Vital Football

Latest Coventry City News

Coventry City 1992/93 - Alive and Kicking (Part 1)

Coventry City 1992/93 - Alive and Kicking (Part 1)

Vital Coventry's look back at the 1992/93 season. This series was originally intended for publication as an e-book. Thanks to Jim Brown's book 'Coventry City - The Elite Era' for reference.

Introduction

Coventry City's final match of the 1991/92 Football League Division One campaign was a local derby away to Aston Villa and, as had been the case many times since their elevation to the top flight of English football in 1967, the Sky Blues went into their last 90 minutes of a season knowing that they were still in danger of being relegated.

On every previous occasion they had managed to survive, either through winning their own game, with help from other results or a combination of both. Now though the stakes had been raised even further. The new, FA-backed, Premier League would come into existence over the summer of 1992 complete with a lucrative new television deal and the promise of a financial bonanza for its member clubs as they broke away from the Football League.

Coventry travelled the short distance to Villa Park knowing that they needed just a draw to make it impossible for Luton Town, two points behind and with an inferior goal difference, to take their place at the top table for the 1992/93 campaign. Visiting supporters were dotted all around the ground and as the teams warmed up the occasional fan made a dash for safety from one of the home stands towards a packed away end.

Those at the Witton Lane End and those who remained, without colours and tight-lipped, in the towering Holte End saw their worst fears realised within a minute of the game starting as City old-boy Cyrille Regis opened the scoring for Ron Atkinson`s entertaining Villa side, the home side having been gifted the ball from Coventry`s kick-off.

Regis had been allowed to leave Highfield Road on a free transfer the previous summer as then-manager Terry Butcher had attempted to put his own stamp on the club. Far from being deemed surplus to requirements in the top division, however, he had quickly been snapped up by Atkinson, the man who managed him at West Bromwich Albion where Regis had made his name.

'Radios'

Dwight Yorke's second goal all but wrapped things up for the hosts and attention turned to those Coventry fans with radios who were keeping in touch with news from Meadow Lane where Luton were away to already-relegated Notts County. From there, they heard an unlikely saviour come to Coventry's rescue. Loughborough University student Rob Matthews had been handed his chance in the Notts County side after their top-flight exit was confirmed and scored two goals to overturn Luton's early lead and earn himself an unlikely footnote in Sky Blues' history.

City had done it again but this was far from being the kind of 'great escape` that had earned them the reputation of being the First Division`s great survivors in the years preceding 1987`s FA Cup triumph when safety had been secured on the final day of the season in three consecutive season .

That famous day at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur was meant to springboard the club into the top echelons of the English game and for a while that had seemed possible. Manager John Sillett made good on his promise to 'shop at Harrods instead of Woolworths` and broke the club transfer record three times including twice in four months in the 1989/90 season.

There were brief hints at a title challenge (as well as some embarrassing defeats in the FA Cup) but relegation battles had been off the agenda with finishes of 10th, 7th and 12th. Butcher, it was hoped would provide the 'big-name` cachet to lure major signings with but he took over at a time of worsening finances and boardroom battles.

Sillett`s testimonial, scheduled for the day after the Aston Villa game, would still be taking place at a top division ground but when competitive action returned to Highfield Road in August it would be the Sky Blues who were favourites for relegation with the bookmakers.

Part 2 - Bobby is Back



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:CCFC
Date:Thursday March 13 2014
Time: 8:00AM

Comments

0
Was at Villa Park that day, keeping very quiet at the front of the Holte End and feeling sick when Big Cyrille scored so early on.
houchen
14/03/2014 07:52:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Coventry City Articles

Signing Number Four For Coventry City

Leyton Orient swoop for the Sky Blues

Coventry City - Sunday Transfer Supplement

A weekly look at transfers and rumours surrounding the Sky Blues and beyond

Coventry City Complete Signing Hat-Trick

Defender makes move from Cobblers

Sky Blues Spring Second Transfer Surprise

Striker McNulty to join Coventry City

Archived Vital Coventry Articles

Vital Coventry articles from

Site Journalists

CCFC
Editor email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Are You Pleased With Mark Robins Return?
Suggested By: Editor
Yes88%
No12%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Sheff Utd 46 30 10 6 100 45
P Bolton 46 25 11 10 86 32
3 Scunthorpe 46 24 10 12 82 26
4 Fleetwood 46 23 13 10 82 21
5 Bradford 46 20 19 7 79 19
6 Millwall 46 20 13 13 73 9
7 Southend 46 20 12 14 72 17
8 Oxford 46 20 9 17 69 13
9 Rochdale 46 19 12 15 69 9
10 Bristol Rovers 46 18 12 16 66 -2
11 Peterborough 46 17 11 18 62 0
12 MK Dons 46 16 13 17 61 2
13 Charlton 46 14 18 14 60 7
14 Walsall 46 14 16 16 58 -7
15 Wimbledon 46 13 18 15 57 -3
16 Northampton 46 14 11 21 53 -13
17 Oldham 46 12 17 17 53 -13
18 Shrewsbury 46 13 12 21 51 -17
19 Bury 46 13 11 22 50 -12
20 Gillingham 46 12 14 20 50 -20
R Port Vale 46 12 13 21 49 -25
R Swindon 46 11 11 24 44 -22
R Coventry 46 9 12 25 39 -31
R Chesterfield 46 9 10 27 37 -35
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Coventry City Results (view all)

Coventry City Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.houchen5
Vital Football Comment