1931–32 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1931–32 season
Chairman Frank Huntbach
Manager Tom Morgan
Stadium The Old Recreation Ground
Football League Second Division 20th (33 Points)
FA Cup Fourth Round
North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary Cup Runners-up
Top goalscorer League: Tom Nolan/Tom Tippett (8)
All: Tom Nolan (11)
Highest home attendance 21,089 vs. Stoke City (6 February 1932)
Lowest home attendance 3,436 vs. Oldham Athletic (25 January 1932)
Average home league attendance 9,564
Home colours

The 1931–32 season was Port Vale's 26th season of football in the Football League, and their second successive season (25th overall) in the Second Division.[1] Aiming to build on their fifth place finish in 1930–31 and to win promotion, they finished in 20th place, only avoiding relegation on the last day thanks to their superior goal average – having a 0.048 better average than Barnsley. Their one highlight of the season was a 3–0 home win over rivals Stoke City that helped to deny Stoke a promotion place – however City comfortably took revenge at the last ever end of season North Staffordshire Infirmary Cup match, beating Vale 7–0. Manager Tom Morgan was also let go at this time, replaced by former manager Tom Holford. The season was notable for the debut of Tom Nolan, whose goalscoring exploits at the club would be a point of pride in an otherwise miserable pre-war period.

Chairman Frank Huntbach.

Overview[edit]

Second Division[edit]

The pre-season saw the departure of Phil Griffiths to Second Division champions Everton for £6,000; whilst Jack Simms and Harry Anstiss departed for Swansea Town.[1] In came Dickie York, Arthur Dorrell, Billy Easton, Tom Tippett, and George Poyser.[1] Dorrell and York arrived from First Division runners-up Aston Villa, and the ageing wingers had England caps to their names.[1] Easton had a proven goalscoring record at Swansea, and Tippett and Pyser arrived from Rochdale and Mansfield Town respectively.[1] Big things were expected, and season ticket sales were up by 300% on the previous season.[1]

The season began with a 3–1 win at Plymouth Argyle's Home Park, with Sam Jennings scoring a brace.[1] The first home match took place in front of a new £10,351 stand; yet Leeds United took home the points.[1] In September Jennings was sold to Stockport County, and Stewart Littlewood took his place in the first eleven.[1] Two close run victories followed that saw eleven goals scored, however performances tailed off until 26 September when Stoke City romped to a 4–0 victory at the Victoria Ground.[1] "Inferior in all departments", the "Valiants" changed their line-up following the defeat, 'resting' Littlewood – this resulted in a four match unbeaten streak.[1] The next month saw the arrival of centre-forward Tom Nolan from Manchester Central.[1] Harry Marshall was attracting praise for his performances in the half-back role, however Tippett was criticized for his lack of goals.[1] Due to the Great Depression, the bank refused to allow an extension to the club's £5,000 overdraft, and so the club controversially sent notice to other clubs that it would consider offers for its players in order to raise the funds to buy new players.[1]

On 21 November they lost 9–3 to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.[1] This twelve goal match is still a club record. On 12 December they suffered the division's biggest home defeat of the season, going down 7–1 to eventual free-scoring champions Wolverhampton Wanderers.[1] Going into their Boxing Day win over Notts County they had lost seven of their previous nine games, conceding 33 goals. A holiday break in Llandudno seemed the raise the team's spirits, as two further 2–0 victories followed.[1] In January Wilf Kirkham was re-signed from Stoke, to the delight of fans.[1] On 6 February he took part in a morale-boosting 3–0 home win over Stoke in front of 21,089 fans – an attendance that raised £1,350 of funds.[1] The referee T.Crew also enjoyed the game, congratulating both sides on a sporting display that "was the most pleasurable game he had ever officiated".[1] Vale followed this by picking just four points in their next thirteen games to almost certainly doom the club to relegation – crucially though were the two points they earned from a 3–0 win over Barnsley.[1] With two games to go they were three points (and inferior goal average) behind the tykes.[1] After a 2–1 win over Chesterfield matched by a 4–1 home defeat by Barnsley, they were just behind by a single point.[1] Vale's final game of the season was against already promoted second place Leeds United – a 'convincing' 2–0 victory followed at Elland Road.[1] Barnsley only managed a 2–2 draw, and so Vale leapfrogged Barnsley to reach the safety of 20th place.[1]

They finished 20th due to their superior goal average.[1] However with 58 goals scored, their attack was the third worst in the division; whilst their 89 goals conceded made them the second leakiest defence in the division.[1] Lacking a consistent goalscorer, top-scorers Nolan and Tippett failed to reach twenty goals between them.[1] Losing half their games, their statistic of nine home defeats was particularly worrying.[1]

