Sunday, 17 August 2014

Jim's column 16.8.14

What a Coventry City debut at Bradford for new captain Reda Johnson. The French-born son of an American Beninese father & an Algerian mother not only became the first Coventry City central defender to score on his debut but then added a second goal to become only the seventh City player to score more than one goal on his first Football League appearance.
Reda was the 89th City player to score on his competitive debut since City joined the League in 1919, and follows the following to score more than one: 
1928 Tommy Bowen v Norwich (h) 2
1954. Jack Lee v Crystal Palace (h) 2
1963.  George Hudson v Halifax (h) 3
1992.  Mick Quinn v Man City. (h)  2
1999.  Robbie Keane v Derby County (h)  2
2013.  Chris Maguire v MK Dons (a) 2

Sadly his goals were unable to help City avoid defeat at Valley Parade & it is now 55 years & 13 visits without a win there. The Sky Blues equalled another record last Saturday by taking the field with seven debutants and then using Shaun Miller to make it eight new men in total. That equalled the club's post-war record set in 2003 when Gary McAllister used seven debutant starters plus one new sub in a League Cup tie against Peterborough at Highfield Road. For the record those debutants eleven years ago were: Scott Shearer, Stephen Warnock, Patrick Suffo, Michael Doyle, Dele Adebola, Graham Barrett, Claus Jorgensen with Andy Morrell a substitute. City won 2-0 with goals from Adebola & Barrett.

On Wednesday evening the Sky Blues were dumped out of the League Cup by Cardiff City to extend City's poor recent record in the competition. Only once in the last six seasons have they progressed past the First Round. Cardiff joined Hartlepool, Morecambe, Bury & Leyton Orient as first round victors over City. The one exceptional season in the last six was two seasons ago when Andy Thorn managed the side to a victory at Dagenham & Redbridge before handing over to caretaker Richard Shaw who inspired an exciting win over Birmingham City -one of only three League Cup victories at the Ricoh. By the time the third round tie at Arsenal was played, Mark Robins was in charge & he oversaw a brave but heavy defeat at the Emirates. City's record in the League Cup might seem poor but I read this week that Ipswich have lost to lower league opposition in nine of the last 12 seasons.

As expected the attendance for the Cardiff game was the smallest for a League Cup tie involving the Sky Blues since the competition was inaugurated in 1960. The previous low was 1,904 at Dagenham two years ago & the previous home low was 5,519 for a second round game in October 1985 when Chester were the visitors to Highfield Road & were comprehensively defeated with Cyrille Regis grabbing five goals in a 7-2 victory.

Steve Menary wanted to know about City's pre-season friendlies in 1992-93 season. Under new manager Bobby Gould, the team played the following games:

20 July 1992 Morton (a) 2-2 Scorers; Bowen & Ndlovu.
22 July 1992 Clydebank (a) 1-0 Flynn
25 July 1992 Airdrie (a) 1-1 Sansom
8 August 1992 Brescia (at St Andrews) 1-0 D Smith (International tournament)
9 August 1992 Birmingham (at St Andrews 0-1 (International tournament)


  1. Jim,

    Did Jim Melrose not score a hat trick on debut vs Everton in 1984 (or thereabouts)?

    1. Chris, Just spotted your comment. Melrose scored a hat-trick on home debut, his second game for the club.