Football Management

Commentary on the management of over 160 English football clubs by Dr John Beech, winner of the FSF Writer of the Year Award 2009/10 Twitter: @JohnBeech Curator of! Football Finance

Altrincham thwart Lewes bid to break Darwen record

Posted by John Beech on April 5, 2009

Recently the minds of anorakies were focused on Arsenal’s bid to topple the long held records of Preston North End (at one time known as the Invincibles) for playing in the League without defeat. Last Saturday they were focused on whether the most unenviable record in English league football – consecutive games without a win – would be broken. This was held by Darwen for a run of 18 games lost in the 1898/99 season, and had been equalled by Lewes when they lost 4-1 to Forest green on March 28th. Lewes, who were, the previous week, the first club this season in senior football to be relegated, manged to defeat Altrincham 2-0 last Saturday and must now settle for equalling the longest run of losses in English professional league football. Doubtless they are gutted.

Darwen and Lewes make for interesting comparison. Darwen, who played top flight football for two seasons in the eighteen nineties, now play their football in the North West Counties League Division 1 (Tier 10). Lewes, already destined for the Conference South next season, had played in the Isthmian League Division 3 (Tier 9) as recently as nine years ago before a steady climb up the tiers brought them into the Conference at the beginning of the current season.

Both clubs have battled against insolvency this season. Darwen have been fighting a winding-up order which still threatens their existence, and Lewes have in the last week managed to pay off a debt that was the subject of a winding-up order. The battle for survival off the pitch is continuing in both cases.


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