As Port Vale take on Shortwood United in the first round of the FA Cup, we take a look at the Vale’s record against other non-league opposition…
Non-league sides faced: Forest Green Rovers (FA Cup round 1) won 3-2
Notes: Vale managed to edge past Shortwood’s near neighbours thanks to Clayton McDonald’s first (and only) Vale goal.
Non-league sides faced: Grimsby Town (FA Cup round 1) drew 0-0 then lost the replay 0-1
Notes: A shambles by the Valiants even down to the kit the team wore. Due to a mix-up the team were forced to wear Grimsby’s away kit (Rob Taylor pictured right) in the replayed game.
Non-league sides faced: Dartford (FA Cup round 1) drew 1-1 then won the replay 4-0
Notes: Phew, that was close! It took an 84th minute John McCombe equaliser for Vale to scrape a draw in the first-leg.
Non-league sides faced: Stevenage (FA Cup round 1) drew 1-1 then won the replay 1-0
Notes: An innovative TV outing for Vale whose replay was broadcast live online. Luckily a Louis Dodds winner meant no onscreen humiliation.
Non-league sides faced: Chasetown (FA Cup round 2) drew 1-1 and lost the replay 0-1
Notes: One of the most embarrassing cup upsets in Vale’s history as Lee Sinnott’s side were outclassed by a team eight divisions below them. Vale subsequently purchased Kyle Perry and Chris Slater from the non-leaguers but the pair were not a success.
Non-league sides faced: Ford United (FA Cup round 1) drew 2-2 and won the replay 2-1
Notes: Phew! Another close escape. Drawing the first game was bad enough but Vale were coasting to a 1-0 replay win only for Poole to give Ford a 90th minute equaliser. Then Vale had Ian Armstrong sent-off but the ten men managed to scrape through thanks to a late own-goal.
Non-league sides faced: Aylesbury United (FA Cup round 1) won 3-0
Notes: A relatively straight-forward cup victory for once. Goals by Burgess, Cummins and Brooker gave Vale victory.
Non-league sides faced: Canvey Island (FA Cup round 1) drew 4-4 and lost the replay 1-2
Notes: The thrill of winning the LDV Vans Trophy final was slightly overshadowed by this crazy cup exit. They lead 2-0 at half-time in the first-leg only to somehow draw the game 4-4. Then Canvey won the replay thanks to two extra-time goals. Vale put five players on the transfer list as a result.
Non-league sides faced: Altrincham (FA Cup round 2) won 4-1
Notes: Goals from Swan, Taylor, van der Laan and Foyle give Vale a comfortable victory.
Non-league sides faced: Southport (FA Cup round 1) won 2-0
Notes: Thanks to Vale’s cup exploits against Spurs the previous season, highlights of this game were shown on Match of the Day.
Non-league sides faced: Macclesfield Town (FA Cup round 3) won 1-0
Notes: Kevin Finney scored probably the most important goal of John Rudge’s reign. With the manager on the brink, it saved him from the sack, set-up a glamour tie with Spurs and the Vale’s subsequent giantkilling funded a successful promotion campaign the following season.
Non-league sides faced: Stafford Rangers (FA Cup round 1) won 1-0
Notes: Robbie Earle’s goal gave Vale a win over their local neighbours. Typically, Vale lost to old enemies Walsall in the next round.
Non-league sides faced: Macclesfield Town (FA Cup round 1) won 2-0
Notes: A game that was overshadowed by problems in the ground as a hoarding collapsed causing Vale fans to spill onto the pitch and the game to be delayed.
Non-league sides faced: Enfield (FA Cup round 3) drew 1-1 and lost the replay 1-3
Notes: Possibly the worst FA Cup exit by a Vale side. After a good second round win over Burnley, the Vale completely capitulated in front of TV cameras with on-loan keeper Steve Cherry having a nightmare game. It was the first time Vale had lost to a non-league side in the FA Cup since 1936.
And finally, please, please DO NOT play this clip!