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Goals Scored in Consecutive League Games ...

Diafra Sakho sets a new West Ham Premiership record for goals scored in consecutive games!

by Roger Hillier

One of the contributing factors to West Ham’s superb start to the 2014-15 Premiership season is Diafra Sakho’s goals. By the end of January 2015, the pre-season signing from French club FC Metz, had netted an impressive eight times in 14 Premiership appearances.  

The goals include a run of scoring in six consecutive matches to beat the club’s former Premiership record of five set by Carlton Cole in 2008-09. But Sakho’s scoring sequence is still some way off the club’s post-war and all-time league records for goals in consecutive games.

West Ham’s Post-War Record

West Ham’s post-war league record is eight set by Johnny Byrne 50 years ago. In the season the Hammers won the European Cup Winners Cup Byrne maintained a scoring sequence of eight Division One league games to overtake John Dick’s and Dave Dunmore’s seven. But the club’s all time sequence is even longer!

West Ham’s All-Time Record

It probably comes as no surprise that the Hammers’ all time scoring sequence is held by the club’s all-time greatest goal scorer. By the player the club bought from Wellingborough for £50, Victor Watson. Watson’s run took the West Ham record into double figures with his 10. It should be noted that Watson also compiled other consecutive league match scoring sequences of seven and six games in seasons 1929-30 and 1928-29 respectively.

 

The table below captures all of the West Ham strikers who have notched at least a five consecutive league game scoring run. This list does not include FA and League Cup ties.

 

The rest of this feature reviews the scoring sequences by the top eight players in the above table.

1st  

Victor Watson 1924-25  (10 Games)

In West Ham’s second season in the top tier they finished in a mid-table 13th position. Of the Hammers' sixty two Division One goals 22 came from the boots and head of Victor Watson. Goals number eight to eighteen arrived in a scoring sequence of 10 consecutive league games.  

This sequence started on December 20th and ran to February 28th, and straddled six FA Cup ties. Strangely, Watson played in all six of these cup games but could only find the net in one!  

Just as Vic was on fire from the end of December to the end of February, the last 10 league games was a barren time by his standards as he only managed four nets.

2nd 

Hugh Mills 1934-35  (9 Games)

1934-35 was an exciting season for West Ham as they missed out on promotion to Division One on goal difference to Bolton Wanderers. A significant factor in the Hammers’ strong form was the goal scoring performance by Hugh Mills.  

The Dumbarton born player is not a well known Hammer as his claret and blue Division Two games were limited to 21 games spread over three seasons. But his scoring achievements should be noted as his strike rate was an impressive 15 goals.

Most of these were in season 1934-35 when he netted 11 times in just 10 matches. Filling in for Victor Watson the 11 nets fell in a run of nine consecutive league games. This run included seven wins, a draw and a single defeat. Mills even scored the Hammers’ solitary FA Cup goal at home in the 1-1 draw with Stockport County before his final first team appearance in the replay.

As  Watson’s understudy first team chances were limited and at the end of the season Hugh transferred back to Scotland with Glasgow Celtic.        

3rd  

Johnny Byrne 1964-65  (8 Games)

Despite injury preventing Byrne from taking part in West Ham’s Wembley European Cup Winners Cup triumph, 1964-65 was possibly the Hammers' strikers best season at the club. His 25 league goals in 34 appearances was one better than the previous season’s. Eleven of the 25 fell in his eight consecutive games scoring run.

Indeed in the away match at Old Trafford on September 2, 1964, if Byrne’s flighted cross into Manchester United’s penalty area which was turned into the net by Nobby Stiles for an own goal, had instead been attributed to Byrne, this would have helped to extend his scoring sequence to 12 league games!  

Byrne’s eight goal run is West Ham’s post-war record and beat by one the previous record held jointly by John Dick (1957-58) and Dave Dunmore (1960-61).

 

 

 

4th =

James Ruffell 1934-35 (7 Games)

In December 1934 James Ruffell played and scored in all seven of West Ham’s Division Two games. This feat would have been matched by Victor Watson had Watson netted in December’s final match at home to Hull City.

Goal scoring wise 1934-35 was an exceptional season for Ruffell as he finished the club’s top league scorer with 20 goals from 36 appearances.  Not bad for a traditional left winger!  Half of his season’s total were notched in that December run.

4th =

John Dick 1957-58 (7 Games)

John Dick’s consecutive game run set a new post-war record comfortably beating the previous record of five held jointly by Joe Payne (1946-47), Bill Robinson (1950-51) and team mate Malcolm Musgrove (1954-55).  

His consecutive scoring run straddled four wins and three draws in West Ham’s best undefeated run of 13 Division Two games in that promotion season.

4th =

Dave Dunmore 1960-61 (7 Games)

Dunmore joined West Ham in March 1960 in a part-exchange deal with John Smith moving in the opposite direction to Tottenham Hotspur. In his second season he found his scoring boots to average over a goal every other game when he net 14 goals in 27 division One games. Ten of these gave him a sequence of scoring in seven consecutive league games starting at the end of October and finishing in on December 17th. The seven match run included his hat-trick in the 6-0 hammering of Arsenal on Guy Fawkes day 1960 and a double in the 5-0 home win over Wolves.  

