1926/27

1926/27 SEASON REVIEW

The Summer saw City bring in inside right Billy Cowan, and midfielder Matt Barrass from Sheffield Wednesday With just over a week before the start of the season Billy Murphy, who had played 220 games at outside left for the Blues moved to Southampton for a fee of £350. After overseeing the final two games of last season, new manager Peter Hodge was hoping he would be the man to take City back into Division 1, he got off to a great start as a Maine Road crowd suffered temperatures of over 90 degrees as they saw The Blues beat Fulham 4-2. City won again at home, beating Portsmouth 4-0 and then drawing 2-2 at Grimsby. Two further victories, 2-1 at Oldham and 2-1 at home to Blackpool saw City hit the summit of Division 2 after just five games. After 13 years at City forward Tommy Browell moved to Blackpool, considering he was 35 The Blues did well to receive a fee of £1,500. Replacing Browell was Winger Peter Bell who signed from Raith Rovers. Despite then losing 1-0 at newly promoted Reading, Hodge’s team kept their place at the top of Division 2 with two wins at Maine Road, 3-0 against Oldham and 3-1 against Swansea and then a 3-3 draw at Nottingham Forest. Another player to leave the club was ‘keeper Jim Mitchell, who moved to Leicester after playing 99 games for The Citizens. City then faltered slightly at Maine Road with a 1-1 draw against Barnsley and a first home defeat, 4-3 against Southampton, a result that saw The Blues lose their lead at the top of the table. two victories, 2-0 at Port Vale and 6-1 at home to Clapton Orient meant City started November back at the top of Division 2. The Blues then lost 1-0 at Notts County but then won 2-1 at home to Wolves, with just over a third of the season gone City were still in the mix for an all important promotion place, Swansea were top with 22 points City were second and Preston third both teams with 21 points and Hull in fourth with 20 points. Hull then leapfrogged over The Blues as they beat City 3-2 at Anlaby Road, and then City slipped further down the league with a disappointing 2-1 defeat by South Shields at Maine Road. City’s inconsistency carried on into December as they beat promotion rivals Preston 4-2 at Deepdale and Chelsea 1-0 at Maine Road before a 4-3 reverse at Bradford. Christmas was certainly not full of good cheer for The Citizens, Middlesbrough took both points at Maine Road on Christmas Day with a 5-3 victory and two days later at Ayresome Park Middlesbrough completed a Festive double with a 2-1 win. 1927 didn’t start any better, City losing 2-1 at Portsmouth on New Years Day, The Blues had plummeted to ninth in Division 2 and were five points off a promotion place. In an attempt to get promotion back on track City paid Oldham £2,250 for the services of Welsh international goalkeeper Albert Gray. Gray wasn’t signed in time to play in the 3rd round of the FA Cup and City were knocked out losing 4-1 at Birmingham. After five defeats on the trot City got back to winning ways with a 5-2 win at Fulham, then finshed January with two further victories, 2-0 against Grimsby at Maine Road and 4-2 at Blackpool. The Blues carried the good performances into February beating Reading 3-0 at Maine Road, Swansea 3-1 at The Vetch Field and a 1-1 draw at home to Nottingham Forest. City were back in contention for promotion sitting in 4th position just two points off second and three points off the top spot. February finished with a 1-1 draw at Barnsley. Peter Hodge brought in some backup for his strike-force signing John Allen from Leicester. City played just three matches in March and won them all, they beat Port Vale 4-1 at Maine Road, Clapton Orient 4-2 at Millfields Road and then again in Manchester Notts County were beaten 4-1. They had now moved into 2nd place in the league, eight points behind runaway leaders Middlesbrough, however Nottingham Forest and Chelsea were on the same points as The Blues in third and fourth place respectively. April started badly with City’s biggest defeat of the season, a 4-1 reverse at Wolves and then three successive 2-2 draws, at home to Hull and at Darlington and South Shields. With just five games left to play City lay in sixth place and were three points behind second placed Portsmouth and promotion was looking highly unlikely. City kept their fans still hoping for a return to the top flight with a 7-0 win against Darlington and a 1-0 victory against Preston to put them just one point behind second placed Portsmouth, a 1-1 draw at Southampton and a 0-0 draw at Chelsea set up an amazing last day of the season. City were level on points with Portsmouth, with the south coast side having a slightly better goal difference, it meant that if Pompey won their last game, dependant on the score. The Blues would have to better Portsmouth’s score by a minimum of four goals. At Maine Road The Citizens put in a guargantuan effort beating Bradford 8-0, at the final whistle the fans invaded the pitch celebrating what they thought was promotion as Portsmouth were only leading 3-1 against Preston however Pompey’s game kicked off 15 minutes later and they went on to win 5-1 and therefore were promoted instead of The Blues by just 200th of a goal. City finished in third on 54 points

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