11 league games now without a win

Last updated : 15 January 2007 By John Heyda
City's 1-0 home loss to Southend United on Saturday extends their
winless run in league play to 11. Since beating Burnley 1-0 at
Ninian Park on November 11, the Bluebirds have drawn seven and lost
four while scoring but five goals and conceding 13. Especially
disheartening is that City have managed to score in only three of
these games. Top of the table with an 11-3-3 record after their
November 11 win, City find themselves in eighth place today, with a
mark of 11-10-7. Had the season started right after the November 11
home win, City's 0-7-4 record would have them in last place. The
top club in the division through November 11, City have been the
division's worst since then.

The slide down the table is the least of City's worries right now.
The bigger concern is: When will the Bluebirds ever win another
game? And where does this current winless run of 11 stand in club
annals? How have City sides that have suffered winless runs as long
as 11 made out over the course of the entire season? Can City
recover, win a playoff spot, gain promotion, and turn this nightmare
into a happy ending? Or are winless runs that go this long the
proverbial kiss of death?

Let's look at the history. This year's side are the 10th in club
history to suffer a winless league run of 11 or more. The longest
winless run is 15, established 70 years ago. There have been runs
of 14, 13 and 12 as well. And now we have a sixth of 11. Here are
the stories that go with the previous nine winless streaks of at
least 11 games, beginning with the longest streaks:

* City got off to quite a start in 1936/37. A 7-2-2 record had the
Bluebirds atop the Division 3-S table as of October 10, and they
were still second as late as November 14 thank to a 9-2-4 mark.
Sound at all familiar? Then, on November 21, the longest winless
run in City's league history began with a 5-1 loss at Bristol
Rovers. The 15-game stretch saw City draw five, lose 10 and slide
to 18th. The run ended, finally, on March 13 with a 2-1 home win
over Bournemouth. The 15 games saw City score 14 and concede a
staggering 51 goals. Among the defeats: 8-1 losses at Luton and
Southend, a 6-0 setback at QPR, and a 7-2 loss at Brighton. City
finished 14-7-21, in 18th place.

* City's second-longest winless run in the league came just after
the midway point of the 1961/62 campaign. A 1-0 home win over Aston
Villa on Boxing Day had City 12th in the First Division table with a
record of 7-8-9. City won none of their next 14 Division One
matches, however, drawing five and losing the other nine. The
Bluebirds could score but nine goals during the downturn, conceding
31. Derek Tapscott's hat trick led City to a streak-ending 3-2 home
win over Birmingham April 21 but massive damage had been done. A
win and a draw in the last three games were not enough to avert
relegation, City finishing 21st with a record of 9-14-19.

* Like their second-longest winless run, City's third-longest such
stretch began immediately after a Boxing Day win. A 1-0 home win
over Reading on December 26, 1999 had City 17th in the 1999/2000
third-tier table, but eight draws and five losses later the club
found themselves 23rd. A 3-2 home win over Colchester on March 17
ended the slide at 13 and City went on to climb out of the
relegation zone a couple of times before winding up back in the
zone, in 21st place, with a record of 9-17-20.

* City's fourth-longest winless run came early on in the 1993/94
season. The Bluebirds got off to a smart start, winning their first
two league games, but then came a stretch of 12 without a win (six
draws and six defeats). By the time City had managed to win their
third game of the campaign, a 3-1 home triumph over Stockport on
November 6 (thanks to a Nathan Blake hat trick), the club were 21st
in the third-tier table. City picked things up a bit after that,
managing a 13-15-18 record and a 19th-place finish.

* In 1933/34, City's 11-game winless run in Division 3-S started
with a 3-1 loss at Bristol Rovers on October 14. Two draws and nine
losses later, it ended with a 4-1 home win over Watford on December
30. City had scored 11 goals in the 11 games while conceding no
less than 36. The Bluebirds had started the season with five wins
and a draw in their first nine games and stood seventh in the table
going into the October 14 game at Bristol Rovers. The 11-game slide
dropped them all the way to last place. That's where they finished
the season, thanks to a 3-3-15 record following the win over

* In 1964/65, City got off to their worst start in club history,
managing only six draws in their first 11 Division Two games. Their
0-6-5 mark and goal-difference mark of -9 (10 scored, 19 conceded)
had them in last place on October 10, when they finally got their
first win, a 2-1 home triumph over Derby. Things picked up after
that, though, as City wound up 13-14-15, rising to 13th place.

* In 1966/67, City were 13th in Division Two, with two wins and a
draw after five games. Eleven games later, they were in last place
following a run of three draws and eight defeats. A 3-0 November 19
home win over Bury ended the bad stretch, which saw City score but
nine goals while conceding a whopping 39. City finish 20th with a
12-9-21 record.

* In 1981/82, City found themselves in ninth place after a 1-0 home
win over Derby on December 4. The club had opened their Division
Two campaign with seven wins and three draws in their first 18
games. Then came an 11-game winless streak (three draws, eight
defeats) marked by a severe goal-scoring drought, City managing but
three goals in the 11 games while conceding 13. The drought ended
in dramatic fashion with a 5-4 home win over Cambridge United on
March 20 but by then City were mired in 21st place. City climbed as
high as 16th after, that but a poor finish left them in 20th place
and relegated, thanks to a mark of 12-8-22.

* In 1997/98, City stood 8th in the league's fourth tier thanks to
an impressive 3-3-0 start, but a winless stretch of eight draws and
three defeats set in immediately thereafter, sending the Bluebirds
all the way down to 18th. During the run, City scored seven goals,
conceding 11. City went on to draw a record-matching 23 games to go
with nine wins and 14 defeats. They finished 21st.