Groundhopping.se
 
Home Grounds Grounds - Google Maps Planned matches Matches 2017 Matches 2016 Matches 2015 Matches 2014 Matches 2013 Matches 2012 Matches 2011 Matches 2010 Matches 2009 Matches 2008 Matches 2007 About Contact Links Guestbook

Port Vale

Ground: Vale Park

Visits: 1

Date: 3rd October 2015

Match: Port Vale - Sheffield U  2-1  (League 1)

Attendance: 6 822

 

Last year I made a day trip to Crawley. This year/season I am looking at making 2-3 one-match trips as well. Day trips are difficult to find but when I find cheap return flights from Copenhagen to England I look at the fixture list and look into possible trips. When I found a really cheap return flight from Copenhagen to Manchester the weekend 2-4 October I booked the flights and then decided to go to either Rochdale (vs Bradford) or Port Vale (vs Sheffield U). Last weekend I then made the decision, Vale Park was to be my first ground in England this season. My flight departed Copenhagen airport 21.45 and having run out of trust with the Swedish train service I didn´t go by train all the way from Kristianstad. Instead I went by car to Malmö Arena (Hyllie station), where I parked my car in the parking house. From Hyllie, the last stop in Sweden, there are plenty of trains going to Denmark. Not this evening though, all trains were cancelled due to "people on the tracks". There was supposed to be a bus replacement service but I didn´t spot any buses. I was not the only one waiting for a bus/train to the airport. After a while it was announced the train service was back on. No buses ever showed up and those, like myself, who hadn´t yet gone by (a very expensive) taxi across the Öresund went back to the train station. At 20.06 a train finally showed up and after further delays I was at the airport around 20.30. My flight turned out to be 20 minutes delayed and for once I thought that was something positive. The delay gave me time to have something to eat and drink. At 23.00 (local time) I was in Manchester and after a long wait at the border control I could finally make the short walk to my airport hotel.

 

As I wrote earlier I had decided to go to Vale Park this Saturday afternoon. Port Vale are from Burslem (Stoke-on-Trent) and even though Vale Park is far from the train station in Stoke itself the journey from Manchester airport was relatively easy for me. Train to Crewe and from there another train taking me to Longport station. From Longport it took me around 25 minutes to walk to Vale Park. Vale Park was opened in 1950 and due to the planned size of the stadium it became known as "The Wembley of the North". Capacity was supposed to be 80 000 but in the end the capacity was around 40 000. Nowadays capacity is around 16 000. The Lorne Street side terrace was demolished in 1997 and the new stand is actually not completed yet. Financial restrains mean only one half of the stand has been completed. Away fans are housed in the Hamil Road End which has 3 800 seats. I had bought a ticket for the Railway Paddock, the lower tier of the Railway Stand. Until 1990 this part of Vale Park was terracing. I have to say as a groundhopper I like Vale Park, it has character and is not as boring as many new stadiums. My seat was in row P and more or less on the half-way line. If I was successful with buying a ticket I was not so buying programmes. I bought a programme in the club shop but when I later saw someone selling programmes inside the ground I bought one from him as well. As I was handing over the money I remembered I had already bought a programme in the club shop (something I normally never do) but I still went ahead with the purchase. Temporary insanity!

 

One of the reasons for going to Vale Park was the fact there would be a huge away following. In total Sheffield U brought 1 826 fans to Vale Park this afternoon, a very respectable figure. In the first 10-15 minutes Sheffield U were on top but Port Vale gradually took over. In the 17th minute the home team scored, 1-0. The atmosphere inside Vale Park was by now quite good. When Port Vale made it 2-0 shortly before half-time the atmosphere was even better. It was a great goal, a powerful shot from outside the penalty box hitting the bar and the into the net. In the first minute of the second half Sheffield U almost pulled a goal back but the home goalkeeper made a brilliant save. Sheffield U didn´t created that many chances to by honest but in the last minute of stoppage time they made it 2-1 and that was to be the final score. In the latter stages of the game an away fan threw a (red) smoke canister onto the pitch. It is not very often I see that at an English football ground. As I left the ground I noticed objects flying around outside the away end. I saw several police officers running towards the scene and on my way back to Longport station I met a number of (high-speeding) police cars. Things had kicked-off and fans were kicking and punching each other. Anyway, I stayed clear of the troubles and safely made it back to my hotel at Manchester airport.

 

boats

Boats (in the canal next to Longport station)

 

vale park, outside

Vale Park

 

port vale fc

Port Vale FC

 

vale park

Stadium map

 

lorne street stand, rear

Rear of the Lorne Street Stand

 

statue1  statue2

Statue of Roy Sproson

 

bycars road end, rear

Rear of the Bycars Road End

 

bycars road end,, rear2

Rear of  the Bycars Road End

 

railway stand, rear

Rear of the Railway Stand

 

lorne street stand

Lorne Street Stand

 

hamil road end

Hamil Road End

 

railway stand1

Railway Stand

 

corner stand

Corner Stand

 

bycars road end

Bycars Road End

 

bycars road end1

Bycars Road End

 

port vale fans

Port Vale fans

 

avspark

Kick-off

 

lorne street stand3

Lorne Street Stand

 

lorne street stand2

Lorne Street Stand

 

spelbild2

View of play

 

hamil road end3

Hamil Road End

 

blades

Away fans

 

jubel2

Railway Stand

 

bycars road end2

Bycars Road End

 

spelbild

View of play

 

jubel

Goal celebrations

 

half-time

Half-time

 

smoke

Smoke

 

2-1

2-1

 

pano, vale park3

Pano

 

pano, vale park5

Pano

 

pano, vale park7

Pano