Sunday, 25 November 2012

Jim's column 24.11.2012

What a week for the Sky Blues, two away wins, eight goals and a four-place leap up the League One table not to mention a field day for stattos like me. The Hartlepool game was full of great statistics but the plaudits of the week must go to David McGoldrick for scoring in six consecutive away games and breaking the great Clarrie Bourton’s record set in 1931-32 season. Bourton was in his pomp in 1931-32, his first season at Coventry following his move from Blackburn Rovers.  Between 19 September 1931 and 28 November he netted 20 goals in 11 consecutive games including five away games in which he netted six goals. His total goal haul for the season was 50 (49 League, 1 FA Cup) and he finished as the Football League's leading scorer.
McGoldrick is on fire right now and although he only managed a penalty at the Victoria Ground on Saturday, he scored an excellent third goal at Colchester to take Clarrie’s record. He has now scored eight goals in his last 6 away games and 14 league and cup goals in total. He has already scored more goals in a season than any Coventry player in the last four seasons – the last player to score more in a campaign was Gary McSheffrey who scored 17 in 2005-06.
One record McGoldrick is very unlikely to take from Bourton is scoring in consecutive HOME games. Between 17 March 1934 and 3 November Clarrie scored in every home game (12 in total). What a phenomenal record. The post-war record of consecutive home goals is held by Ted Roberts with eight, with Eddie Brown, Ray Straw and Bobby Gould six and George Hudson and Gary McSheffrey five.

The 5-0 win at Hartlepool was the first time City have scored more than three goals in a league game since 2008. They had last scored four in October 2008 against Southampton at the Ricoh (4-1) and last scored five in April 2008 at Colchester (5-1). Although it wasn't a record away win (that was the 7-0 at Aberdare Athletic in 1926-27) it was amazingly the first time in the club's history that they have won an away league game 5-0, that includes the pre-Football League era in the Southern & Birmingham Leagues. They did win an FA cup tie 5-0 at Kettering in 1909. 

Tuesday night's win made it three away wins in a row - the first time City have achieved that since 2003-04 when, under Eric Black, the team won four in a row at Walsall, Nottingham Forest, Wimbledon and Cardiff. What a period that was under Black and it was a travesty that he was unceremoniously booted out by Mike McGinnity and replaced by the disastrous Peter Reid. That run equalled the club's all-time record set in 1963-64 and equalled in 1992-93 during the Bobby Gould era.

Despite good followings from Coventry, the crowds at the two away games were very poor with 4,404 at Hartlepool and 3,229 at Colchester's Weston Homes Stadium. The latter was the lowest league crowd to watch the Sky Blues this season and the lowest since Only 2,xxx watched City play Wimbledon at Selhurst Park in 2002-03. In fact it was the fourth lowest postwar crowd to watch a City league game:-

2,077 v Wimbledon (away) 2002-03
2,275 v Southport (away) 1958-59
2,607 v Halifax (away) 1961-62
3,229 v Colchester (away) 2012-13 

Following on from last week’s column here are City’s League Cup defeats to clubs of a lesser status since the competition began in 1960, especially requested by Keith Ballantyne. It includes two legged ties in which City lost one leg but progressed on aggregate:-
1961-62 v Workington (a) 0-3 (Div 4)                                                  
1966-67 v Brighton (h) 1-3 after 1-1 draw (Div 3)
1968-69 v Swindon T.(a) 0-3 after 2-2 draw (Div 3)
1971-72 v Burnley (h) 0-1 (Div 2)                                                        
1975-76 v Mansfield (a) 0-2 (Div 3)                                                  
1978-79 v Chester (a) 1-2 (Div 3)                                                        
1980-81 v West Ham 3-4 (2 legs) (Div 2)                                        
1982-83 v Burnley (h) 1-2 (Div 3)                                                        
1984-85 v Walsall 2-4 (2 legs)(Div 3)                         
1989-90 v Grimsby (a)1-3 (Div 4) City won 4-3 on agg.             
1990-91 v Sheff.Wed (h) 0-1 (Div 2)���                               
1991-92 v Rochdale (a) 0-1 (Div 4) City won 4-1 on agg.                
1992-93 v Scarborough (a) 0-3(Div 3) City lost 2-3 on agg.
1993-94 v Wycombe W.(a) 2-4 (Div 3) City won 5-4 on agg.        
1995-96 v Wolves (a) 1-2 (Div 1)                                                                                                           
1996-97 v Gillingham (h) 0-1 after 2-2 draw (Div 2)                                                                                                  
1998-99 v Luton (a) 0-2 (Div 2)                                                                                                           
1999-00 v Tranmere 4-6 on agg (Div 1)                                                                                                
2006-07 v Hereford (a) 1-3 (League 2)
2009-10 v Hartlepool (h) 0-1 aet (League 2)
2010-11 v Morecambe (a) 0-2 (League 2)
2011-12 v Bury (a) 1-3 (League 2)

The list is a shocking indictment of City’s League Cup record. The last few seasons have been bad but the 1990s were dreadful, especially when you consider the Sky Blues were a top-flight club for the whole decade but lost to lower league sides in nine out of 11 seasons.                                               

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