Ahead of the Vale's highly anticipated FA Cup clash against Manchester City tomorrow, we’ve taken a look back at two memorable away visits to the Citizens.
Division One, Maine Road, Thursday 26th December 1996: Manchester City 0-1 Port Vale
Both teams were in the equivalent of the Championship at the time of this fixture, with Vale riding high in 9th place whilst City were struggling down in 20th. The Christmas fixture attracted the biggest crowd in the division at the time, which included more than 2,000 travelling Vale fans. City at the time were in a bit of turmoil, Phil Neal was acting as caretaker anager following Steve Coppell’s short reign the previous month.
The Vale went into this one full of confidence having won their previous three matches, yet it was the home side who made the brighter start. Uwe Rosler saw his header saved by Paul Musselwhite before Paul Dickov saw his strike fly into the side netting. City cult hero Gergiou Kinkladze was nowhere to be seen once he’d seen Andy Porter’s icy stare.
The Valiants began to get a foothold late into the first-half, and took the lead three minutes before the interval. Stewart Talbot did well to earn the Vale a corner when he rounded the keeper and fired a shot goal bound, which was deflected behind by a City defender. The resulting corner was met by Martin Foyle who saw his initial effort rebound off the post but after a scramble in the box, the ball popped back up to Foyle who headed home to give the Vale the lead.
After the break, the Vale side defended valiantly to hold onto a precious lead, ensuring their first win against City in 16 attempts which spanned over 100 years. Amongst the City side on the day was Michael Brown who had spells at Vale Park as a player and manager later on, as well as Ian Brightwell who would also go onto play for the Valiants
Manchester City – Margetson, McGoldrick, Rodger (Whitley 53), Lomas, Symons Brightwell, Summerbee (Creaney 70), Brown, Dickov, Kinkladze, Rosler
Sub not used – Kavelashvili
Port Vale – Musselwhite, Aspin, Tankard, Jansson, Griffith, Glover, McCarthy, Porter, Talbot, Foyle (Mills 85), Guppy
Subs not used – Walker, Stokes
Attendance – 30,344
Division One, Maine Road, Tuesday 4th November 1997: Man City 2:3 Port Vale
Just 11 months after the Vale’s famous 1-0 victory at Maine Road, they returned to Manchester on a cold Tuesday night in November with 1,200 travelling Valiants in the stands. Vale went into this one 14th in the table, whilst City were once again struggling down in 20th place in the old Division One.
Despite loitering just above the relegation zone, the home side took the lead after just 15 minutes through Gerard Wiekens, however their lead was short-lived as the Valiants were back on level terms three minutes later when Dutch centre-half, Marc Snijders headed Vale level.
Just as the sides looked to head into the interval on level terms, Paul Dickov restored City’s lead in the 41st minute as he fired past Paul Musselwhite, but once again their lead did not last long as Stuart Talbot restored parity on the stroke of half-time.
Five minutes into the second period, the Vale picked up where they left off in the first-half as Tony Naylor slotted home to put the Valiants in front for the first time in the match; Naylor’s goal proved to be enough for all three points as Port Vale picked up their second successive win at Maine Road.
At the end of that campaign, the Citizens were relegated to the third tier of English football along with Stoke City, whereas the Vale stayed up in 19th place.
Man City - Wright, Vaughan, Wiekens, Scully, Symons, Edghill (Morley 83), Brannan, Horlock, Conlon, Kinkladze, Dickov
Subs not used - Brown, Kelly
Port Vale - Musselwhite, Carragher, Tankard, Jansson, Aspin, Snijders, Ainsworth, Porter, Talbot (Bogie 46), Naylor (Mills 84), Corden (Foyle 69)