5 games at home without a goal. John Heyda investigates

Last updated : 03 October 2004 By John Heyda
Cardiff City have now failed to score in five consecutive league matches at home. If you're thinking that a goal drought of such biblical proportions could never have descended upon Ninian Park before, well guess again. It has happened before. But only once before. Should City fail to score against Rotherham in a couple of weeks, the six straight without a goal at home would set a new club record.

Back in January, February, and March of 1987, City went without a goal in five straight Division Four home games. That Ninian Park drought began on January 24, when the Bluebirds lost to Wolves 2-0, then lost to Peterborough 1-0 on February 28. These two losses were followed by a 0-0 draw with Halifax on March 3, a 2-0 loss to Colchester on March 14, and 0-0 draw with Wrexham on March 21. Nicky Platnauer ended the streak with a goal on March 24, as City drew with Leyton Orient.

During this terrible run, one compensating factor for City was that, incredibly enough, they maintained their place in the table. When the scoreless run began the Bluebirds were 16th in the division; by the time it ended with Platnauer's goal, City were 14th. (They'd won three and drawn one in six road games during this time to maintain their position in the table.) Another plus, if you could call it that, was that hardly anyone noticed. Not very many fans saw any of these matches. A throng of 3331 turned out for the Wolves loss, 2620 for the Peterborough loss, 1785 for the draw with Halifax, 2222 for the Colchester loss, and 1805 for the draw with Wrexham.

Until the immortals of 1986-87 set the club record of five, City had gone scoreless in four straight home league matches on three separate occasions - during the first three months of the 1930-31 season, between late December and late February of the 1952-53 campaign, and in May and August 1968 (the last two games of the 1967-68 season and the first two in 1968-69).

And just who were the goalless wonders of 1987? Ten Bluebirds started at least three of the five scoreless home games. Terry Boyle, Alan Curtis, Mike Ford, Nicky Platnauer, and Paul Wimbleton started all five. Phil Brignull started four. Kevin Bartlett, Andy Kerr, Graham Moseley, and Mel Rees started three. Some stroll down memory lane there, no?

John Heyda