Inside a 0-0
AT the time of writing, the day after our goalless draw at home to Luton Town, Argyle have drawn 0-0 288 times in 4064 EFL matches (excluding play-off games and the three games played at the start of the abandoned 1939-40 season).
That’s 7.1% of the matches that we have played. This makes 0-0 our sixth most common result after (in order): 1-1; 1-0; 0-1; 2-1 and 1-2.
Saturday’s stalemate was only the second 0-0 home draw in the EFL under Derek Adams. The first was on April 14, 2018 against Portsmouth. A total of 18 home league matches have been played in the intervening 11 months. Before that 0-0 draw with Pompey, we had gone a club record 70 EFL matches since our last bore draw at home on March 21, 2015 against Newport County.
The previous record was a 63-game sequence, which began when Ian Holloway’s Argyle drew 2-2 at home to Cardiff City on September 15, 2007 and did not end for another 2.5 years when we drew 0-0 with Barnsley on March 30, 2010. That latter match was actually a rearranged fixture after the original game was abandoned with our visitors winning 4-1.
Away from home, our record number of games between goalless draws is 64. This started with a 3-0 defeat at Coventry City on April Fools Day, 1950, and lasted almost three years when we played out a 0-0 with Lincoln City at Sincil Bank.
The most goalless draws in a single season came in our inaugural EFL campaign of 1920-21, with 11 out of the 42 games played ending scoreless. The next highest was ten in 46 matches in the 1996-7 season.
Conversely, we have gone through four completed seasons without a 0-0 draw in the EFL: 1927-28, 1946-47, 1951-52 and, most recently, 1972-73. The season 2016-17 was almost added to the list, as we only had one 0-0 draw and that didn’t occur until our penultimate away match at Colchester United on Saturday, April 22.
The 1972-3 season was part of our longest ever run of games without a goalless draw, which totalled 81. That run started with a 1-1 draw away to Swansea City on April 8, 1972 and didn’t end until we played away to Shrewsbury Town almost two years later on February 23, 1974.
We have completed the 0-0 ‘double’ on 12 occasions, most recently against Dagenham and Redbridge in 2012-13. 1947-48 is the only season where we completed as many as two such doubles, against Brentford and Bury.
Our longest run of successive 0-0 draws is three matches, which has occurred three times: in 1920-21, 1949-50 and 1957-58. At home, the record is two in a row which has occurred 15 times, most recently in 2013, early in John Sheridan’s reign as Argyle manager. Following a goalless encounter with Accrington Stanley on January 26, we returned for more of the same against Dagenham and Redbridge a week later.
Away from home the record is three – funnily enough our first three away games in the EFL and so that record has stood for over 97 years.