Unfortunately the consecutive scoring run ended when he failed to find the net against his old club on Christmas Eve. After the double against Wolves Dave only scored one more goal, on January 7, 1961 in the drawn home FA Cup tie to Stoke City before he transferred to East London neighbours Leyton Orient.    

7th =

Teddy Sheringham 2004-05 (6 Games)

Teddy Sheringham’s 20 Championship goals in 33 appearances were a significant factor in helping the Hammers finish 6th to secure a place in the play-offs for the Premiership. Seven of his goals were scored in six consecutive Championship games.  

The first against Reading was after coming on as a substitute. Despite Sheringham not being fit enough for both semi-final play-offs against Ipswich Town or the final against Preston North End at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff where a Bobby Zamora goal secured a place in the following season’s Premier League.

7th =

Diafra Sakho 2014-15 (6 Games)

Diafra’s club Premiership record commenced in his first Premiership start on Monday September 15 away to Hull City. His consecutive scoring sequences saw him net in each of the Hammers’ September and October Premiership fixtures.  

Unfortunately, since then injury has restricted his appearances though he has added a couple more to his tally. Analysis shows that of his six strikes, four have been in the second half and three against clubs considered to be Premiership big guns, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool.

As an aside, when you include Diafra’s goal in the League Cup 2nd round tie against Sheffield United on August 26, 2014 this increases his personal scoring sequence to netting in seven consecutive competitive games.      

Consecutive Scoring Runs Including Cup Matches

When you expand the consecutive game analysis to include cup matches, mention should be made of two legendary post-war strikers. West Ham’s record post-war goal scorer, Geoff Hurst and Tony Cottee each put together a run of goals in seven consecutive league and cup games.  

Geoff Hurst 1963-64  (7 Games)

Sir Geoff’s scoring prowess included in 1963-64 a run of scoring in seven consecutive competitive games. All of his eleven goals during this spell were from open play, no penalties and four of the games were away from Upton Park.  His 1964 sequence encompassed Division One, F.A. and League Cup games, and four doubles.  

Tony Cottee 1985-86  (7 Games)

The West Ham marksman almost made a repeat performance three seasons later when he scored in seven consecutive games he played. Despite this run covering a Division One match he missed (Dec 3, v West Bromwich Albion) it is a sequence worthy of more than just a passing reference as it started with hat-tricks in the first two games. These were struck in the magnificent 6-1 and 7-0 wins over Fulham (Div 1) and Leeds United (League Cup) respectively.  

In the Hammers’ best ever top tier season Tony Cottee’s 26 goals in all competitions included a seven game scoring run starting in September 1985. This sequence of matches covered five Division One and a couple of 2nd round League Cup ties against Swansea City. Similar to Hurst all of Cottee’s strikes were from open play.  

On Loan Hammer Sets Scoring Record for AFC Bournemouth

By the end of October, and still awaiting his league debut for the Hammers the teenage striker was loaned out initially for one month to Division Two side AFC Bournemouth, the loan was later extended for the remainder of the campaign.  

In his 29 Division Two games for the Dean Court club he scored 18 goals which included a run of nets in 10 consecutive matches. This set a new club mark for The Cherries breaking the previous best of eight set in 1927.

 

Depending on the report you read, the on loan Hammers' 10 goal strike sequence equalled the post-war record set by John Aldridge (Liverpool) and Clarrie Jordan (Doncaster Rovers).  

Victor Watson Website table 01

Ranking    Player

Consecutive

League games scored in

Season

Crossed Hammer WATSON Victor h&s Watson table MILLS Hugh h&s Mills table Byrne table BYRNE Johnny h&s RUFFELL James h&s Ruffell table DICK John h&s Dick table DUNMORE Dave h&s Dunmore table SHERINGHAM Teddy h&s Sheringham table Diafra table SAKHO Diafray h&s Crossed Hammer HURST Geoff h&s Hurst table 01 COTTEE Tony h&s COTTEE Tony table Crossed Hammer DEFOE ECWC 50th Anniversary Articles 15 Sakho 01 Hurst table 02 Defoe Report 01 Defoe Report 02 Tying Knots & Laces

*

Stanley Earle scored in 5 consecutive League games on two occasions, the first came at the tail-end of the 1924-25 campaign when he recorded 4 goals in 3 games, his scoring bout continued when he notched a further two goals in the opening two matches of the 1925-26 campaign.

The second occasion came in the 1927-28 season when he scored 6 goals in 5 games (September - October 1927).

Defoe Bournemouth

In season 2000-01 Jermain Defore made a scoring debut for West Ham United, when he came off the bench as a 77th minute substitute in the 1-0 League Cup victory over Second Division Walsall at the Bescot Stadium September 19, 2000.