Another season is over. Another season of roller-coaster emotions – too many of them to do with the club's off the field problems. No one can deny however that on the field it has been an exciting campaign when compared with the many sterile seasons, not to mention a couple of relegation battles, since the club left the Premiership in 2001. Sure, the goals tailed off after the turn of the year but there were several matches which rank with the best in the post-2001 era, namely Bristol City, Leyton Orient & Peterborough at home & Rotherham & MK Dons away. Callum Wilson's scoring feats have been quite remarkable & he has written his name large on the club's history, whatever the future holds for him. The depressing statistic of course is the lowest average home crowds in the club's history.
Games: Coventry City played 53 competitive games this season, 46 league, 5 FA Cup, 1 League Cup & 1 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Points: The Sky Blues gathered 61 points (reduced to 51 by the 10 points deduction) during the season. This was four less than in 2012-13.
Home Form: The home record was won 9, drew 8, lost 6. The total of 35 points was the best at home since 2006-07 (37 points). The goals scored (41) was the highest since 1978-79 but the goals conceded (39) was the highest in the club's Football League history.
Away Form: The away form (7 wins, 26 points) whilst not up to last seasons record-breaking 11 wins & 37 points, was still the fourth best since the club were relegated from the Premier League. The team scored 33 away goals (37 last term), the second highest total since the 1960s.
Biggest win: The biggest win of the season was the 4-0 league win at Carlisle in August. They scored five goals once (Bristol City (h) 5-4) and four goals on two other occasions (Preston (h) 4-4 & Peterborough (h) 4-2). The Bristol City was the first City game to contain nine goals since a 5-4 League Cup win over Nottingham Forest in 1990.
Biggest defeat: The 1-5 defeat at home to relegated Tranmere was the biggest league defeat and the heaviest home league defeat since Newcastle won 5-1 at Highfield Road in 1998-99. City also lost by a four-goal margin (0-4) at Arsenal in the FA Cup.
Goals for: The goals for total of 74 was the highest by a City team since Gordon Milne's attacking side scored 75 in finishing 7th in the old First Division in 1977-78. At one stage the Sky Blues topped the League One scoring list and looked capable of reaching 100 goals for the first time since the 1930s but eventually finished fourth highest for the second season running, behind Wolves, Leyton Orient & Rotherham. City only failed to score in eight league games – the lowest number since 1977-78.
Goals against: The goals against total of 77 equalled the total of the 1983-84 season and was the highest since 1956-57 when City conceded 84 in a 46-match season. The team kept nine clean sheets, the same as the previous season. City's 0-0 draw with Shrewsbury was the first goalless draw for almost two years. It ended a sixteen-game run without a clean sheet – the worst run since 1984 when Bobby Gould's team went 22 without a clean sheet.
Final position: The final position of 18th was the lowest finishing position since 1958-59 when the Bantams spent their one and only season in the old Division Four under Billy Frith. It means that the Sky Blues have finished in the top ten only once in the thirteen seasons since they left the Premiership in 2001. They are the only club, bar long-serving Premiership clubs and recent promotees from the Conference, not to have been promoted or reached the play-offs since the play-offs were introduced in 1987 nor to finish in the top six of a division. But for the points deduction a final position of 9th would have been achieved.
Leading scorers: Callum Wilson takes all the honours for goalscoring with his total of 21 league goals, the highest by a City player since Ian Wallace scored the same number in the old First Division in 1977-78. It is especially remarkable considering he missed nine weeks of the season after injuring his shoulder on New Years Day. At one stage he looked likely to finish as the division's leading scorer but was pipped by Bristol City's Sam Baldock (24) & Peterborough's Assombalonga (23). In March he netted in five consecutive games and only a penalty miss stopped him making it six and equalling Micky Quinn's modern-day record. For the first time since 1963-64 the Sky Blues had four players reach double figures in all competitions. In addition to Wilson (22), Leon Clarke (18), Franck Moussa (13) & Carl Baker (10) also reached double figures. Wilson's goal ratio (0.57 goals per game) was lower than Clarke’s (0.68), who in turn was inferior to David McGoldrick's ration in 2012-13 (0.72). Mathieu Manset achieved a feat achieved by very few – he scored a goal but never made a first-team start. Others to have managed this include Zavon Hines, Wayne Andrews & Mick Harford.
Doubles: City achieved the double over three sides, Stevenage, Bristol City & Walsall. On the other hand three sides did the double over City (Swindon, Brentford & Tranmere). City were the only League One side who were unbeaten against the champions Wolves.
