This weekend the Valiants play their first home game of the 2019/20 league campaign, hosting Northampton Town. With the fixture fast approaching, we look back on two classic matches that the Vale have played against the Cobblers at Vale Park.
Division 2, Vale Park, 12/04/2003; Port Vale 3 - 2 Northampton Town
Northampton were bottom of what is now known as League One, and Vale were 16th, making the game a key fixture for both sides.
Michael Walsh gave Vale an 11th minute lead but Marco Gabbiadini, a regular scorer against the Vale over the years, equalised in the 62nd minute. Lawrie Dudfield then put Northampton ahead in the 88th minute, putting them on the verge of their first away win since New Year’s Day.
Boos echoed around the Vale Park terraces, and manager Brian Horton reacted to the Lorne Street Stand. During his response to the crowd, Peter Clarke bundled home an 89th minute equaliser, before Adrian Littlejohn scored an amazing 90th minute winner that sent the crowd wild.
Port Vale – Dean Delany, Neil Brisco, Matt Carragher, Peter Clarke, Michael Walsh (72’ Billy Paynter), Sam Collins, Michael Cummins, Ian Armstrong, John Durnin, Adrian Littlejohn, Stephen McPhee
Subs not used – Liam Burns, Ian Brightwell, Steve Rowland, Joe Molloy
Northampton Town – Lee Harper, Jerry Gill, Paul Reid, Ian Sampson, John Frain, Paul Harsley, Paul Trollope, Chris Hargreaves, Greg Lincoln (69’ Lawrie Dudfield), Marco Gabbiadini (75’ Darryn Stamp), Tom Youngs
Subs not used – Chris Marsh, Richard Hope, Glyn Thompson
Attendance – 4,209
League Two, Vale Park, 20/04/2013; Port Vale 2 - 2 Northampton Town
The Vale were placed onto the brink of automatic promotion thanks to an own goal by Northampton’s Lee Collins late in the game.
11,000 Vale fans piled into the ground and created a party atmosphere before kick-off, but their mood was soured when Northampton took the lead after just three minutes thanks to Clarke Carlisle’s close range goal.
Northampton’s Guttridge hit the bar with half-an-hour gone, and the momentum shifted, with Liam Chilvers equalised with a bullet header from Tom Pope’s cross in the 39th minute.
Promotion seemed to be slipping away when Roy O’Donovan scored a stunning 20-yard goal to put the Valiants behind.
However, when hope seemed lost, Northampton centre-back Collins sliced a Chris Birchall cross over Lee Nicholls and into his own net, reigniting the party as goal difference left the Valiants with almost certainty they would be in League One the next season.
Port Vale – Chris Neal, Liam Chilvers, Dan Jones, Adam Yates, Darren Purse (77’ Chris Shuker), Anthony Griffith (73’ Sam Morsy), Doug Loft, Louis Dodds (73’ Chris Birchall), Jennison Myrie-Williams, Lee Hughes, Tom Pope
Subs not used – Sam Johnson, John McCombe, Richard Duffy, Ryan Lloyd
Northampton Town – Lee Nicholls, Lee Collins, John Johnson, Clarke Carlisle, Ben Tozer, Luke Guttridge, Chris Hackett, Ben Harding, Lewis Hornby, Ray O’Donovan, David Moyo
Subs not used – Dean Snedker, Nathan Cameron, Claudio Dias, Jake Robinson, Adebayo Akinfenwa, Lewis Wilson
Attendance – 12,496