The Sky Blues bowed out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at League Two Yeovil on Tuesday evening after losing a penalty shoot-out for the second time this season.
It was the fifth penalty shoot-out City have been involved with in the last four seasons & after winning the first two (Burton and Sheffield United in 2012-13), they have now lost three in a row (Leyton Orient 2013-14 and Rochdale and Yeovil this season). Prior to 2012 the Sky Blues had only ever taken part in three penalty shoot-outs since they were introduced into domestic games in 1976. In 1988 City lost at Reading in a Simod Cup semi-final, in 1998 they lost to Sheffield United in an FA Cup quarter final replay and in 2001 they won a League Cup tie at Peterborough. Their overall record therefore is played eight, won three, lost five.
Admittedly on Tuesday night City had a much-changed line up from the sparkling win over Shrewsbury and were missing the speed merchants, Armstrong and Kent, but it was a poor outcome from the first hurdle on the road to Wembley. Many fans will say: 'at least we can concentrate on the league now' which is something Jimmy Hill did as manager in the 1963-64 and 1966-67 promotion seasons. In the former season, Hill, remembering how the previous season's FA Cup run had damaged the team's promotion hopes, was not unhappy to leave both major Cup competitions early on. Then in 1966-67 the team tumbled out of the League Cup at the first hurdle to Third |Division Brighton and left the FA Cup at the first attempt in a 3-4 thriller with Newcastle at Highfield Road. Hill never openly admitted to a lack of interest in the Cups in those seasons but it was common knowledge that he wasn't that upset about the defeats which enabled him to focus on promotion.
On Twitter the other day, someone posed the question: Did Coventry City ever have a player called Andy Williams, and the answer is yes.
Andy was born in Dudley in 1962 and was late coming into professional football after serving an apprenticeship at a local firm which gave him accountancy qualifications. He played as an amateur for Dudley Town and was appearing for Solihull Borough in his spare time when Coventry City spotted him in 1985. Don Mackay was the City manager at the time and Andy took two weeks off work to have a trial with the Sky Blues. A midfield player, he appeared in two reserve games and did enough to warrant an offer of a full-time professional contract.
Within a few months he was given his chance in the first team, as a substitute in a 0-3 home defeat to Liverpool, when he came on for Greg Downs in the 73rd minute. City had an injury crisis at the time and Graham Rodger also made his debut and young striker Gareth Evans played only his second game.
Andy went back to the reserves but got another chance in early 1986 with his first start, at home to Aston Villa as a stand-in for the injured Dave Bennett in a 3-3 draw and he set up a goal for Cyrille Regis.
Andy played in a 1-0 win at Oxford and a 2-3 defeat at Newcastle however manager Mackay bought another midfielder Nick Pickering soon afterwards and Andy was unable to win a first team place, other than on the bench. The following season, after one further substitute appearance he was on his way to Rotherham United with Evans in exchange for Dean Emerson.
Rotherham, a struggling Third Division club at the time, were boosted by the arrival of the two youngsters and Williams scored the winning goal against Bolton on his debut, while Evans finished as the club’s leading scorer with 11 goals. Andy played 87 games over two seasons with the Millers before joining Leeds United in 1988. He was never a regular at Elland Road but over four seasons made 50-odd appearances including 15 games in the 1990 Second Division championship team alongside Gordon Strachan, David Batty and Gary Speed.
In 1992 he joined Notts County, then a First Division side, but couldn’t keep them in the top flight. He returned to Rotherham in 1993 but failed to have the same impact at Millmoor as the first time around and moved on to Hull City two years later. He returned to Coventry with the Tigers for a League Cup tie in 1995 but was on the losing side. His last league appearances were for Scarborough in 1996-97.
The last I heard, Andy was based in the Rotherham area and ran the local council rents arrears office, putting the knowledge he gleaned before his playing career to good use.