Appearances: Joe Murphy started every league and cup game and has now missed only one game in three seasons and racked up 156 appearances for the club. John Fleck was involved in 43 league games and was missing only through injury & suspension. Five players failed to start a league game but made substitute appearances (Manset, McGeouch, Garner, Loza & Slager).
Players used: Thirty-three players were used in league and cup games -five less than in 2012-13. Of the 33, 19 players made their debuts during the season, eleven of them loan players. In addition to the 33 players used, nine more, Lee Burge, Ben Maund, James Maddison, Lewis Rankin, Alex Gott, Stewart Urquhart, Jack Finch, Ivor Lawton and Leon Lobjoit sat on the bench as substitutes but were not used.
Home-grown players: For the opening game of the season at Crawley the Sky Blues took the field with five Coventry-born players, the first time this has ever happened. It was not uncommon for the team to contain six home grown players but that is some way off the record. In 1982, under Dave Sexton the Sky Blues fielded ten home-grown players. Aaron Phillips made his bow in the opening game of the season and became only the fifth Coventry City player to follow his father into the first team, his father being 1987 Wembley hero David. George Thomas became the sixth youngest Coventry City player when he started the league game at Orient aged 16 years & 310 days.
Records: Carl Baker took his total appearances to 182 & is now 53rd on the club's all-time appearance chart, level with Greg Downs, David Smith & Dele Adebola. Murphy is now on 156 appearances & creeps into the top ten City goalkeepers of all-time by appearances – but a long way short of his mentor Oggy who made 601 appearances. Two homegrown youngsters reached the 100 appearance milestone this season with Jordan Clarke finishing the season on 129 & Cyrus Christie 119.
Substitutes: Three players made the most substitute appearances (10 league & cup) – Aaron Phillips, Adam Barton, Billy Daniels whilst Franck Moussa was the most substituted player. Franck was ‘pulled’ on 20 occasions in 36 league starts. Five substitutes came off the bench and scored: Manset (Preston h), Phillips (Wolves a), Maguire (2) (MK Dons a), Delfouneso (Walsall h), Baker (Gillingham a). Chris Maguire became the first City sub to score twice since Patrick Suffo in an FA Cup game with Torquay in 2004 & in a league game since Bobby Gould's brace at Nottm. Forest in 1967. He was also the first City player to score two on his debut since Robbie Keane in 1999.
Average attendance: Home 2,364 (2012-13 10,938), down 78%. Away 8,651 (2012-13 6,895), up 25%. It will be no surprise to discover that the home average attendance was the lowest in the club's Football League history & you have to go back to the Birmingham League days of 1905-06 to find a lower average. Only three clubs in the League had a lower average In the league City’s tremendous away following increased by 40% to 1603 – the second highest in the division and beaten by only six Championship clubs. It was however well short of the record set in 1963-64 when an average 3,500 watched City's away games in Division 3. The best following of the season was 6,800 at Milton Keynes, the biggest league away following since the 1960s, 5,186 followed the team at Arsenal for the Cup game.
Highest home attendance: The biggest league crowd was 4,905 for the visit of Peterborough on Boxing Day.
Lowest home attendance: Only 1,603 attended the midweek visit of Carlisle in February – the lowest league crowd in the club's Football League history. The Crewe home game in December attracted 1,618 – the lowest for a Saturday home game in the club's League history. The lowest crowd of the season however was 1,214 for the Hartlepool FA Cup replay in December which was probably the lowest crowd to watch a home FA Cup tie since before 1900.
Highest away attendance: The biggest away league crowd was at Molineux (22,939) with another big crowd at Sheffield United (20,273). A massive 59,451 were at the Emirates for the FA Cup game – the largest crowd to watch City since the Old Trafford League Cup game in 2007.
Lowest away attendance: Two crowds under 4,000 watched City’s league games with the smallest at Stevenage – 3,375. At Leyton Orient in the JPT only 2,151 were present and 489 of them came from Coventry. It was the lowest crowd to watch the Sky Blues in that competition.
Won from behind: (5) City came from behind to win on five occasions, all within an eight week period from November to early January. After coming back to win in the FA Cup tie at AFC Wimbledon (the club's first FA Cup away win since 2009), they repeated the feat against MK Dons (a), Peterborough (h), Rotherham (a) & Barnsley FA Cup (a). In the Peterborough game the side twice came from behind – the first time they have done that at home since the opening game of the 1997-98 season when they beat Chelsea 3-2. On seven occasions the team came from behind to get a draw including the Port Vale home game when they were 0-2 down and got a point.
