The new season is up and running and the Sky Blues again failed to break the Swindon hoodoo in the opening league game last Saturday. For the fifth year running at the County Ground City conceded a late goal and it was decisive. There can be few City fans around who saw the team last win a league game there back in 1960.
On Tuesday evening, by beating Portsmouth 3-2 after extra time, the team won a League Cup tie for the first time in four years after successive first round exits to Leyton Orient, Cardiff City and Rochdale. It was also the first time that manager Tony Mowbray had won a Cup tie of any sort since he became manager of the club eighteen months ago. Last season he saw the Sky Blues bow out in the first round of all three competitions. That last League Cup victory, over Birmingham City in 2012 was also a 3-2 win after extra time. The Sky Blues no face Norwich City away in the second round in what will be the club's first meeting in the competition since its inauguration in 1960. There have been nine FA Cup meetings between the club with honours even with three wins each and three drawn ties. The clubs also met in the now extinct Full Members Cup in 1986-87 when the Canaries, with home advantage won 2-1 with Kevin Drinkell netting both Norwich goals after David Phillips had scored a penalty. Coincidentally both scorers later joined the other club.
The attendance at the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday was a disappointing 4,976 and was the lowest for a competitive game at the stadium – the previous lowest was 5,437 for the Burton Albion Football League Trophy game in 2012. It was not however the club's smallest home crowd in the competition, that was recorded at Sixfields two years ago when 1,352 watched City lose to Cardiff City. There have been quite a number of sub-5,000 crowds for City away ties in the League Cup with the smallest as follows:
1,904 v Dagenham & Redbridge (2012-13)
1,986 v Rochdale (2015-16)
2,288 v Rochdale (1991-92)
2,633 v Scarborough (1992-93)
2,871 v Leyton Orient (2013-14)
The League Cup attendances crowds were poor all around the country with under 3,000 at Walsall and Shrewsbury on a night that saw 10 Championship sides defeated by clubs from a lower division and a number of fancied League One sides (including Sheffield United, Bolton and Charlton) also exit the competition.
Steve Bell communicates with me regularly about the club's games against overseas clubs. During the summer he asked me about City's game against Brazilian club Santos which took place during the club's 1972 tour of South East Asia. The game was the final one of a five-game, three-week trip that included two games in South Korea and two in Japan. I was able to provide him with some facts about the game. It was played on 13 June 1972 in Bangkok and the result was a 2-2 draw. Quintin Young and Alan Green scored for City with the famous Pele (with a penalty) and Edu netting for Santos in front of a 32,000 crowd. I don't have the line ups for either club nor any other information. If anybody can provide more details please let me know and I will pass them on to Steve.Coventry City party in Japan 1972