Every once in a while my inner anorak bubbles to the surface, and I develop a Motsonlike thirst to know the answer to some intriguing statistical poser. My current itch concerns our long sequence without drawing a game. Come on, don’t tell me you haven’t noticed. This season our league record still features a zero in the middle column, which is perhaps a mild curiosity after 17 games, but add the various cup competitions and it’s up to 24. Then go back to last season, which ended with a run of 13 wins or losses and the tally is a stonking 37! Surely a record!! But how to be sure?
The obvious answer – ask Paul Cooke – was discounted on the basis that some things in life you just gotta do yourself. Even if it is an internet voyage into geekdom by visiting various dusty statto sites on a quiet Sunday afternoon. But nowhere have I found the answer I seek. I now know that the longest run without a goalless draw in English senior football is held by Peterborough United - 156 League (171 All Competitions), 8 December 2009 to 9 March 2013. And feel a bit better for it. But what about any kind of draw? Nobody seems to have bothered to note that one down. A draw is one of only 3 possible outcomes, so a run of 37 non-draws has to be pretty rare. Perhaps it is a record! But wait a minute, do we qualify as being part of English senior football these days? You might struggle to argue yes. In the football pyramid, Tier 8 is closer to park pitch than the Football League (on a bad day, very close indeed). And who’s to say there isn’t a tier 9 side somewhere that has lost 40 in a row.
So, reluctantly, my conclusion is this. A run of 37 games without a draw is undoubtedly quite unusual. At our level. Probably.