Sunday, 23 March 2014

Jim's column 22.3.14

Coventry City pulled off a rare feat on Sunday in the home game with Port Vale. 0-2 down going into the last ten minutes, goals from Jordan Clarke & Callum Wilson secured a valuable point. The rare feat was coming from two goals behind to draw & it was the second time that the team have done it since Steven Pressley arrived as manager just over a year ago. In March last year in Pressley's first home game in charge, the side were down 0-2 to Colchester but goals from Callum (his first senior goal) and Carl Baker won the point. That was first time  City had got a draw from 0-2 down since a 2-2 home draw with Middlesbrough in 2009.

Just over a year since Callum's first goal against Colchester and we are now marvelling at his stunning form which has harvested 19 goals this term. As I wrote last week his 18th league goal on Sunday brings him level with Dion Dublin (1997-98) as the most successful strikers in one season since Ian Wallace scored 21 in 1977-78. Who would bet against Wilson topping Wally's haul?

Callum's superb late strike against Port Vale was his fourth in consecutive league games a feat not achieved by a Coventry player since Marlon King in April 2011. The next target for Callum is the six in a row which Micky Quinn achieved in his first six games in a City shirt in 1992-93. The club record is nine held, of course, by the legendary Clarrie Bourton in 1932. In 1985 Terry Gibson scored in seven consecutive games but his run included two League cup games & a Full Members Cup game.

Sunday's starting line up was one of the youngest to appear for the club with an average age of 22 years & 329 days. That included two players (Murphy & Baker) who are over 30. Friend Geoff Moore who keeps tabs on this statistic pointed out that if either Billy Daniels or Lee Burge had started instead of Baker or Murphy it would have been the youngest starting line up in the club's history, with an average age of under 21, beating the record set in 1981 at Maine Road of 21.18 years.

Harry Hennessey asked me on Twitter this week if I could list the Bayern Munich side that played against Coventry City in 1970 in that famous European Fairs Cup second round tie. The Bayern side which included four of the West German national side that had reached the World Cup semi finals just four months previously was:

(1st leg in Munich) Maier: Hansen, Koppenhofer, Beckenbauer, Scwarzenbeck, Roth, Zobel, Mrosko, Schneider, Muller, Brenninger.

For the return game in Coventry Pumm replaced Roth and Uli Hoeness replaced Schneider. Hoeness, who was only 18 at the time and in his first season with Bayern, was recently jailed for tax evasion. I'm sure most City fans don't need reminding that Bayern triumphed 6-1 in the first leg before the Sky Blues regained a bit of pride by winning the second leg 2-1. The goals in the first game were scored by Schneider 2, Muller 2, Schwarzenbeck & Roth with Ernie Hunt replying. At Coventry Neil Martin & John O'Rourke scored with Hoeness replying. Bayern reached the quarter finals of the competition before going out to Liverpool who themselves lost to eventual winners Leeds United in the semi-final. In the final Leeds beat Juventus over two legs and on the away goals rule.

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