For the first time in almost fifteen years, the Stags travel to Vale Park for a league fixture. Last time out, it was on November 30, 2002, at current League One level, and the 2-4 defeat despite taking the lead inside 30 second proved to be the end for Stuart Watkiss as Stags boss. That game was a poor showing as well as the home game in April 2003 when the Stags had chances of survival, but blew them big style by losing 1-0 as well as succumbing heavily at home to Peterborough on the previous Saturday.
At Vale Park, the Stags have won three times in FL history (see more below) as winning in the EFL Checkatrade Trophy last campaign on October 4, 2016, thanks to a Matt Green strike midway through the second half.
Due to the midway geographical position of the Stags and Port Vale, the sides played each other in both sections of the old third division up to the 1957-58 campaign. To prove the point in the stats shown below, the teams first met in the old div 3 (N) in the 1936-37 season.Two seasons later, they played each other in the southern section which they also did in the first full league season after the 2nd World War and in that season, Port Vale notched their biggest of total nine wins at Mansfield to a 3-0 scoreline on September 14, 1946. And in the 1952-53 and 1953-54 seasons respectively, the sides faced each other again, but in the northern section. More recently, the teams were promoted together from the old fourth division in 1985-86 and a Stags 2-1 home win just before Christmas was a start of a winning streak with eight wins out of nine putting the Stags firmly on the promotion trail, the Stags finishing third and Vale fourth in the last season before the introdution of the current play-off system. Both teams have also featured players who when playing in Sweden played for the same Swedish club, IFK Munkfors, but not at the same time. Martin Foyle (later Aldershot, Oxford, Port Vale and also later Port Vale manager) in 1982, Ian Juryeff (who scored four times for Stags in a 7-1-mauling of Halifax in 1984 featured in the vintage Stags section) in 1983. The first meeting between the teams produced a 7-1 win, the Stags biggest one of all time between the sides, on March 27, 1937, to avenge a 5-1 defeat at Port Vale (but not at Vale Park) on November 21, 1936.
And in the 1953-54 season, the Stags were one of only FOUR teams to score at Port Vale when they drew 1-1 on April 5, 1954. The first away win at Port Vale was recorded as a 4-1 on Easter Saturday 1977, which was the first out of eight home and way in the memorable promotion run in at the end of the 1976-77 championship season. And the up to date last FL win at Port Vale happened on Easter Monday, 1989, at the end of that season in which the Stags beat all the teams who were promoted to the old 2nd division, the others being Wolves on April 1, 1989, to a tune of 3-1 at Field Mill, and Sheffield United 2-1 away on April 25, incidentally to the same scoreline as at Port Vale! Not only the 7-1 stuffing way back in 1937 explain the good Stags home goal difference against Vale.
Other maulings at home include the 5-0 with all goals in the first half, January 24, 1981, and the Kevin Kent show in the 4-0 win just before Christmas 1987.
Both sides come afresh from 1-0 victories. While the Stags registered back-to-back ones by beating Stevenage at home, Port Vale needed a late Tom Pope penalty to see off Barnet. That was only the Valiants’ second home win all season, six defeats already.
Port Vale have in the past been FA Cup giant-killers. Semi-finalists in 1953-54, beating Tottenham 2-1 at home in front of many Swedish TV viewers in the fourth round on January 30, 1988, to name just a few. But Vale themselves were also victims of one. In 2007-08, Chasetown became the lowest-ever ranked club to reach the third round, by beating Port Vale 1-0 in the final minute of normal time during a fixture in which Port Vale missed two penalties. One of the Chasetown players, Kyle Perry, was later to be one of quite a few players appearing for both sides (31 games, no goals for Port Vale and 30 games, 9 goals for the Stags). Last year, Perry played for then National League North side Worcester City, themselves FA Cup giant killers by beating Liverpool 2-1 in 1959 and more recently, Coventry away in the first round a few seasons ago. Latest known club address for Perry is Stafford Rangers.
