Last Time We Met...Port Vale
Burnley have played Port Vale just 41 times over the years and in all cases in the lower leagues or in FA Cup clashes.
Port Vale were formed in 1876, following a meeting at the Port Vale House from which they took their name. We actually first played them in an FA Cup clash back in February 1898 when the visitors in those days were known as Burslem Port Vale (Burslem being the town where they were based in Staffordshire). We won 3-0 and since that time have won 14 and drawn 16 games with the Vale getting eleven victories against us.
They became simply known as Port Vale in 1907 but can you remember though the last time we played them? You could be scratching your heads over that one but the answer is just over sixteen years ago during the 1994-95 season.
It would be a grim season for the Clarets after promotion the previous season. Jimmy Mullen had taken his side to Wembley for the Second Division Play Offs Final at the end of the 1993-94 season and we had come away triumphant after despatching Stockport County who had finished two league places higher than the Clarets in 4th spot.
Just one year later though and we would be relegated back down to the second division after finishing third from bottom in 22nd place. Port Vale were also struggling that season but in the end finished well clear of relegation in 17th position.
In the two games we faced Vale that season, honours were even. Our first clash was a seven goal thriller at Turf Moor with the Clarets coming out winners 4-3. The game was played on the night of Tuesday 28th March 1995 in front of a crowd of 10.058 fans. We lined up that day as follows:
W.Russell, Harrison, Winstanley, Davis, Vinnicombe, Randall, Shaw, S.Thompson, Nogan, Hoyland, Eyres.
Substitutes Mullin and Brass would also get a run out during the game
Port Vale must have thought they would go into the break 1-0 up after scoring in the 42nd minute but Nogan equalised for the Clarets on the stroke of half time. In the second half, it all happened for the Clarets on the hour mark and four minutes later we were leading 4-1 thanks to goals from Randall and Shaw. Vale`s Sandeman completed the misery for Vale by putting the ball into his own net on 64 minutes. Vale though pulled one back on 68 minutes and then gave Clarets fans the jitters after making the score 4-3 with just six minutes left to play. We held on though although the victory did little to ease our relegation worries with the club still in the drop zone.
The return game at Vale Park on the night of Monday 17th April 1995 saw the Clarets go down 1-0 in front of just 9,663 fans thanks to a goal after 40 minutes by the home side.
Our line-up that night was as follows:
Beresford, Parkinson, Winstanley, Davis, Pender, Randall, Shaw, Brass, Philiskirk, Hoyland, Eyres.
L.Robinson and Nogan also came on from the bench during the match,
The defeat virtually condemned Burnley to the drop although the next game at home to Portsmouth confirmed our worst fears following yet another defeat with the Clarets losing 2-1.
Clarets fans might prefer to remember the 1983-84 season against Port Vale when in the old third division clash under controversial manager John Bond we completed the double over them. We thumped them 7-0 at Turf Moor and then won 3-2 away later in the season. Sadly for Port Vale they finished that season, second from bottom and were relegated. Sadly for the Clarets, high hopes for promotion never materialised and we finished a disappointing 12th with John Bond soon packing his bags and things about to get far worse. We will leave the story of those games for another day though.