We have the views of four Huddersfield Town fans ahead of their meeting with Port Vale in the FA Cup third round.
Thanks to REP for posing the questions
About the fans…
DEEPSPACE – I’ve supported Town since the late 1960’s.
MIDLANDER – This match means far more to me than the vast majority. I’ve lived and taught down in the Potteries for the past eighteen and a half years and I have a lot of friends who are Vale fans, including my best two mates down here. I have a significant number of Vale fans who I teach and who will just love it if the unthinkable happens (again!).
I’ve been a Town season ticket holder since the age of five and I travel up to all the home games. I attend every game with my mum (who never misses a match, home or away). I have tried to get my daughters into football but have failed with the eldest two. The youngest girl is seven and has a season ticket but is only a sporadic visitor. She is quite partial to Naccaroni Wells as she calls him.
DUMBO – I’ve been a fan for twenty-odd years from childhood. One of my first games was a trip to Wembley where we got beaten by Swansea in the Autoglass Final. I can’t get to every game now due to work, but attend as many as possible.
SW6 – I’ve been following Huddersfield Town since approximately 1991 when I moved to West Yorkshire.
About the opposition…
How do you think your team will fare in the cups?
DEEPSPACE – We’re usually out by the fourth round so you should come mob-handed for a good away day!
MIDLANDER – Usually, we are absolute bobbins in the cup. We’ve never made it past round five in my lifetime and we always find a way to get knocked out from circumstances which seem impossible to lose from (our last meeting as a case in point!). Having said that, we are a different beast and I think a cup run is very important to Wagner and the Chairman, Dean Hoyle.
DUMBO – We normally get knocked out early, away from home at a lower league club or Reading. We never seem to do very well in the Cups. At the moment we are focused entirely on the play-off chase, so can’t see us going far.
SW6 – We have a poor recent history in the cup and doubt that will change – however our focus must surely be on the league this season given our current lofty position.
The players to watch?
We may choose to get out of the cup as we seem to have a once in a generation chance of a shot at the Premier League…
DEEPSPACE – Mooy is quality; we have a team of dangerous players but we may choose to get out of the cup as we seem to have a once in a generation chance of a shot at the Premier League.
MIDLANDER – Aaron Mooy is possibly THE best player in the Championship and along with Marcus Stewart, the best footballer I’ve seen in a Town shirt in 37 years. However, we are a team which plays and functions as a team – that is our strength and why we do so well. Kasey Palmer and Rajiv van La Parra can turn any defence inside out. Our full-backs bomb on and yet we never finish off our Dortmund-esque build-up play with the most important facet – GOALS! My favourite player is Elias Kachunga – quick, stong, technically good, intelligent and an absolute workhorse.
DUMBO – We have a small squad and a manager that likes to rotate; so it is hard to say who will play although I am expecting quite a few changes. Hopefully Joe Lolley will play his first game for a while. He is a tricky winger with decent shot. I also hope to see Billing in this game who’s a big young midfielder who scores occasional worldies. Otherwise Mooy is our standout player so far this season and controls the midfield. Van La Parra is great fun to watch and Kachunga and Wells are the top scorers. Smith the right-back creates the most chances.
SW6 – Kasey Palmer ( Chelsea loanee) he plays in midfield and is very talented.
A score prediction and predicted attendance?
DEEPSPACE – 2-2, Vale to win the replay with the crowd maybe 8,000 or so.
MIDLANDER – We will dominate the ball. If Brown has learnt anything from watching us, it’ll be that you’re going to have to soak up a lot of pressure. I’m very confident that we should have enough to win comfortably. However, we have not scored more than twice in a single game this season. My heart says we ought to win this by three goals but my head tells me that we will batter you, concede against the run of play, fathom an equaliser and then you will win with a contentious decision in the last twenty minutes. We’ll huff and puff and lose 2-1. My life will be unbearable for a while. So, either a 2-1 win for you or a 4-1 win for us. Taking your abject away form and our good home record into account, throwing in the magic of the cup and our inability to take chances – the 2-1 is quite likely!
DUMBO – 2-1 Town (Streete and Billing, Wells). It’s cheap tickets, we are doing well and expecting a few from Vale, but not the priority this season, so should think will be just about 10,000.
SW6 – 2-0 to us, we don’t score many goals, 15,000 maybe?
Memories of encounters between the two sides?
DEEPSPACE – The first time I saw you it was beating you 7-1 in 1979. Vale was also the first away match I went to by supporters coach, so I have a soft spot for you.
MIDLANDER – My earliest memory of Town vs Vale was our 7-1 triumph in 1979 – that remains my first footballing memory of any kind. Since then, I’ve despaired as you’ve come from 3-1 down to knock us out of the cup, I’ve seen you batter us 3-0 and there was a five goal drubbing at Vale Park which sealed our demotion into the basement division plus that 4-0 no-show from us in front of 4,000 visiting Vale Fans on the final day of the season that sent down both Stoke and Man City.
DUMBO – No good ones! Getting knocked out of a cup 4-3 after being 3-1 up and getting relegated as Vale beat us 5-1.
SW6 – The last game of the season a while back – you beat us 4-0 a very flat finish to our season.
A guide for Vale fans…
Any quirky facts?
DEEPSPACE – We sold Denis Law to buy floodlights which blew down a year later.
MIDLANDER – We are the only team to score six goals in a league game and still lose, after we threw away a 5-1 lead at The Valley against Charlton, to lose 7-6!
DUMBO – We were the first English team to score directly from a corner and the first British team to have an electronic scoreboard.
SW6 – We have Patrick Stewart as a supporter you have Robbie Williams.
Any recommended blogs or forums?
DEEPSPACE – DATM (http://downatthemac.proboards.com/).
MIDLANDER – DATM is pretty much the only popular fan-site for the opinions of Town fans.
DUMBO – DATM is the most active. www.htfc-world.co.uk is wonderful, although only updated every now and again there are probably some Vale matches in the archive [OVF editor – yes, that’s a great favourite of mine, I only wish I had the time and the talent to produce match reports like that. I’ve spend many hours on that site and it is highly recommended by me]
SW6 – DATM is probably one of the most popular .The Huddersfield examiner is the local paper which reports on Huddersfield town – however it gets slated on social media for its content.
Any recommendations for away-friendly pubs, parking and eateries?
DEEPSPACE – Most pubs are welcoming but avoid the Vulcan! There are plenty of real ale options in all directions
MIDLANDER – The two pubs on the station front are good for ale. Most pubs in the town are friendly enough, although there often seems to be a bit of aggro when Town and Vale meet. On a separate note, I was completely shocked to hear of the sad passing of Matty Carragher last week. Slightly younger than me and I remember him as a good, solid right back – tragic to go to that horrible disease so young.
DUMBO – Most places are fairly friendly nowadays, although I think of Vale as quite a rowdy group. There are two pubs near the train station that are decent, a couple of Wetherspoons in the centre and some excellent pubs about the outskirts. There should be spaces in the car park on St Andrew Road, near the Cummings site, a short walk from the ground and reasonably priced.
SW6 – A decent place to park is great Northern Street (free) get there early and walk round to the Yorkshire Rose pub 200 yards away for food and drink then a further 400 yards to the ground. Good luck and enjoy the game!