Coventry (h) 1987

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YF Dan
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Coventry (h) 1987

Post by YF Dan » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:51 am

To celebrate the 29th anniversary of what proved our last win in the top division, I thought it would be fun to share some memories I have of that match.

Firstly, I remember it was the only top division match that day, as all the other matches were postponed because of international call-ups.

Because of that, there were lots of TV cameras at the game. But not because it was on British TV, because it wasn't. It was on Swedish TV, whom I think had the only TV deal for English football at the time.

Most of the advertising around the ground were in Swedish, for Swedish brands. This was not unusual for English football - there was an episode of The Manageress in which they dealt with the subject of Swedish advertisement boards and annoyed local sponsors.

It was early November. I'd only recently bought myself a season ticket (my first) with my pocket money (it was £25 for most of the season), and despite some odd results (being thumped 5-2 at home by Luton, but beating league leaders QPR shortly after) were were doing OK.

The match was a good one as I recall, tight, and if memory serves me correct, we won with a Dean Saunders penalty.

I also remember a Saunders shot, which deflected in off Billy Whitehurst's belly, only to be disallowed for offside. Presumably his arse was 10 yards onside.

Whitehurst never came close to scoring again for us. Despite moving really high in the table that day (10th, I recall,our highest ever place), we were not to win again in the league that season, recording some extraordinary scores along the way. If this season was before your time, look it up as it was totally weird.

Other memories from that season: losing 7-4 at Luton. Losing 5-2 at home twice. Losing 5-3 at Forest. Losing 4-2 at Norwich, Bradford, Drawing 4-4 with Chelsea after being 3-0 down at half time, thanks to Sean Reck transforming the match at the break. Then going the next six games without a goal.

We went 20-odd games without a league win and finished bottom, Chelsea went down with us having gone about 19 winless.

Our match against Man Utd was watched by fewer than 9,000, while our match at Wimbledon was watched by 4,300.

Twas a funny old season.

OUFC4eva
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Re: Coventry (h) 1987

Post by OUFC4eva » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:52 am

This was the first season post Maxwell.

Basically we sold Ray Houghton in the October
of the 1987-88 and never recovered - his loss was devastating.
Richard Hill and David Bardsley were brought in from Watford
after a difficult start. United had tried and failed to
sign Danny Wilson that summer from Luton and signed
Gary Shelton from Sheff. Weds instead.

Only Dean Saunders could consistently put the ball in the net and
Billy Whitehurst was a terrible signing 12 months earlier.
We were appalling defensively and had problems in the goalkeeping dept.
The crowds that season were shocking too as we struggled and
relegation looked certain at Christmas '87 - Liverpool inflicting a
0-3 Boxing Day loss and then the 2-5 home surrender to Wimbledon.

The supporters then turned against Maurice Evans
who quit in March '88. I was at Kenilworth Road
in Feb'88 for the embarrassing 7-4 defeat when
Maurice decided to play without a left back!

The club took years to recover from
relegation that season.
Last edited by OUFC4eva on Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

OUFC4eva
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Re: Coventry (h) 1987

Post by OUFC4eva » Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:35 pm

Oxford United v Coventry City - 7th November 1987

U's: managed by Maurice Evans

Peter Hucker

David Bardsley
Neil Slatter
Tommy Caton
John Dreyer

Gary Shelton
Les Phillips
Trevor Hebberd
Peter Roades-Brown

Billy Whitehurst
Dean Saunders

Sub: Robbie Mustoe

Sky Blues: managed by John Sillett

Steve Ogrizovic

Brian Borrows
Kevan Smith
Brian 'Killer' Kilcline
Greg Downs

Dean Emerson
David Phillips
Dave Bennett
Keith Houchen

David Speedie
Cyrille Regis

Att: 7,801
Goalscorer: Dean Saunders second half pen.
Referee: Keith Hackett

slappy
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Re: Coventry (h) 1987

Post by slappy » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:35 pm

Thank you for the history. Everyone talks of the glory days days of the 80s but that season didn't sound much fun.

Kernow Yellow
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Re: Coventry (h) 1987

Post by Kernow Yellow » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:57 pm

I was there. Can't say I remember it - just a run-of-the-mill league game at the time. I remember the two straight home wins over QPR and Norwich, when Richard Hill and David Bardsley looked like very astute signings (as indeed they proved to be, just not so much for that campaign!) And of course the run to the League Cup semi-finals, including the great 2-0 midweek victory over Man United, our last win in all competitions that season. And the hopeless capitulation at Kenilworth Road when Wembley was in sight again.
OUFC4eva wrote:The club took years to recover from relegation that season.
Not sure I agree with that. The club took years to recover from the period after Robert Maxwell ditched Us as his plaything, culminating of course in the 'sale' of Dean Saunders and the sacking of Lawrenson. And the subsequent saddling of debts after Fat Bob's untimely swim. And the fans took too long to realign their expectations to more realistic ones for a club of our size - myself included, having been spoilt since I started going to games in 1984. Horton Out! But ain't that always the way.

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