Phil Yelland takes a look back on our previous trip to Port Vale ahead of the Boxing Day encounter.
Port Vale are not a side we have met regularly during our years in the Football League and our record away from home against them is not good.
The first meeting in the Potteries took place in September 1929 and, sadly, the 5-0 thrashing was a sign of things to come. Vale won promotion that season.
The next meeting came in December 1936 when we gave a much better account of ourselves and, despite two goals from Willie Ouchterlonie, we headed home on the wrong end of the 3-2 defeat.
Our next three tips to Burslem, either side of World War Two, were not enjoyable as the score line of no goals scored and elven conceded clearly shows.
Those games were played at the Old Recreation Ground in Hanley; by the time of the next visit, Vale had moved to Vale Park.
Our visit in the 1959/60 season, when Vale again won promotion, at least saw us score through Bob McIlvenny – Vale netted four times, however.
The start of May 1966 marked a landmark for us in meetings against Vale in the Potteries as, thanks to a fine defensive effort and great performance by Lionel Duffin, we took a point in a 0-0 draw. That is our first and last point there to date.
Our jinx returned in our promotion winning year of 1966/67 when, despite a goal from Jim Mulholland, we lost 2-1.
So, after one draw and seven defeats in eight visits in the past, now would be a great time to record our first win in the Potteries.