DCSIMG

Posh Diary: Halsall made the best ever start as Posh manager

IT'S a big day for new boss Mark Cooper as he takes charge of Posh for the first time at Sheffield United.

IT'S a big day for new boss Mark Cooper as he takes charge of Posh for the first time at Sheffield United.Cooper is only the second manager to start a Posh career in the second tier of English football. Lil Fuccillo managed to start with a win at Bristol City in his first match as manager in December 1993, but took over a League One team in rather better form than the current Championship side.

Of the 24 managerial debuts in this feature, 10 were won, six were drawn and eight lost. Even super-successful Darren Ferguson started with a defeat at Lincoln City in a League Two fixture.

The most emphatic win was enjoyed by Mick Halsall (6-1 over York) with the worst defeats endured by Gordon Clark, Jim Iley and Billy Hails, whose sides all lost by two goals.

Cooper would doubtless love to match the record of Chris Turner who won seven and drew three of his first 10 matches in charge. That's the best starting record of any Posh manager just ahead of Jimmy Hagan (7-1-2) and Mark Lawrenson (6-3-1).

The worst 10-game start was suffered by Jim Iley (1-6-3).

DEBUT DAYS (Football League matches only)

JIMMY HAGAN

Posh 3, Wrexham 0

Division Four

Aug 20, 1960

The club's first ever Football League match ended in triumph thanks to goals from Denis Emery, Terry Bly and Peter McNamee.

10-match record

W7 D1 L2

JACK FAIRBROTHER

Barnsley 0, Posh 2

Division Three

December 21, 1963

Roy Horobin and Peter McNamee were on target to mark the opening game under the management of the club's former goalkeeper.

10-match record

W3 D4 L3

GORDON CLARK

Walsall 2, Posh 0

Division Three

April 25, 1964

Unsually Clark's first match as manager was the final game of a season. Clark's early League results hid the amount of cup success he would have.

10-match record

W4 D0 L6

NORMAN RIGBY

Posh 2, Bournmouth 0

Division Three

September 30, 1967

Club legend Rigby impressed so much as a caretaker-manager he got the job permanently. Goals from Dave Metchick and John Mason secured victory in his first match.

10-match record

W4 D2 L4

JIM ILEY

Newport 4, Posh 2

Division Four

January 11, 1969

Player-manager Iley started as he went on with a defeat. Ollie Conmy and Jim Hall netted in Iley's first game as caretaker-boss.

10-match record

W1 D6 L3

NOEL CANTWELL

Posh 3, Doncaster 1

Division Four

October 14, 1972

Cantwell also started as he went on. "I told everyone we would win so I'm amazed more people didn't turn up," said the charismatic Irishman after goals from Ray Smith (2) and Tommy Robson clinched the points in his first game.

10-match record

W5 D3 L2

JOHN BARNWELL

Posh 0, Portsmouth 0

Division Three

August 20, 1977

Barnwell's improvement of the Posh defence was immediate. A clean sheet in his first match and only 33 goals conceded in 46 games all season.

10-match record

W3 D4 L3

BILLY HAILS

Posh 0, Shrewsbury 2

Division Three

December 6, 1978

Hails was a reluctant boss who lasted just eight miserable matches.

8-match record

W1 D3 L4

PETER MORRIS

Gillingham 1, Posh 0

Division Four

March 3, 1979

There was no early sign that Morris was going to produce a stylish, entertaining Posh side.

10-match record

W3 D1 L6

MARTIN WILKINSON

Stockport 1, Posh 1

Division Four

August 28, 1982

An explosive start for the man who brought David Seaman with him from Leeds United. Neil Firm and Trevor Slack were sent off, but Ian Benjamin secured a point with a late goal.

10-match record

W2 D4 L4

JOHN WILE

Posh 3, Hartlepool 1

Division Four

August 27, 1983

Ian Benjamin, David Buchanan and Colin Clarke were on target to give this popular former Posh player a winning start.

10-match record

W4 D2 L4

NOEL CANTWELL

Cambridge 1, Posh 1

Division Four

November 22, 1987

Cantwell's second spell in charge started honourably as David Gregory equalised John Beck's early goal for the local rivals.

10-match record

W4 D3 L3

MICK JONES

Carlisle 2, Posh 2

Division Four

August 27, 1988

Mick Gooding struck twice to give Posh's former centre-half a point on his managerial debut.

10-match record

W2 D5 L3

MARK LAWRENSON

Doncaster 0, Posh 3

Division Four

September 9, 1989

Posh thought they had pulled off a coup by landing the former Liverpool legend as manager. Goals from Noel Luke, Carl Richards and Mick Halsall ensured he at least started well.

10-match record

W6 D3 L1

DAVE BOOTH

Posh 1, Doncaster 1

Division Four

November 10, 1990

Booth also started against Doncaster as Kevin Bremner's penalty secured a point, but he lasted just 10 matches.

10-match record

W2 D5 L3

CHRIS TURNER

Walsall 0, Posh 1.

Division Four

January 26, 1991

Another Posh playing legend took over the hotseat and an own goal from Peter Skipper ensured a winning start.

10-match record

W7 D3 L0

LIL FUCCILLO

Bristol City 0, Posh 1

Division One

December 19, 1992

Turner bought the club and promoted his loyal assistant who started with a win thanks to a rare Steve Welsh game.

10-match record

W3 D2 L5

CHRIS TURNER

Posh 0, Wolves 1

Division One

January 1, 1994

Turner was forced out of retirement despite being unwell. A cruel 90th minute goal from Cyrille Regis ruined his return.

10-match record

W4 D2 L4

JOHN STILL

Posh 0, Bristol Rovers 0

Division Two

August 13, 1994

Rovers dominated the match, but Still's new-look side hung on for a point.

10-match record

W4 D4 L2

MICK HALSALL

Posh 6, York 1

Division Two

October 28, 1996

A scintillating start for the club hero as Gary Martindale (2), David Morrison (2), Lee Power and Paul Shaw all found the target as Posh struck six for the first time in 11 years.

10-match record

W3 D3 L4

BARRY FRY

Bristol Rovers 1, Posh 0

August 17, 1996

Division Two

Fry's brave new world started with a defeat, although Posh created and spurned numerous chances at Twerton Park.

10-match record

W3 D6 L1

MARK WRIGHT

Posh 0, Chester 1

August 6, 2005

League Two

Wright's reign started with a disappointing home defeat against his old club.

10-match record

W4 D2 L

KEITH ALEXANDER

Posh 4, Bristol Rovers 1

August 5, 2006

League Two

Jamie Day, Richard Butcher, Simon Yeo and Lloyd Opara scored the goals to launch Alexander's London Road career in exciting fashion.

10-match record

W4 L2 D4

DARREN FERGUSON

Lincoln 1, Posh 0

January 27, 2007

League Two

A late Mark Stallard header gave high-flying Lincoln the win in Fergie's first match. Things improved dramatically after that.

10-match record

W4 D2 L4

 

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