Monday, 16 November 2009

JIM'S COLUMN 14.11.09

Gregor Rasiak’s fast goal at the Ricoh Arena for Reading two weeks ago prompted several people to ask if it was the fastest goal in a City game at the new stadium since the move in 2005. Rasiak’s goal was timed at 27 seconds and beats the record held by Clinton Morrison by 10 seconds. Clinton scored in 37 seconds against Ipswich last season and other players who have netted fast goals are:-

Scott Dann (City) 58 seconds v Birmingham (2008-09)
Paul Peschisolido (Derby) 64 seconds v City (2005-06)
Elliott Ward (City) 75 seconds v Nottm Forest (2008-09)

The fastest ever goal by a visiting player is believed to be Dwight Yorke’s 13 second effort for Aston Villa at Highfield Road in September 1995 (Villa won 3-0). The record for the fastest ever goal by a City player at home is held jointly by Eddie Brown and Gary McSheffrey. Brown’s 12- second effort against Reading in 1954, was equalled by Gary in a League Cup game against Colchester in 2002. One second outside the record is Youssef Chippo’s 13-second stunner against Barnsley in 2002.

Next Saturday Crystal Palace come to the Ricoh and will attempt to win at the ground for the fifth successive season. Their four visits to the ground have resulted in victories (4-1, 4-2, 2-0 and 2-0) and their former player Chris Coleman will be doing everything in his power to stop this dreadful run. Checking the history books I believe Palace would have to win this season and next to equal the all-time record set by Aston Villa. Villa won six consecutive games at Highfield Road between 1993 and 1999, beating the record held by Manchester United (five wins between 1992 and 1997) and West Ham (five wins between 1982-87). City overcame all three hoodoos before they left the Premiership in 2001.

Kevin Ring enjoyed the articles about the late Terry Bly and reminisced about the famous City game at Peterborough in 1964 (Terry had left City by this time). The Monday night game at London Road was the penultimate game of the Third Division championship season and the two promotion places were still in the balance. A win for City was almost essential for them to stay in contention but despite being roared on by 12,000 followers they lost 0-2. Kevin recalls arriving at the ground with his father only to find the gates locked. His recollection was that City fans broke down one of the gates and piled in, as he and his dad did. City have only played at Posh once since, on the night of 11 September 2001, the day of the attacks on New York’s twin towers. It was Roland Nilsson's first game in charge, and Kevin got talking to a steward who had been on duty that night in 1964 and was still working. He told Kevin that the police had instructed that the gate be opened to avoid ugly scenes and he got to see the game. Kevin thinks that the crowd that night (26,307) is still Posh’s record crowd. Sorry to disappoint you Kevin but Posh had several larger crowds in the early sixties when ground capacities were so much larger (terraces, less segregation and no police limits). They were a renowned FA Cup side back then and had 28,000 plus crowds against Aston Villa and Sheffield United and then 30,000 plus v Arsenal and Swansea in 1965. However I am fairly confident that the City game in 1964 is still a record league crowd at the ground and, of course, will never be bettered now that the capacity is down to around 14,000.

The Former Players Association goes from strength to strength and now has 152 members, the latest being Sean Flynn who played for the Sky Blues between 1991-95 and now runs a caravan park in Cornwall. The Association is planning to revamp its website ( and is seeking a volunteer to advise it on the optios available and help update it on a regular basis. Anyone with a suitable background interested in helping the Association out should contact me via email.

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