When Grimsby Town recorded their first clean sheet of the season at Wrexham on Tuesday night it brought to an end their incredible sequence of scoring in every away game since Saturday 9th August 2014 – that’s 31 games, according to my calculations. In the absence of any authority or regulatory body informing me of exclusions, I included two FA Trophy ties and two play-off matches when totting up the total.
For any club in any league, at any time, that’s a remarkable statistic. It’s a club record for us, I’m sure – although I’m not so certain on when it became a record. Anyone who knows the answer to that should let me know in the comments section at the bottom of this article, or on Twitter (don’t forget to mention me in it – @RichMariner). I’d love to know.
The run began with that bizarre 6-1 win at Gateshead on Saturday 23rd August 2014, and it looked to have ended last Tuesday week at Chester, but Padraig Amond’s late, late leveller kept the run going for one more game – and so it finally hit the wall on Tuesday 15th September 2015. That’s well over a whole calendar year.
Here are the key stats from the record-breaking run:
- Games: 31
- Won: 16
- Drawn: 10
- Lost: 5
- Scored: 53
- Conceded: 32
- Goal difference: +21
- Goals per game: 1.71
- Clean sheets: 10
- Points: 58
- Points per game: 1.87
- Points over a 46-game season: 86
Last month I wrote an article about our excellent away form, arguing that it was good enough to help us win the league, and that it was our home form that we needed to fix in order to get out of this sodding division. I guess that point still stands.
Last season manager Paul Hurst set up his sides to play counter-attacking football and break at pace. It was a system that suited playing away from home. However, it meant that quite often we’d let visiting teams dictate play at Blundell Park, with Hurst quite happy for them to retain possession in areas that he felt weren’t hurting us. It made for slow starts, with the first 20 minutes – and sometimes whole first halves – stilted affairs, which made difficult viewing.
While I think that mentality has changed (and let’s be honest, it had to) I still don’t think we’ve nailed it. We’ve started home games a little quicker (the Bromley match is a good example of that, and we scored early against Tranmere) but our approach at Blundell Park requires a little more refining.
For the record (literally) here’s a full list of those 31 away games:
Forest Green (1-2)
Bristol Rovers (1-1)**
Boreham Wood (3-1)