Lucky to still be a second tier club, a clear-out followed.[1] Impressive Harry Marshall was sold to Tottenham Hotspur, whilst 323 league-game eleven-year club veteran Bob Connelly was handed a free transfer to Congleton Town.[1] Joseph Chell and Clarence Spencer were also released, signing for Stoke City and Norwich City respectively.[1] Arthur Dorrell and Richard York's best days were well behind them, as Dorrell retired and York signed with Brierley Hill Alliance.[1] Manager Tom Morgan meanwhile reverted to his old position as assistant secretary, replaced at the helm by former manager Tom Holford.[1]

Finances[edit]

On the financial side, gate receipts were at £12,170 – their lowest total since re-joining the Football League in 1919.[1] However 'rigid economy' ensured a profit of £873.[1]

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, they travelled to Brighton & Hove Albion's Goldstone Ground of the Third Division South. They progressed with a 2–1 victory thanks to two strikes from Nolan. Coming up against First Division Leicester City in the Fourth Round, they were defeated 2–1 in front of 20,637 deafening supporters.[1] On 9 May they lost the last ever North Staffordshire Infirmary Cup friendly with Stoke, losing 7–0 in a match they "scarcely tried" to win.[1]

Final league table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GA GD Pts
1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 17 3 1 71 11 7 5 9 44 38 115 49 2.347 + 66 56
2 Leeds United 42 12 5 4 36 22 10 5 6 42 32 78 54 1.444 + 24 54
3 Stoke City 42 14 6 1 47 19 5 8 8 22 29 69 48 1.438 + 21 52
4 Plymouth Argyle 42 14 4 3 69 29 6 5 10 31 37 100 66 1.515 + 34 49
5 Bury 42 13 4 4 44 21 8 3 10 26 37 70 58 1.207 + 12 49
6 Bradford Park Avenue 42 17 2 2 44 18 4 5 12 28 45 72 63 1.143 + 9 49
7 Bradford City 42 10 7 4 53 26 6 6 9 27 35 80 61 1.311 + 19 45
8 Tottenham Hotspur 42 11 6 4 58 37 5 5 11 29 41 87 78 1.115 + 9 43
9 Millwall 42 13 3 5 43 21 4 6 11 18 40 61 61 1.000 ± 0 43
10 Charlton Athletic 42 11 5 5 38 28 6 4 11 23 38 61 66 0.924 – 5 43
11 Nottingham Forest 42 13 4 4 49 27 3 6 12 28 45 77 72 1.069 + 5 42
12 Manchester United 42 12 3 6 44 31 5 5 11 27 41 71 72 0.986 – 1 42
13 Preston North End 42 11 6 4 37 25 5 4 12 38 52 75 77 0.974 – 2 42
14 Southampton 42 10 5 6 39 30 7 2 12 27 47 66 77 0.857 – 11 41
15 Swansea City 42 12 4 5 45 22 4 3 14 28 53 73 75 0.973 – 2 39
16 Notts County 42 10 4 7 43 30 3 8 10 32 45 75 75 1.000 ± 0 38
17 Chesterfield 42 11 3 7 43 33 2 8 11 21 53 64 86 0.744 – 22 37
18 Oldham Athletic 42 10 4 7 41 34 3 6 12 21 50 62 84 0.738 – 22 36
19 Burnley 42 7 8 6 36 36 6 1 14 23 51 59 87 0.678 – 28 35
20 Port Vale 42 8 4 9 30 33 5 3 13 28 56 58 89 0.652 – 31 33
21 Barnsley 42 8 7 6 35 30 4 2 15 20 61 55 91 0.604 – 36 33
22 Bristol City 42 4 7 10 22 37 2 4 15 17 41 39 78 0.500 – 39 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 H H A A H H A A H H A H A H A H A H A A H H A H A H H A A H A H H A A H A H A H A
Result W L W W L D L L D W D W L L W L L D L L L W W W D L W D L L L D L W L L L L L L W W
Position 5 9 7 3 6 10 10 15 14 12 12 10 12 13 12 13 13 15 17 17 20 20 15 13 14 14 14 13 13 18 18 18 19 19 19 19 19 21 21 21 21 20

Sourced from Statto.[2]