Lost from in front: (6) City lost six games from a leading position. In away games at Leyton Orient (LC), Port Vale, Swindon, Brentford & Sheffield United and at home to Carlisle. It was the second season running they have let a lead slip at Brentford and we will be glad to not be playing them next season. In a further six games City took the lead only to be pegged back for draws. 20 points were lost from leading positions which was an improvement on last season's 33 lost points.
Best run: The Sky Blues went unbeaten in seven league games in from the beginning of October to mid-November. The run including three consecutive home wins – the first time that has happened since 2010 under Aidy Boothroyd. They also managed three goals in each of three home games – the first time they have managed that in 34 years!
Worst run: The season ended with the worst run of the campaign – seven league games without a win and only three points collected.
Hat-tricks: (0) No City player scored a hat-trick but there were 12 braces with Leon Clarke notching five, Wilson four, and Billy Daniels, Carl Baker & Chris Maguire the others.
Opposing hat-tricks: (2) After seven years without a single opposing player scoring a hat-trick, City conceded hat-tricks in consecutive league games. First Bradford City's Nahki Wells scored all three in the thrilling 3-3 draw at Valley Parade, then two weeks later Tranmere's Ryan Lowe scored a hat-trick in Rovers' 5-1 victory at Sixfields. The previous hat-trick was by Hereford's Stuart Fleetwood in a League Cup tie at Edgar Street in August 2006 & the last league hat-trick conceded was scored by Plymouth's Vincent Pericard in January 2006. Lowe is the first player to score a hat-trick against City at home since Nottingham Forest's Kevin Campbell in 1996. Several players haunted City by scoring in more than one game including Crawley's Jamie Proctor, Port Vale's Doug Loft, Brentford's Clayton Donaldson, Tranmere's Ryan Lowe, Orient's Dean Cox and Michael Smith who scored for both AFC Wimbledon & Swindon.
Own goals: For City: (2) Mat Sadler (Crawley h), Callum Kennedy (AFC Wimbledon FAC a).
Own goals: By City: (2) Conor Thomas (Tranmere a), Jordan Clarke (Stevenage h).
Penalties: For City: (6) Leon Clarke (2), Baker (2) & Wilson (2) scored from the spot. All three players missed one: Clarke (Leyton O LC a), Wilson (Stevenage h) & Baker (MK Dons h).
Penalties: Against City: (7) Wells (Bradford a), Asgard (Rotherham h), Williams (MK Dons a), Sheehan (Notts County a), Lowe (Tranmere a), Akinfenwa 2 (Gillingham a) . Joe Murphy set a club record by saving five penalty kicks: Berrett (Carlisle a), Mooney (Leyton O h), O'Connor (Rotherham a), Lisbie (Leyton O a) & Judge (Brentford a). In the game at Gillingham there were four penalties scored, the most ever in a City game.
Fastest Goal scored: 55 seconds: Leon Clarke in the 2-1 home win over Gillingham in September.
Fastest Goal conceded: 38 seconds: Port Vale's Doug Loft in the 2-2 draw at Sixfields in March.
Red cards: Coventry: (2): Carl Baker (Leyton O. LC a) & Dan Seaborne (Gillingham a). Additionally Seaborne was given a post match red card after an incident in the Oldham home game.
Red cards: Opponents: (4) Haynes (Notts Co. h), Taylor (Tranmere h), Morgan (Rotherham a) & Davies (Preston a).
Bookings: Most yellow cards award went to John Fleck (11) followed closely by Conor Thomas (10). In the game at Crewe seven City players were given yellow cards – a club record.
Television: The Sky Blues appeared live on television on four occasions – the home league game against Sheffield United, the away game at Bradford & the FA Cup ties at Wimbledon & Arsenal.
New Grounds: City played at only two grounds for the first time in competitive games. The Cup game was the first visit to AFC Wimbledon's ground in Kingston & of course, before this season, they had not appeared at Sixfields.
Postponements: City had two home games postponed (Walsall & Bradford City) because of a waterlogged pitch. This was the first time City have had a game postponed since 2002 when they lost two matches to an icy pitch.
Man of the Match: Three players tied in the race for Andy Turner's Man of the Match awards. The leading contenders were: Wilson 8, Fleck 8, Jordan Clarke 8, Webster 7, Murphy 5.
With many thanks to Paul O’Connor.