Plymouth Argyle, 29th February 2020


Published in the Bradford City AFC match day programme for the above fixture

Of all our opponents in League Two this season, surely Plymouth Argyle have one of the best records against the Bantams. In 26 seasons we have defeated Argyle on only 14 occasions and lost 23 games. Only in the FA Cup do we have a respectable record – a 100% one at that – following our 3-1 victory in December, 2017 in Bradford.
The sides first met in October, 1930 at Valley Parade which resulted in a 1-0 home victory and in fact Bradford City managed the double over Argyle that season, the first of three times (the others being in 1969/70 and 1994/95). Nevertheless the 1930’s proved a harbinger of things to come and in the three seasons, 1932/33 through to 1934/35 inclusive Argyle managed six successive victories.
After relegation to Division Three (North) in 1937 our paths did not cross until the 1958/59 season when the clubs found themselves in the new national third division. Argyle finished that season as champions and given that City finished in midtable the two draws that season could be considered respectable. The programmes for those two games are featured below.
Our subsequent meetings have been intermittent and it was not until our promotion from the fourth division in 1982 that games with Plymouth became a regular occurrence, in Division Three between 1982-85  (three wins for City and two for Argyle) and then in Division Two between 1986-90 when the jinx reasserted itself (a solitary win for City compared to four for Argyle – the programme for City’s victory in September, 1987 is shown).
Argyle 1987
We then had three seasons in the same division between 1992-95 when the two sides were both members of the third tier (two wins for City compared to three for Argyle) before renewing acquaintances in the basement division in 2011.
This is the third season that we have been rivals in the fourth tier with Argyle. Between 2011-13 the sides managed one win apiece and Plymouth secured a victory earlier this season. Of course Plymouth had been relegated with ourselves in 2019 having spent only two seasons back in the third tier but needless to say we never managed to beat them in the league between 2017-19 and suffered two defeats in that period.
Aside from that FA Cup victory, our last home win against Plymouth was in November, 2012 and a victory is thus long overdue. Our record victory at Valley Parade was 4-0 in October, 1982 although it was avenged by a 1-5 defeat at home eleven years later (featured below). At Home Park our record victory was 5-1 in August, 1994 whilst our record defeat was 0-6 in May, 1978 (featured below).


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