Sunday, 11 February 2018

Jim's column 10.2.2018

I'm back from my sickbed this week and looking forward to two memorable Saturdays. Today the Sky Blues entertain Accrington Stanley and a bumper crowd is expected for Community Day. Then, next Saturday, the team travel to Premiership Brighton for an FA Cup Fifth round tie with another large following hoping to see City reach the sixth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2009.

Today's attendance is almost certainly going to be over 25,000 and although many schoolchildren are on free tickets, the gate will be a record for a League Two game since the league reorganisation in 2004. The existing record was set by Portsmouth two years ago when 18,746 watched their home game against Northampton. One record that won't be broken today however is the highest attendance for a game in tier 4 of the league. That was set in 1961 by Crystal Palace when 37,774 watched the Glaziers (as Palace were known then) play Millwall on the way to winning promotion. That excludes any play off finals at neutral Wembley or Cardiff. City's highest in their one season in Division 4 (1958-59) was 28,429 for the vital promotion game against Port Vale when a Ray Straw goal earned City the points.

The tie with Brighton is the fourth time City have been drawn against the Seagulls in the competition and each time they have been the away club. The teams first met in 1911 when City, fielding seven of their previous season's giant-killing team, got a 0-0 draw with their fellow Southern League opponents at the Goldstone Ground, and won the replay 2-0. The next meeting, in 1953, saw Brighton reverse the tables with a 5-1 thrashing by the sea in the First Round. The last game was in 2006 when a Gary McSheffrey goal was enough to win a Third Round tie at the Withdean Stadium.

Graham Paine has been in touch regarding Michael Doyle's total appearances for the club and believes he is now in the top twelve appearance-makers for the club. Graham is correct, this season Micky has overtaken Willie Carr, Marcus Hall, Peter Hill, Ronnie Farmer and Frank Austin in the all-time list and now stands twelfth.

  1. Steve Ogrizovic 601
  2. George Curtis 543
  3. Mick Coop 499
  4. Brian Borrows 488
  5. Bill Glazier 402
  6. Mick Kearns 385
  7. Richard Shaw 362
  8. George Mason 359
  9. Tommy Hutchison 355
  10. Roy Kirk 349
  11. Trevor Peake 334
  12. Michael Doyle 332

Doyle, with 35 appearances already this season, is only two behind 1987 FA Cup hero Trevor Peake, and assuming he plays today and on Tuesday night will draw level with Peaky at Colchester. If he stays fit he could reach Roy Kirk's total of 349 by the end of the season.
Finally, the Sky Blues go into today's game on the back of seven consecutive home wins. An eighth win today would be the best since they won the same number in 1954.

12 April QPR (h) 3-1
20 April Southampton (h) 2-1
24 April Bristol City (h) 3-0
26 April Norwich City (h) 1-0

21 Aug ust Bournemouth (h) 1-0
23 August Reading (h) 2-1
4 September Brighton (h) 2-1
6 September Gillingham (h) 4-1

On 18 September 1954 Bristol City ended the run with a 3-1 win at Highfield Road in front of a 29,000 crowd.

City did win nine league games in a row in 1959-60 season but that run was punctuated by a cup draw with Southampton. Included in that run was a 2-1 victory over today's visitors Accrington, on their last visit to the city.

Several people have asked me how they can make a donation to remember Cyrille Regis. His favourite charity was Wateraid and donations can be made at:

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