Coventry City ended their appalling run of 10 winless league games with a hard-won 2-1 victory over struggling Crystal Palace at the Ricoh. Hopefully my extensive coverage of previous bad runs last week had the effect I intended and helped remove the ‘Indian Sign’ from City’s form. The team’s results over the last two months have wrecked their play-off chances and also dramatically affected the mood and confidence of the supporters. The dreadful run has also prompted some strategic reflection at SISU, the club’s owners, and the directorial moves over the last two weeks demonstrate that all is not well in the boardroom. City are now virtually condemned to an 11th season in the second tier of English football and it would appear that our latest owners now realise that there is no quick fix for the club’s financial situation.
Marlon King was on target again, scoring the second goal – his fourth in successive games – and has showed his Premiership pedigree in recent weeks. King has scored in the last three league games and at St Andrews in the FA Cup. No City player has scored in four successive games since 2003 when Andy Morrell scored in five successive league games (but failed to net in a League Cup tie in the run).
Morrell scoring run was:
13 Sep 2003 H Stoke Won 4-2 Suffo, Barrett, Adebola, Morrell
16 Sep 2003 A Preston lost 2-4 Staunton (pen), Morrell
20 Sep 2003 A Reading won 2-1 Adebola, Morrell
27 Sep 2003 H Wigan drew 1-1 Morrell
1 Oct 2003 H Crewe won 2-0 McAllister, Morrell
So King’s run is the best in all games since 1992-93, the first season of the Premiership when Mick Quinn scored in each of his first six league games for the club after arriving on loan from Newcastle United.
Mick scored two on his debut at home to Manchester City, a game which City lost 2-3, then netted singles against Sheffield United (a) (1-1) and Ipswich (h) (2-2). His form really took off then with three successive braces, at Southampton (2-2), at home to Liverpool (5-1) and in a Christmas cracker at home to Aston Villa (3-0). A stunning total of ten goals in six games!
Mick was the only City player in 34 years in the top flight to score in five or more successive league games although Terry Gibson did net in seven successive league and cup games in 1985-86 but this included two League Cup ties with Chester and a meaningless Full Members Cup game against Millwall.
The club record is held by Clarrie Bourton, the famous goalscorer from the 1930s. Bourton netted in 10 successive league games during the 1931-32 season, 11 if you include an FA Cup goal during the run. In that spell he managed 19 league goals including five goals in a 6-1 home win over Bournemouth and a hat-trick in the 4-2 home victory over Clapton Orient. Clarrie went on to score 49 goals that season and was the leading goalscorer in the whole Football League.
Michael Green e-mailed me with a question on behalf of Derek Craig, his 87 year old neighbour. Derek told Michael that his dad who had originated from Durham and played for Coventry City around the time of the First World War. He asked me if I had any information on his father.
Robert Craig was an outside left or left half who was born in Newcastle sometime before 1900. City signed him from North Shields Athletic in 1913 and over the next two seasons he played 25 Southern League games (City did not join the Football League until 1919) and scored one goal (on his debut at Gillingham).
After the Great War he joined Nuneaton Town for one season before joining Hinckley United where he appears to have stayed for five years before retiring in 1925.
If you like to wallow in some Coventry City nostalgia get along to the Coventry Transport Museum this coming Thursday (24 February). Dean Nelson and the Former Players Association are hosting a film night especially dedicated to displaying archive film material covering some past games of the Sky Blues (culled from his extensive archive). Dean will be showing Coventry City highlights from TV and celluloid coverage of old games from across the years. Last Saturday after the Palace game the 1981 players were surprised to see the goals from the famous win over West Ham, albeit very grainy images. The event is timed to last from 7pm – 9pm. Tickets will cost £1 each and can be booked by telephoning Coventry Transport Museum – Tel: 024 7623 4270