Football League Second Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
29 August 1931 Plymouth Argyle A 3–1 21,749 Jennings (2), Easton
31 August 1931 Leeds United H 1–2 16,864 o.g.
5 September 1931 Bristol City H 4–2 10,770 Littlewood (2), Round, Easton
7 September 1931 Swansea City A 3–2 9,927 Dorrell, Easton, Littlewood
12 September 1931 Oldham Athletic A 0–3 10,323
19 September 1931 Bury H 1–1 12,600 York
21 September 1931 Swansea City H 0–4 7,969
26 September 1931 Stoke City A 0–4 28,292
3 October 1931 Millwall A 2–2 16,766 Jones (2)
10 October 1931 Bradford City H 2–0 9,304 Round (pen), York
17 October 1931 Southampton H 0–0 11,990
24 October 1931 Preston North End A 4–1 8,936 Nolan (2), Rowbotham, York
31 October 1931 Burnley H 1–3 9,468 Tippett
7 November 1931 Charlton Athletic A 1–2 9,312 Nolan
14 November 1931 Nottingham Forest H 2–0 7,055 Henshall, York
21 November 1931 Tottenham Hotspur A 3–9 22,226 Tippett, Nolan, Henshall
28 November 1931 Manchester United H 1–2 6,955 York
5 December 1931 Bradford Park Avenue A 2–2 10,281 Dorrell, Tippett
12 December 1931 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 1–7 11,133 Easton
19 December 1931 Chesterfield A 0–4 7,966
25 December 1931 Notts County A 2–4 21,367 Nolan, Marshall
26 December 1931 Notts County H 2–0 13,463 Nolan, Tippett
2 January 1932 Plymouth Argyle H 2–0 7,731 Henshall, Dorrell
16 January 1932 Bristol City A 2–0 8,690 Dorrell, Nolan
25 January 1932 Oldham Athletic H 1–1 3,436 Easton
30 January 1932 Bury A 0–2 9,099
6 February 1932 Stoke City H 3–0 21,089 Marshall (2), Henshall
13 February 1932 Millwall H 2–2 7,311 Kirkham, Tippett
20 February 1932 Bradford City A 0–4 15,553
27 February 1932 Southampton A 1–5 7,115 o.g.
5 March 1932 Preston North End H 0–1 8,132
12 March 1932 Burnley A 2–2 6,869 Easton, Round
19 March 1932 Charlton Athletic H 0–1 6,578
25 March 1932 Barnsley H 3–0 9,983 Kirkham, Nolan, Tippett
26 March 1932 Nottingham Forest A 1–2 8,486 Tippett
28 March 1932 Barnsley A 0–3 5,881
2 April 1932 Tottenham Hotspur H 1–3 7,682 Dorrell
9 April 1932 Manchester United A 0–2 10,916
16 April 1932 Bradford Park Avenue H 1–3 6,672 Kirkham
23 April 1932 Wolverhampton Wanderers A 0–2 28,744
30 April 1932 Chesterfield H 2–1 4,663 Kirkham, Littlewood
7 May 1932 Leeds United A 2–0 9,588 Littlewood, Tippett

FA Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R3 9 January 1932 Brighton & Hove Albion A 2–1 21,690 Nolan (2)
R4 23 January 1932 Leicester City H 1–2 20,637 Nolan

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
Final 9 May 1932 Stoke A 0–7

Player statistics[edit]

Transfers[edit]

Transfers in[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
May 1931 FW England Billy Easton Swansea Town Free transfer [3]
May 1931 DF England George Poyser Mansfield Town Free transfer [3]
June 1931 DF England William Allsop Bolton Wanderers Free transfer [3]
June 1931 MF England Arthur Dorrell Aston Villa Free transfer [3]
June 1931 FW England Tom Tippett Rochdale Free transfer [3]
June 1931 DF England Richard York Aston Villa Free transfer [3]
October 1931 FW England Robert G. Davies Stoke St.Peter's Free transfer [3]
October 1931 FW England Tom Nolan Manchester Central Free transfer [3]
January 1932 FW England Wilf Kirkham Stoke City Free transfer [3]
March 1932 MF England Horace Baker Longton Hall Free transfer [3]
March 1932 GK Scotland Jock Leckie Scotland Bray Unknowns Free transfer [3]
April 1932 MF England Fred Mills Middleport Free transfer [3]

Transfers out[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
September 1931 FW England Sam Jennings Stockport County Free transfer [3]
March 1932 FW England Harry Marshall Tottenham Hotspur Undisclosed [3]
May 1932 FW England Joseph Chell Stoke City Free transfer [3]
May 1932 MF Scotland Bob Connelly Congleton Town Free transfer [3]
May 1932 MF England Arthur Dorrell Retired [3]
Summer 1932 FW England Harry Rowbotham Hyde United Released [3]
August 1932 GK England Arthur Slater Watford Free transfer [3]
August 1932 DF England Billy Wootton Southend United Free transfer [3]
August 1932 DF England Richard York Brierley Hill Alliance Free transfer [3]

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 Glory to Despair (1929–1939)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 124–150. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  2. ^ Port Vale 1931–1932 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u 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.