Notts County and Coventry City have been playing one another on and off since 1920, although due to both sides see-sawing between divisions for many years, there were often long gaps of a number of years between games.
This Saturday will see the 36th meeting between the two sides. The Magpies have the upper hand over the years, with 17 wins to the Sky Blues’ 11. There have also been 7 draws between the sides. Notts have scored 56 goals against the Sky Blues, while they have netted 49 against us.
The very first meeting between the two clubs took place on 6th November 1920 at Meadow Lane in Division 2. The game ended in a 1-1 draw – Billy McLeod scoring the Notts goal. The following weekend Notts made their first ever trip to Coventry’s Highfield Road stadium, and the match again ended in a 1-1 draw with Sam Richards scoring for Notts.
It wasn’t until 22nd April 1922 that there was a winner in a game between the two sides – Coventry winning 4-2 at Highfield road. But Notts got revenge the following season by doing the double over the Sky Blues on their way to the Division 2 title. Notts won 2-1 at Highfield Road on the opening day of the 1922-23 season – Harold Hill scoring both the visitors goals.
Notts then won the reverse fixture at Meadow Lane a week later 2-0, with goals from Horace Cope and Jack Cook.
With County winning promotion to Division 1 that season, there would not be another league meeting between the sides for 8 years, although in 1925 they did meet for the one and only time in the FA Cup – Notts winning 2-0 at Highfield Road in the first round on 10th January 1925 – thanks to goals from Donald Cock and Arthur Davis.
The two sides got back to playing each other in the league in 1930, in the Division Three South.
On 21st March 1936, Coventry racked up their biggest ever win over Notts with a 5-1 victory at Highfield Road on their way to the league title. They finished 1 point clear of Luton Town, 2 clear of 3rd placed Reading and 4 clear of 4th placed QPR, scoring 102 goals over the season.
The two would not meet again until the opening day of the 1950-51 Division 2 season, when Coventry picked up their first win at Meadow Lane with a 2-0 win. But Notts got their revenge at Highfield Road on 16th December, with the legendary Tommy Lawton scoring a brace in a 2-1 win.
Notts did the double over City again in 1951-52 as City finished second bottom of Division 2 and were relegated, leaving another 9 year gap before the sides met again, by now both in Divison 3. They enjoyed a busy Christmas in 1960, facing each other on consecutive days. The first meeting was on Boxing Day at Highfield Road and ended in a 2-2 draw – Notts goals coming from Roy Horobin and Bobby Forrest. The following day at Meadow Lane, County won 3-0 – with goals from Gerry Carver, a Don Roby penalty (Roby went on to play for Derby County later that season, one for you super_ram), and an Austin own goal.
The 1963-64 Division Three season was one of complete contrast for both sides. The Sky Blues finished top of the league, equal on 60 points with Crystal Palace but they won the league thanks to their haul of 98 goals. Notts on the other hand finished bottom of the league having conceded 92. Amazingly this was not the worst defensive record of the season – that honour went to second bottom Wrexham, who conceded 107 goals!
City did the double over Notts with a 3-0 win at Meadow Lane and a 2-0 win at Highfield Road.
Again, there was a 14 year wait before the sides met again in Division 1. Notts won both meetings in 81-82, and they racked up their biggest win over City on 16th February, with a 5-1 win at Highfield Road – the goals coming from Mark Goodwin, Rachid Harkouk, Gordon Mair, Trevor Christie and John Chiedozie (who also went on to play for Derby).
They repeated the score-line the following season at Meadow Lane on their way to a second successive 15th place finish in Division 1. This time Justin Fashanu scored 2 goals, and the other 3 game from Aki Lagtinen, Iain McCulloch and Paul Hooks.
On 14th September 1991, Notts visited Highfield Road for what turned out to be the last time, and suffered a 1-0 defeat on their way to relegation from Division 1.
Notts’ 1-0 win at Meadow Lane in April 1992 turned out to be the last meeting between the sides for 16 years, before league 2 Notts visited Championship Coventry’s Ricoh Arena for the first time in the first round of the League Cup in 2007 – City winning 3-0.
Last season saw the first league meetings between the sides in 20 years, with goals from Yoann Arquin and Andre Boucaud helping us to our first win at the Ricoh. The final game of the season ended in a 2-2 draw at Meadow Lane.
When the two sides met at Sixfields back in November, City won 3-0, and in truth we were lucky it was only 3-0. Since then however, things have changed, and we're a much tougher proposition who won't simply roll over.
Both of us have been involved in some high scoring games this season, here's hoping Notts can avenge the Sixfields slaughter of November and gain 3 massive points on Saturday. COYP!