By Stephen Byrne and Keith Brookman
When Rovers were awarded two penalties at Portsmouth a few days ago (19th February 2019) I couldn’t for the life of me remember the last time we had two spot kicks in the same game.
I needn’t have worried though, as Stephen Byrne, as usual, had the answer to hand and he kindly sent me the complete list of 19 matches in which we have been awarded two penalties in a match (reproduced at the end of this article).
There are three current Former Players Association members on that list, namely Jamie Cureton, Marcus Stewart and Richard Walker.
I doubt if Jonson Clarke-Harris will dwell on his penalty miss against Portsmouth at Fratton Park; having scored once from the spot in the first half, he blazed his second half penalty over the bar. He seems a confident player and I’m sure it won’t be the last spot kick he takes for us!
He’s in good company, though, as he’s not the first Rovers player to have taken two penalties in a match and scored one and missed one. It happened to Jamie Cureton on two occasions, but more of that later!
It was on Boxing Day 1925, in a match against Bournemouth, that Rovers were first awarded two penalties and both were scored by Jonah Wilcox. He also scored twice more from open play in a 7-2 win and thus became the second Rovers player, after Sid Leigh in 1921, to score four goals in a league match.
Rovers weren’t so fortunate on the second occasion they were awarded two spot kicks in the same match. When suffering a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Swindon Town on in December 1928 both Albert Rotherham and John Phillips failed to find the back of the net with their attempts from 12 yards.
The first Rovers player to take two penalties in a match and score one and miss one was Harold Houghton, in a 3-1 away defeat at Cardiff City in March 1937.
Jackie Pitt scored both penalties awarded to Rovers in a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Newport County on in March 1948 and both Alex Munro and Tony Ford scored from the spot when Rovers recorded a 3-0 home win against Luton Town on 10th February 1970.
Sandy Allan, against Tranmere Rovers in 1971, and Bruce Bannister against Blackburn Rovers in 1972, both scored twice from the spot. Both games were won by Rovers (2-1 against Tranmere, 3-0 against Bournemouth).
Bannister wasn’t so ‘spot on’ in 1974, though, when he scored one and missed one in a 3-0 win against Bournemouth.
Another 3-0 win, against Brentford, in 1985 saw Brian Williams successfully convert two penalties and Marcus Stewart did the same in a 4-3 win against Bradford City in 1993.
Now we come to Jamie Cureton, who twice took two spot kicks in one game, against Reading in 1998 and Colchester United in January 2000. On each occasion he scored one and missed one. We beat Reading 4-1 but lost 5-4 at Colchester.
A 6-2 win against Oxford United, in 2001, saw Dwayne Plummer miss a penalty and Mark Walters score one, while in a 2-2 draw against Bury in 2004 Jamie Forrester scored one and missed one.
Junior Agogo and Richard Walker both scored penalties in a 4-4 home draw against Mansfield Town in 2005 and the same two players took penalties in a 2-2 draw against Orient in 2006. That game ended 3-3 with Agogo missing his penalty and Walker scoring his.
In 2007 Walker scored both of his spot kicks in a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Leyton Orient and in 2009 Darryl Duffy missed a penalty and Jeff Hughes scored on in a 1-0 home win against Huddersfield Town (see photos below)
That was the last occasion we were awarded two penalties in a game, until Tuesday 19th February this year and the tale of Jonson Clarke-Harris against Pompey!
So, out of a total of 38 penalties awarded in the 19 games we have been awarded two of them, we have scored 27 and missed 11.
Richard Walker has been involved in three games where we have been awarded two penalties and has a 100% success rate, having scored four out of four, while Jamie Cureton missed two of the four spot kicks he took when we were awarded two in a match. However he more than made up for that in other games, and is still scoring goals, for Bishop’s Stortford!
Walker and Junior Agogo are the only two players to have taken spot kicks, when we have been awarded two, in more than one game.
We have twice been awarded two penalties in matches against Bournemouth and Leyton Orient but only once have we been awarded spot kicks twice in a match in the same season. That was in 2004/05, against Bury and Mansfield Town.
Interestingly, we have been awarded two penalties in 16 home games but only three times on our travels. Should we read anything into this?!
The full record of matches in which we have been awarded two penalties is as follows.
26.12.25 Rovers 7 Bournemouth 2 Wilcox (scored 2)
29.12.28 Rovers 1 Swindon T 4 Rotherham (missed), Phillips (missed)
27.03.37 Cardiff C 3 Rovers 1 Houghton (scored 1, missed 1)
27.03.48 Rovers 2 Newport C 3 Pitt (scored 2)
10.02.70 Rovers 3 Luton T 0 Ford (scored), Munro (scored)
21.08.71 Rovers 2 Tranmere R 1 Allan (scored 2)
14.03.72 Rovers 3 Blackburn R 0 Bannister (scored 2)
19.01.74 Rovers 3 Bournemouth 0 Bannister (scored 1, missed 1)
06.04.85 Rovers 3 Brentford 0 B.Williams (scored 2)
09.10.93 Rovers 4 Bradford C 3 Stewart (scored 2)
15.08.98 Rovers 4 Reading 1 Cureton (missed 1, scored 1)
08.01.00 Colchester U 5 Rovers 4 Cureton (scored 1, missed 1)
21.04.01 Rovers 6 Oxford U 2 Plummer (missed), Walters (scored)
10.08.04 Rovers 2 Bury 2 Forrester (scored 1, missed 1)
19.03.05 Rovers 4 Mansfield T 4 Walker (scored), Agogo (scored)
31.01.06 Rovers 3 Orient 3 Agogo (missed), Walker (scored)
29.09.07 Rovers 2 Orient 3 Walker (scored 2)
23.08.09 Rovers 1 Huddersfield T 0 Duffy (missed), Hughes (scored)
19.02.19 Portsmouth 1 Rovers 1 Clarke-Harris (scored 1, missed 1)