181015 Record Vale

City’s six goal haul at Port Vale was, as has been mentioned on Quest and various websites and newspaper reports, the first time since 1932 that they have scored six in an away fixture in the Football League.

Not so many though have provided much detail about that last occasion which came at Feethams, then the home of Darlington on January 2nd 1932 when City won 6-0.

Having played Chester on Christmas (losing away 2-1) and Boxing (winning 4-0 at home) Day’s and then travelled to Accrington Stanley (drawn 2-2) on New Year’s Day the Darlington match was City’s fourth game in eight days and the team sat second in the Division 3 North table, a point behind Gateshead but with a game in hand.  

Darlington themselves were seventh in the table and had beaten New Brighton 3-0 at home on New Year’s Day and boosted a home record of P 9 W 7 D 1 L 1 with the only defeat coming at in their first home game of the season. 

In addition, they had also beaten Wigan Borough 5-0 only for the game to be removed from the records following Borough’s resignation from the league and Walsall in the FA Cup.

The game at Accrington had been played with torrential rain falling and on a pitch ankle deep in mud but ten of the same eleven players turned out at Feethams, after an overnight stop in Leeds, with only Alf Young missing after suffering a leg injury, Billy Burnikell making a dash north on the Saturday morning to take his place.

In contrast to the conditions at Accrington the Feethams pitch was in much better condition and, according to “The Imp” writing in the Echo, the City team treated the 6761 spectators to “a positively brilliant exposition of football” with City’s “swift lightening raids always suggesting goals” 

City led 4-0 at half time with two goals from Frank Keetley and one apiece from Phil Cartwright and Allan Hall whilst Hall added two more after the interval to complete his hat trick although the game wasn’t as one sided as the score line suggested as Darlington had a good share of the game but failed to take their chances including missing a penalty when Andy Mitchell shot straight at City goalkeeper Dan McPhail.

It is also interesting to note that even 86 years ago the trainer was playing an important role as “The Imp” praised Ted Wynter saying “I am afraid we are most of us inclined to overlook the man behind the scenes when referring to theses successes, but the speed with which Lincoln started and finished was a tribute to the training methods employed”   

Gateshead maintained their single point lead at the top by beating New Brighton 4-0 and it was reported their secretary was in a joyful mood when he rang Darlington to enquire about the score as they had been hoping their north eastern rivals would have done them a favour and beaten City only to be left very disappointed and even more so at the end of the season as City won the title on goal average from Gateshead.