Quite a few players have appeared for both sides. The most recent is Dimitar Evtimov, who scored a Stagsnet 10 rating in a memorable game at AFC Wimbledon three years ago. He played for Vale against Swindon on an emergency loan a few weeks ago. Also the latest Spireite killer, Calvin Andrew, has played for Vale, who have, not for the first time, found the League Two going tough following League One relegation. The prize paid Michael Brown, axed two months ago.
Played for both sides: Calvin Andrew, Colin Askey, Will Atkinson, Thomas Baxter, Gary Brazil, Louis Briscoe, Darrell Clarke, Lee Collins, Wayne Corden, Colin Daniel, Syd Dickinson, Dimitar Evtimov, Gary Ford, Exodus Geohaghon, Kenneth Griffiths, Ray Harford, Michael Hopkinson, Arthur Jepson, Henry Jones, Kevin Kent, Adrian Littlejohn, Neil Mackenzie, John McCombe, Johnny Miller, Ernie Moss, Harry Oscroft, Krystian Pearce, Kyle Perry, George Pilkington, Kevin Pilkington, Nicky Platnauer, Gary Pollard, Andy Porter, George Poyser, Jazz Rattray, Gary Roberts, John Rowland, Jake Speight, Freddie Steele, Richard Sutton, Allen Tankard, Arjan van Heusden.
Managed both sides: Freddie Steele (managed the Stags when they reached the 5th round in the FA Cup 1950-51 and Port Vale when they reached the semi-finals three seasons later, then another spell at Port Vale in the early 60’s), Billy Dearden (for four days following the resignation of long-serving John Rudge in January 1999).
Billy Frith has also managed Port Vale, and did so in the 1945-46 season in which no FL games were played.
Home stats: P 22, W 10, D 3, L 9, GF 40, GA 26
Away stats: P 22, W 3, D 8, L 11, GF 22, GA 43
Season Home Date Away Date
1936-37 7-1 1937-03-27 1-5 1936-11-21 Div 3 (N)
1938-39 2-0 1939-01-28 0-3 1938-09-24 Div 3 (S)
1946-47 0-3 1946-09-14 1-4 1947-01-18 Div 3 (S)
1952-53 1-0 1953-03-28 1-1 1952-11-08 Div 3 (N)
1953-54 1-2 1953-08-19 1-1 1954-04-05 Div 3 (N)
1959-60 6-3 1960-04-25 1-4 1959-10-12 Div 3 (old)
1963-64 1-1 1963-09-09 0-1 1963-08-26 Div 3 (old)
1964-65 2-2 1964-09-28 2-2 1964-10-05 Div 3 (old)
1970-71 2-0 1970-09-28 0-2 1971-01-09 Div 3 (old)
1971-72 0-1 1971-11-13 0-1 1972-03-04 Div 3 (old)
1975-76 3-1 1976-01-03 2-2 1976-04-20 Div 3 (old)
1976-77 2-1 1976-12-28 4-1 1977-04-09 Div 3 (old)
1980-81 5-0 1981-01-24 0-0 1980-08-30 Div 4 (old)
1981-82 1-3 1982-02-06 0-0 1981-09-12 Div 4 (old)
1982-83 0-2 1982-09-11 1-4 1983-01-29 Div 4 (old)
1984-85 1-1 1985-03-13 1-0 1984-08-25 Div 4 (old)
1985-86 2-1 1985-12-22 0-0 1985-08-24 Div 4 (old)
1986-87 0-1 1987-01-01 2-3 1987-04-18 Div 3 (old)
1987-88 4-0 1987-12-20 1-1 1988-05-07 Div 3 (old)
1988-89 0-1 1988-12-26 2-1 1989-03-27 Div 3 (old)
1992-93 0-1 1993-04-10 0-3 1993-04-27 Div 2
2002-03 0-1 2003-04-05 2-4 2002-11-30 Div 2
1985-86 1-1 1985-11-16 1st round at Field Mill
1985-86 0-1 1985-11-18 1st round replay at Vale Park
2016-17 1-0 2016-10-04 Group stage at Vale Park
Come on Mansfield!