Monday, 26 March 2012

Jim's Column 24.3.12

                           Terry Yorath receiving his 200th member shirt from Jim Brown

Finally the Sky Blues ended their wretched run of away defeats stretching back to the end of October and narrowly avoiding the club’s all-time record, set in 1926 (ten in 1925-26 and one in 1926-27). The 0-0 draw at Watford’s Vicarage Road was the first away point since the  1-1 draw at Doncaster and the first clean sheet away from home of the season. The run of ten defeats did however equal the club’s worst run in a season set in 1925-26 and equalled in 1929-30.

Whilst most City fans would have taken a point at 3pm on Saturday, Cody McDonald’s late misses and Nathan Cameron’s disallowed effort meant that many went home feeling it was two points dropped. It somehow felt different on Wesdnesday night at Cardiff when Ollie Norwood’s late, late effort made it seem like a victory. It was the first time City have scored more than one goal in an away game and the first time they have come from behind twice to get a point since April 2005. Wolves were the visitors to Highfield Road and led twice before a late Stern John goal made it 2-2.

What a topsy-turvy division this is. On Tuesday night this point was illustrated by two results that were barely believable. Pompey’s 4-1 win over Blues was a big enough shock but Forest scoring seven at Elland Road was the shock score of the season. In 80 minutes at Leeds, Forest scored as many goals as the Sky Blues had managed in 18 games on their travels. If Neil Warnock hadn’t have been just appointed he would have been sacked on Wednesday morning!

7-3 sounds more like a Rugby score than a football result and I checked the record books for previous instances of that scoreline. Since the League started in 1888 only 14 teams have won away by that score, the last time being in 1993-94 when Colchester won at Darlington. City are one of the select 14. In December 1933 at Gillingham with Clarrie Bourton injured his replacement Arthur ‘Rasher’ Bacon netted five goals in City’s 7-3 victory. Bacon had only made his debut earlier that month and was playing only his sixth first team game. He had failed to score in his first two games then netted five in next three games before the trip to Gillingham. A week after his amazing feat he netted another four goals as Crystal Palace were defeated 5-1making it fourteen goals in five games! Once the great Clarrie was fit again Bacon went back to the reserves and played just two more league games over the next two seasons. Bacon and Bourton remain the only City players ever to score five goals in a League game (Cyrille Regis did it in a League Cup tie) but prior to joining City Arthur had scored six in a game for Reading, a club record that still stands today.

Today is the sixth annual Coventry City Legends Day at The Ricoh Arena and over 50 former players will be attending. Please give the club’s legends a great reception when they do their customary half-time parade.

We have managed to keep the mystery guest a secret and he will be unveiled during the half-time parade. He is the Association’s 200th member and in his playing days was a very popular player in a relatively successful period.(it was Terry Yorath)

All supporters are invited to the G-Casino after the match where the Legends will be signing autographs and chatting with fans, with Billy Bell introducing them on stage in Lady Gs. It promises to be a memorable day.

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