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The Vale Are Going Up!

Port Vale
2 - 2
Northampton Town

Vale Park

20/04/2013

Attendance: 12,496

Referee:

Vale ended 19 long years of suffering by finally securing promotion to League One following a 2-2 draw with Northampton Town. What the game lacked in quality and skill was more than made up for in nerves and tension. Few could have scripted the ending, however, as former Vale defender Lee Collins` own goal proved the decisive moment, sending over 12,000 supporters ecstatic.

Facts and figures don`t do the occasion justice, and I can`t remember many of them anyway. The sheer exhaustion of the afternoon was more than enough to finish me off. A stirring pre-match atmosphere was dampened by Clark Carlisle`s early strike. Credit must go to the veteran defender, who successfully managed to referee the game as well as mark Tom Pope, though he blotted his copy book with a cynical stamp on Vale substitute Chris Shuker late on which went unpunished. Not many sides left in the play-off spots will look forward to a date with Aidy Bothroyd`s direct and physical side, although Vale hardly matched them for skill on this occasion. Not that anyone cared.

Other than a spell following Liam Chilvers` third goal in two games, Vale appeared beset by nerves and rarely threatened to find the elusive goal after a wonder striker by Roy O`Donovan had appeared to seal the points for the Cobblers. That was until Collins` intervention. His pre-match wish that Vale were promoted seemed almost prophetic.

Few could have envisaged such a scenario back in August. The collapse of the mysterious Keith Ryder`s takeover and the loss of several key players left Vale in turmoil, indeed without as much as a kit deal or a stadium safety certificate at one stage. Credit must then go to a number of people, ranging from administrator Bob Young, the Stoke-on-Trent city council, the players who chose to stay and fight for the club (I hope David Artell enjoyed his day yesterday playing for Wrexham), Micky Adams, who despite some wobbly moments has finished the job he started, and of course to Messrs Paul Wildes and Norman Smurthwaite for giving supporters who have been put through the mill a reason to smile and look to the future with renewed optimism and hope.

The celebrations were well and truly underway in Burslem last night and they will no doubt continue for some time. Players and staff mingled with supporters to create a unique atmosphere, one as far away from the make believe world of the Premier League. League One football awaits. We cannot wait.

Up the Vale!


Writer:Tom
Date:Sunday April 21 2013
Time: 10:43PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Sheff Utd 46 30 10 6 100 45
P Bolton 46 25 11 10 86 32
3 Scunthorpe 46 24 10 12 82 26
4 Fleetwood 46 23 13 10 82 21
5 Bradford 46 20 19 7 79 19
6 Millwall 46 20 13 13 73 9
7 Southend 46 20 12 14 72 17
8 Oxford 46 20 9 17 69 13
9 Rochdale 46 19 12 15 69 9
10 Bristol Rovers 46 18 12 16 66 -2
11 Peterborough 46 17 11 18 62 0
12 MK Dons 46 16 13 17 61 2
13 Charlton 46 14 18 14 60 7
14 Walsall 46 14 16 16 58 -7
15 Wimbledon 46 13 18 15 57 -3
16 Northampton 46 14 11 21 53 -13
17 Oldham 46 12 17 17 53 -13
18 Shrewsbury 46 13 12 21 51 -17
19 Bury 46 13 11 22 50 -12
20 Gillingham 46 12 14 20 50 -20
R Port Vale 46 12 13 21 49 -25
R Swindon 46 11 11 24 44 -22
R Coventry 46 9 12 25 39 -31
R Chesterfield 46 9 10 27 37 -35
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