368 Kirkham (3), Connelly, Page, Anstiss
5 March 1927 Barnsley H 3–2 8,452 Briscoe, Page, Kirkham
12 March 1927 Manchester City A 1–4 34,281 Page
16 March 1927 Barrow A 0–2 18,169
19 March 1927 Portsmouth H 2–3 10,972 Briscoe, Simms
26 March 1927 Oldham Athletic A 3–1 4,419 Anstiss (2), Kirkham
28 March 1927 Preston North End H 2–0 8,388 Anstiss, Briscoe
2 April 1927 Fulham H 7–1 7,642 Kirkham (4), Anstiss (3)
9 April 1927 Grimsby Town A 4–4 8,717 Page, Kirkham, Lowe, Anstiss
15 April 1927 Middlesbrough H 3–1 21,056 Kirkham (3)
16 April 1927 Blackpool H 2–4 10,749 Anstiss, Kirkham
19 April 1927 Wolverhampton Wanderers A 2–1 11,628 Kirkham, Anstiss
23 April 1927 Reading A 0–2 9,084
30 April 1927 Swansea City H 1–1 7,483 Kirkham
7 May 1927 Nottingham Forest A 3–0 5,455 Anstiss, Kirkham (2)

FA Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R3 8 January 1927 Clapton Orient A 1–1 17,965 Simms
R3 Replay 12 January 1927 Clapton Orient H 5–1 11,450 Kirkham (2), Page, Strange, Simms
R4 29 January 1927 Arsenal H 2–2 18,000 o.g., Kirkham
R4 Replay 2 February 1927 Arsenal A 0–1 35,700

North Staffordshire Infirmary Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
Final 5 May 1927 Stoke A 0–5 5,950

Player statistics[edit]

Transfers[edit]

Transfers in[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
May 1926 MF England Jack Mandley Blythe Bridge Boothen Vics [4]
June 1926 GK England George Holdcroft Whitfield Colliery Free transfer [4]
June 1926 MF England Jack Simms Leek Alexandra Free transfer [4]
August 1926 MF Wales Phil Griffiths Wattstown Free transfer [4]
August 1926 FW England Percy Oldacre Sheffield United Free transfer [4]
August 1926 MF England Vic Rouse Swansea Town Free transfer [4]
August 1926 MF Wales George Whitcombe Stockport County Free transfer [4]
September 1926 GK Scotland Howard Matthews Scotland Partick Thistle Trial [4]
November 1926 FW England Stewart Littlewood Luton Town Free transfer [4]
October 1926 GK England Howard Matthews Oldham Athletic Free transfer [4]
February 1927 FW England Harry Anstiss Sheffield Wednesday Exchange + 'substantial' fee [4]

Transfers out[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
October 1926 GK Scotland Howard Matthews Scotland Hamilton Academicals Trial ended [4]
January 1927 FW Scotland Tom Reid Clapton Orient £230 [4]
February 1927 MF England Alfred Strange Sheffield Wednesday 'Substantial' [4]
May 1927 DF England Arden Maddison Oldham Athletic Released [4]
Summer 1927 GK England Sidney Brown Gillingham Released [4]
Summer 1927 GK England Tom Fern Colwyn Bay United Free transfer [4]
Summer 1927 FW England Percy Oldacre Hurst Released [4]
Summer 1927 MF England Fred Smith Released [4]

References[edit]

Specific
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Kent, Jeff (1990). "Keeping in Good Company (1919-1929)". The Valiants' Years The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 98–123. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  2. ^ Kent, Jeff (November 1998). The Potteries Derbies. Witan Books. p. 126. ISBN 0-9529152-3-5. 
  3. ^ Port Vale 1926–1927 : 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 s 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.