Monday, 25 April 2016

Jim's column 23.4.2016

Coventry City's successive home wins in four days have brightened the mood of the fans after a
dreadful run of sixteen games with only two victories. Barring a disastrous collapse by the five
teams immediately above them the play-off train has however left the station and the Sky Blues face
another season in League One. The two home wins, over sides virtually certain of being in the play-
offs, have not been short of talking points however and were the team's first back to back successes
since the run of four wins in November culminating in the performance of the season at home to

Both games saw opposition players picking up red cards for off the ball incidents, something not
that common these days. First to go was Shaun Williams of Millwall for a head-butt on Ruben
Lameiras. Millwall make a habit of red cards at the Ricoh – this was only their fourth league visit to
the stadium and their third red card. In 2005-06 substitute Matt Lawrence was sent off for elbowing
Michael Doyle (City went on to win 1-0). Then in 2010-11 current Lions manager Neil Harris saw
red for stamping on Aron Gunnarsson just a minute after coming off the bench (City won 2-1).

Bradford's bad boy was another substitute, Steven Davies, the former Derby and Blackpool striker,
who was ordered off for a wild kick at Jack Stephens minutes from the end. I think I am right in
saying that he is the first Bantams player to get his marching orders against the Sky Blues.

Those two dismissals makes it four red cards for opposition players this season with Chesterfield's
Emmanuel Dieseruvwe and Southend's Gary Deegan the others. This is a big increase on last
season's one red card for opposition, Sheffield United's Jose Baxter. The most red cards for
opposition players occurred in 2003-04 in the Championship when 13 opponents were sent off, the
majority for two yellow card offences. The highest number of red cards for City in a season is seven
– in both 2001-02 and 2002-03 City had seven players sent off. Since City left the Premiership they
have had 56 players sent off while in the same period 69 opposition players have received their
marching orders.

City's goal on Tuesday evening, a stunning half-volley from substitute Andy Rose, came out of the
blue in a game dominated by defences and bereft of chances. Rose's goal, with his first touch, was
timed by the club at 11 seconds after the restart of play, following his entry as a substitute in the 58
minute, and  whilst it is definitely the fastest by a substitute at the Ricoh the club record needs
closer scrutiny.

If one measures the time from when a substitute enters the game then the club record is held by
Wayne Andrews who scored 23 seconds after coming on at Barnsley in 2006. If, however one
measures it from the time when play re-starts then Kevin Drinkell's goal against Aston Villa at
Highfield Road in 1990 is faster. He scored around eight seconds after play restarted but had been
on the pitch for almost a minute whilst Villa's Mountfield was treated for an injury. Hopefully I can
throw some more light on this next week after further enquiries

It was the second consecutive game that a substitute has scored the winning goal following Marcus
Tudgay's clincher against Millwall. Six City goals have been scored by substitutes this season with
Tudgay heading the list with three from the bench and the others coming from Murphy and
Maddison.  Tudgay is the first City player to score three goals from the bench in a season since Patrick Suffo in 2004-05. Suffo scored a penalty against Sunderland on the opening day and followed up with two goals against Torquay in a League Cup game three weeks later. Others to score three in a season from the bench are Andy Morrell (2003-04), Trond Soltvedt (1997-98) and
Jay Bothroyd (2001-02). Some credit must go to Mowbray for his substitution strategy in these last two

No comments:

Post a Comment