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<BR>Mazza Equals Club Record

Posted on: Mon 19 Mar 2007

Alan Marriott's appearance against Barnet on Saturday saw him equal Dan McPhail's Club record for Football League appearances by a goalkeeper.

The record of 309 games was previously held by Scotsman McPhail, who was born in Campbelltown on February 9th 1903 and had played for his local Grammar School, Falkirk and Third Lanark before moving south to Portsmouth in January 1922.

Dan McPhail

He made his Football League debut for Pompey on 28th April 1923 in a 3-2 Division 3 South win at Watford. He also played in the following match also against Watford keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win but didn't make another League appearance October 1925. From then until the end of the season he was ever present making 30 appearances.

The 1926/27 season saw Portsmouth win promotion to Division 1 as runners up to Middlesbrough and McPhail appeared in 39 games including Pompey's record Football League win of 9-1 against Notts County in April.

Portsmouth narrowly avoided relegation in their first season in the top flight with Dan missing just one match (an 8-2 defeat!). Pompey reached the FA Cup Final in 1929 but McPhail wasn't in the team that lost to Bolton.

He appeared in the fist 15 games, including the 10-0 defeat at Leicester in October 1928, which remains their record League defeat, before breaking his wrist and subsequently was unable to regain his place in the side.

His 128th and final Portsmouth League appearance came in a 2-0 home defeat to Leeds on 16th March 1929.

He joined City in August 1931 for a small fee and Tom Maidment moving to Pompey and made his City debut on the opening day of the 1931/32 season keeping the first of his 97 Football League clean sheets for us in a 2-0 win over Darlington.

He appeared in all 40 games that season (as well as the two expunged ones versus Wigan Borough which both ended 3-0 to City) as City won the Third Division North title.

Ever present again in 1932/33 he eventually made 105 consecutive appearances before injury halted his run in December 1933.

Even if he hadn't been injured in the match at Millwall he would have been suspended as the previous match at Port Vale had seen him sent off near the end for allegedly punching the home side's centre forward Nolan.

It was later revealed that it was in fact City defender Alf Young who had knocked the Vale player out whilst the ball was at the other end of the pitch and McPhail was just administering first aid when the referee's attention was drawn to the incident and he dismissed McPhail believing him to be the culprit!

He returned to the side in March 1934 and missed just two matches over the next four seasons finally making 29 appearances in the 1938/39 season with his final League game for the Imps coming on March 25th 1939 in a 3-3 home draw with York City.

His 309 games saw him concede 446 goals at an average of one every 62.20 minutes with a worst of eight at Crewe in December 1931.

In addition to his 309 Football League games he also appeared in 17 FA Cup ties, 12 Lincolnshire Cup matches and six Division 3 North Cup games keeping seven clean sheets for a club record total of 104.

After retiring he settled in Lincoln and for many years was a bookmaker. He died in October 1987.

Alan Marriott

Bedford-born Alan Marriott, in comparison to Dan McPhail, had no previous first team experience when he joined the Imps on a free transfer from Tottenham Hotspur in August 1999 and was originally third choice keeper behind John Vaughan and Barry Richardson.

He finally made his Football League debut for us in a 2-1 home victory over Torquay United on February 12th 2000 and then kept his place for the remaining 17 games of the season. He kept the first of his 95 League clean sheets in a 3-0 home win over Plymouth on February 22nd 2000.

He started the 2000/01 season as first choice keeper and was ever present until a knee injury led to him being substituted at Carlisle United in December and kept him out of action until the following March.

He missed two further games at the end of the season and was also dropped just four games into the 2001/02 season. Replacement Paul Pettinger played just three times before Marriott was reinstated in September.

It was to be exactly three years before he missed another Football League game, a run of 140 consecutive games although injury again forced him off at home to Southend in March 2002.

After missing just one game 'Mazza' was again ever present until his only red card to date for his rush of blood at Torquay in September 2005 led to a three match ban but as soon as it was over he returned to the team and has since amassed another unbroken run of 71 Football League games.

His 309 Football League games to date have seen him concede 353 goals with a worst of five at Leyton Orient in December 2001.

As well as his League appearances he has also played in 11 FA Cup matches, 9 League Cup ties, 10 Play-Off games and eight LDV/JPT Cup games keeping a further six clean sheets.

The following shows how many times each has conceded a certain amount of goals in a League game:

Goals McPhail Marriott
0 97 95
1 85 117
2 62 65
3 36 23
4 22 8
5 4 1
6 1 0
7 1 0
8 1 0

City won 143, drew 64 and lost 102 Football League games with McPhail in goal and have won 115, drawn 104 and lost 90 with Marriott between the sticks.

article by Gary Parle

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