Port Vale (0) – QPR (0) – When Reg Allen Missed the Train & Frank Neary Started in Goal

Team: Allen, Rose, Jefferson, Daniels, Ridyard, Farrow, Neary, Mallett, Heathcote, Salmon, Whitehead

Attendance: 8,000

On 22nd September 1945, QPR travelled to Port Vale. However, one player missing was goalkeeper, Reg Allen.

Originally, manager Dave Mangnall was going to replace him, but when news came that Reg was on his way, ten players took the field and Frank Neary went in goal. Also, in the starting line-up was a guest player, Len Salmon.

The following Saturday the R’s took on Port Vale in the return fixture. The match programme reported on events from the previous week:

‘At Port Vale last Saturday, we found ourselves in a very awkward position. Goalkeeper Reg Allen missed the train through being detained at his unit and ten minutes before kick-off we had twelve players in the dressing room, but no goalkeeper.

The players were all very shy about taking the thankless position between the sticks, so manager Dave Mangnall decided to play their himself.

However, five minutes before the “off” a phone call was received from one of our supporters – a railway worker – to say that Reg was on his way by car from Stoke so it was decided to field ten men until Reg was ready.

Frank Neary went in goal but was relieved to hand over the sweater some five minutes later when Allen appeared.

The game itself was not a good one, the ball playing queer tricks on a pitch that, although well covered with grass, was very bumpy.

Had our team taken their chances, both points would have been secured, although it was sheer bad luck when shots from Neary hit the crossbar and upright respectively.

They were typical Frank Neary piledrivers and, but for a matter of inches, only the net would have stopped them.

Wilf Heathcote also hit the woodwork twice with the goalkeeper well beaten, only to see the ball scrambled away.

A point away from home is satisfactory, anyhow,’

Rangers’ unbeaten run continued with a 4-1 victory over Port Vale.

Steve Russell

(The press photo featuring Alf Ridyard is from my collection)

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