Stoke City 0 Port Vale 1
The heavens opened on the Potteries yesterday, and the earth moved for Port Vale and their followers. Ian Bogie's goal early in the second half not only ended his team's drought, but also ensured that lightning struck twice.
After 68 years without an away success in a League derby, Vale have now beaten Stoke twice in the space of four months at the Victoria Ground. This time, as wind and rain conspired with two ordinary sides to produce a largely colourless contest, John Rudge's team deserved their first goal and opening First Division victory of the season.
Stoke, who began the day with a theoretical chance of topping the table, trudged off to a chorus of "What a load of rubbish". Like all Lou Macari's sides, they preferred a more direct approach to their neighbours' passing game. Yet on the stage once graced by George Eastham and Jimmy McIlroy, it was still a shock to find their midfield such a guile-free zone.
In a poor first half, Vale were only marginally better. Their more fluid moments revolved around Bogie, a stocky playmaker who has lost his way since succeeding Paul Gascoigne in the Newcastle youth team. Following spells with Preston, Millwall and Leyton Orient, Rudge picked him up for pounds 50,000 in March. To judge by his distribution here, Vale have a bargain.
Despite the service Bogie provided, and the space allowed them, neither Jon McCarthy nor Steve Guppy delivered a dangerous cross. Stoke, seeing less of the ball, came closer to ending the impasse. A chipped shot by Nigel Gleghorn sailed inches past the angle of upright and bar, while Guppy diverted Vince Overson's goalbound header over the top as the interval beckoned.
But in the 48th minute, Vale struck. Bogie, receiving from Lee Glover on the overlap, first surprised Lee Sandford by outpacing him and then Carl Muggleton with a low drive from an acute angle which tore between the goalkeeper and his near post. Thereafter, Vale were first to virtually every 50-50 ball, and even when Andy Hill gifted Simon Sturridge a chance to equalise five minutes from time, the substitute missed horribly.
It was an indication of Stoke's lethargy and lack of imagination that Hill, who had endured seven Manchester derbies without finishing on a winning City side, was able to play his way in gently on his debut. Rudge, revealing a flair for understatement, admitted it was "not a vintage match", and one wondered what the armchair audience made of it all.
Central's live television coverage certainly affected the attendance. At 14,283, it was less than half the average for the 17 derbies staged at Stoke since 1920 and, remarkably, the first to fall below 20,000. On this showing, it is unlikely to be the last.
Stoke City (4-4-2): Muggleton; Clarkson, Sigurdsson, Overson, Sandford; Keen, Orlygsson (Sturridge, 66), Wallace, Gleghorn; Scott (Potter, 79), Peschisolido. Substitute not used: Gayle.
Port Vale (4-4-2): Musselwhite; Hill, Griffiths, D Glover, Tankard; McCarthy, Bogie, Porter, Guppy; L Glover (Naylor, 85), Mills. Substitutes not used: Talbot, Walker.
Referee: G Singh (Wolverhampton).Reuse content