The Sky Blues win at home to Notts County was the first time in almost three years that the team have won three consecutive league games. They didn't manage it under Andy Thorn or even Mark Robins in that golden period last November & December when sadly the home form let them down.You have to go back to the Aidy Bothroyd era to find the last three in a row. On 20 November 2010 Burnley were beaten 1-0 at home thanks to a Michael Doyle goal. A week later a Gary McSheffrey goal & a Joe Murphy own goal saw City win 2-0 at Scunthorpe. Then Middlesbrough were beaten 1-0 at the Ricoh with Marlon King netting his first Coventry goal from the penalty spot. Those three victories lifted the Sky Blues into fifth place in the Championship, the highest position the club have been in during the last six years. Unfortunately the wheels came off after that & the team went ten games without a win and Bothroyd's days were numbered.
You have to go back to 2002 to find the last time City won four league games in a row. That was in the Gary McAllister era and part of a magic month of December when the Sky Blues followed away wins on consecutive Saturdays at Stoke & Wolves by beating Derby & Reading at home. The wins lifted the team to sixth place in what was then called Division 1 but like 2010 it was the pre-cursor to a massive slump. Following the 2-0 win over Reading on Boxing Day, McAllister's men won only one further game all season and none at home. The club's financial situation was critical & McAllister was forced to play youngsters & loanees few of whom were good enough to avert a slide down the table to a final position of 20th.
Damian Kimberley pointed out that the Sky Blues have netted three goals in each of the last three home league games & wondered when they last achieved that feat. To find when City last scored three or more in three consecutive home games you have to go back 34 years to 1979 & the Gordon Milne era. In April 1979 City beat Southampton 4-0 thanks to an Ian Wallace hat-trick and ended the season with a 3-0 victory over Leeds (Barry Powell 2 & Gary Bannister). Then in the opening home game of the following season Bristol City were beaten 3-1 (Tommy English, Powell & Tommy Hutchison).
Keith Ballantyne e-mailed asking the question: 'aren't Preston North End one of our real hoodoo sides? I have a vague recollection of us playing them in a winter fixture, and seem to remember that it may have been the game where the Highfield Road pitch was cleared of snow and promptly froze solid, but it was decided that if the snow was put back on it would be playable; it was and the game went ahead. I've got a feeling it was 1965-66 and George Hudson featured on the scoresheet. I hope that you can enlighten me'
Keith is correct regarding the hoodoo. City have never won a single league game at Deepdale in 16 visits stretching back over 60 years but did win Cup matches there in 1909 & 2000. At home the Sky Blues have a better record but have still only won two of the 12 league meetings between the clubs since 2001. They beat Preston 4-1 in 2003-04 (during the Eric Black era) and 2-1 in 2007-08, all other games have been drawn or lost.
The game on an icy pitch that Keith remembers was at Christmas 1964 when the Sky Blues beat Preston 3-0 with goals from Ernie Machin, Hudson & Willie Humphries. It was one of Hudson's greatest games in a Coventry shirt. His chip for his goal was reminiscent of Moussa's recent effort against Leyton Orient & he made the two other goals with delicate flicks. In the Coventry Telegraph match report Nemo wrote: 'How many of the game's finest ball artists could have turned on a performance such as this unpredictable man Hudson did last night? Ninety-five per cent of what he achieved was accomplished to perfection.'
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