The FA Cup campaign starts for the Sky Blues tomorrow with a visit from Conference North side Worcester City. It is the third time the City have met Worcester in the competition since we joined the Football League in 1919 – the most head-to-head games with any non-league side. The first meeting was in 1960, in the first round at St George's Lane, Worcester. Coventry ran out easy winners, 4-1, with two goals apiece for Ronnie Farmer & Billy Myerscough. Then in 1983 Worcester reached the third round & travelled to Highfield Road. An early Paul Moss penalty shook Coventry & although Steve Whitton soon levelled & Mark Hateley made in 2-1 before half-time, Worcester battled on & only conceded a third & final goal from Whitton in the 85th minute. They also met Worcester twice between 1905-1907 when the clubs were both in the Birmingham League and honours were even.
Several readers have asked me to list all the non-league sides City have faced in the competition. Tomorrow will be the 20th such meeting since the club joined the Football League & the results are as follows:
1920-21 v Rochdale (a) 1-2 after 1-1 draw
1922-23 v New Brighton (a) 0-3
1925-26 v Worksop (a) 0-1
1926-27 v Kettering (a) 3-2
1929-30 v Bath City (h) 7-1
1932-33 v Guildford C.(a) 2-1
1934-35 v Scunthorpe & Lindsey (h) 7-0
1935-36 v Scunthorpe & Lindsey (a) 2-4 after 1-1 draw
1952-53 v Bishops Auckland (a) 4-1
1957-58 v Walthamstow Avenue (h) 1-0
1958-59 v Weymouth (a) 5-2
1960-61 v Worcester City (a) 4-1
1961-62 v Kings Lynn (h) 1-2
1963-64 v Trowbridge (a) 6-1
1982-83 v Worcester City (h) 3-1
1988-89 v Sutton United (a) 1-2
1996-97 v Woking (a) 2-1 after 1-1 draw
2008-09 v Kidderminster (h) 2-0
2012-13 v Arlesey T (h) 3-0
Last week's piece about games in which City have conceded a two-goal lead to lose prompted a comment from Keith Ballantyne.
'I may be wrong on this, but I have a vivid memory of going to Nottingham Forest in late 1985 or early 1986. It was freezing cold and I'm sure City went 2-0 up in 20 minutes, but finished on the wrong end of a 5-2 thumping. I think Stuart Pearce and Ian Butterworth played for Forest, this being their first season since joining from City, and Des Walker was outstanding at the back with them. I wonder what happened to Butterworth, as his career came nowhere near to reaching the height of Pearce's.
Keith is quite correct. It was actually January 1st 1986 & City took a two-goal lead through Cyrille Regis & Micky Adams inside 20 minutes. They still led at half-time despite a Neil Webb goal in the 40th minute. After the break Brian Clough's team ran riot, netting a further four goals with Webb completing his hat-trick & Johnny Metgod & Peter Davenport scoring the others. Gates this season were at their lowest ebb & only 13,860 watched the game on an icy pitch. To illustrate how poor attendances were, the following week there were only 10,300 at Highfield Road for the visit of Aston Villa. As for Pearce & Butterworth, neither appeared in the Forest side that day. Whilst Pearce had a long and successful career at the City Ground, Butterworth stayed there only one season, making 27 appearances, before joining Norwich. At Carrow Road he made around 250 appearances over eight seasons. He had a successful coaching career with Darlington, Cardiff, Bristol Rovers, Hartlepool & Norwich City. He is now chief scout at QPR & was spotted at a City game at Sixfields last season.Ian Butterworth
Latest loan signing Gary Madine arrived at the club last week for his second spell. It is five years since his last loan spell which consisted of nine appearances from the bench & five non-appearances. In total he played 55 minutes of football and failed to net but last Saturday at Orient he surpassed that total in his first start for the club. Madine is in good company with a number of players who have made many substitute appearances before starting a game. Gary McSheffrey made 11 appearances & Callum Wilson eight at the start of their careers. Before last Saturday Gary shared a record with Mathieu Manset of the most sub appearances (nine) without starting a game in one season. Wayne Andrews holds the record of the most sub appearances without ever starting a game ever – he was sub on 10 occasions over two seasons during Micky Adams' reign at the club.