After the promising opening-day victory over financially troubled Portsmouth last Saturday the League Cup hoodoo struck again at Morecambe on Tuesday evening but at least it was a night for records. The Sky Blues became the first team to play at The Globe Arena, the Shrimps’ new stadium, in what was their first ever meeting with Morecambe who had never been in the Football League until two years ago.
With just over 20 minutes of the game remaining manager Aidy Boothroyd used his second substitute of the evening, bringing on Leicester youngster Jonson Clarke-Harris for David Bell. The Academy youngster, just 20 days past his 16th birthday, became City’s youngest ever first team player, breaking Ben Mackey’s record set in 2003 by almost six months.
The ten youngest City debutants are now:-
1. Jonson Clarke-Harris (Aug 2010) 16 years 20 days
2. Ben Mackey (Apr 2003) 16 years 167 days
3. Gary McSheffrey (Apr 1999) 16 years 198 days
4. Brian Hill (Apr 1958) 16 years 273 days
5. Isaac Osbourne (Apr 2003) 16 years 308 days
6. Perry Suckling (Aug 1982) 16 years 320 days
7. George Curtis (Apr 1956) 16 years 351 days
8. Dietmar Bruck (Apr 1961) 17 years 9 days
9 Colin Holder (Mar 1961) 17 years 73 days
10. Lol Harvey (Nov 1951) 17 years 101 days
Coventry City seem to have a problem with trips to West Lancashire, perhaps it is the cool breezes off the Irish Sea. City have failed to win at Blackpool since the 1920s and have been thumped at Bloomfield Road heavily in recent years. A few miles down the road at Preston they fare no better and have never won a league game in almost 20 visits stretching back to 1949 - although they did win a League Cup tie at Deepdale in 2000. Even Southport was an unhappy hunting ground for City with an FA Cup defeat to the then non-league side in the 1920s. This week City’s first visit to Morecambe ended in an embarrassing defeat for a strong ‘reserve’ team containing many of last season’s first team regulars including Wood, McPake, McIndoe and Bell.
Goalkeeper Colin Doyle’s stay at Coventry City will probably go down as the shortest career in the club’s history. He arrived on loan from Birmingham on Tuesday morning, played in the discomforting defeat at Globe Arena, and on Wednesday morning was recalled to St Andrews owing to Ben Foster’s injury. Sadly he will bracketed with the Italian goalkeeper Rafaele Nuzzo whose only first team appearance was in the 5-1 League Cup defeat at Tranmere in 1999.
Last but not least it is sad to report the death last week of former Coventry City Commercial Manager Arthur Pepper. Arthur was a larger than life man who played his part in the Sky Blue’s history and always had a smile on his face. I remember his happy and jovial personality cheering up City’s long-faced fans on the flight back from Munich following City’s hammering in 1970.