The 1893-1894 season was only Port Vale’s second season as a Football League club but it started as one of the most memorable.
The team’s remarkable start to their Division Two campaign has not been equalled by any Port Vale side since. It included:
- Seven straight wins
- Scoring five goals in three games
- Scoring four goals in two games
- One player scoring four in a game and another hitting a hat-trick
- Four other players hitting braces
- Scoring thirty times in seven games
- Setting a club record that has lasted for 122 years
It’s fair to say that Vale enjoyed a bit of luck during their run. Five of the seven games were at home and two matches came against Northwich Victoria – who finished bottom of the League having conceded 98 goals at the end of the season. But the run also included wins over Small Heath (now Birmingham City) and Manchester City. Strikers Lewis Campbell and Billy Beats scored seventeen goals between them during the winning run.
The run came to a sobering end when Vale lost 8-1 to Manchester City on the 7th October – but it was spectacular while it lasted.
The side would only win six more games during the rest of the season and eventually finished in seventh place out of fifteen teams. Nevertheless, the Valiants finished above both Woolwich Arsenal and Middlesbrough Ironopolis.
Striker Billy Beats, who had hit nine goals in the run finished the season with seventeen goals from 29 games. A year later he was sold to top-fight Wolves for £80. He would go on to earn two England caps.
|Sept 2||Man City (H)||4-2||2,500||Beats (2), Scarrett, Sands|
|Sept 9||Walsall Swifts (A)||5-0||2,000||Campbell (4), Beats|
|Sept 16||Crewe Alex (H)||4-2||2,500||Wood (2), Beats, Campbell|
|Sept 18||M’boro Ironopolis (H)||4-0||3,000||Campbell, Beats, Dean, Woods|
|Sept 23||Northwich Vic (A)||5-1||N/A||Campbell (2), Dean, Scarrett, Unknown|
|Sept 25||Small Heath (H)||5-0||3,000||Beats (3), Wood, Scarrett|
|Sept 30||Northwich Vic (H)||3-2||2,500||Wood (2), Beats|
Note: one unusual fact concerns the game against Manchester City. Final goalscorer Alex Sands had just signed for the club from Dunoon and this was his debut. However, he failed to turn up for training afterwards and that game remains his only appearance for Vale.