The Kent club, whose website is powered by Club Website, have played nine games in the Thanet Sunday League Premier Division this season and have drawn every single one.
The run is a league record and also eclipses anything recorded in the 123-year history of the English Football League, where an eight-game run is the longest ever sequence of draws, a record shared by seven clubs.
Thanet Sunday League secretary Nigel Pope said: “For us it’s unheard of. Our fixtures secretary has been with the league for 40 years and he’s never seen a run like it.”
“It’s been an amazing run,” said manager Mark Tyman, whose team finished third in the Premier League last season four after consecutive promotions. “We’ve really know nothing apart from winning for five years, and now we know nothing but drawing!”
And if nine consecutive draws wasn’t unlikely enough, when you take a look at the results you won’t find a single 0-0 draw and only one 1-1 scoreline.
23 goals scored and 23 conceded in nine games suggest that Lanthorne Stokes have been the side to watch this season!
“It’s been a strange one,” said Tyman. “They are all pretty high scoring but it’s been a real mixed bag. At times we’ve run into a lead – twice scoring in the first minute – and other teams have battled back, including two late equalisers.
“But three times we’ve kept going to the end to grab a last-minute equaliser ourselves. We really pride ourselves on our team spirit.”
The unlikely run has generated extra interest in the club, with reports in the local press and new supporters hanging on every result.
“We’re getting a much bigger gate with lots people coming to watch and my phone goes mad about five past 12 on a Sunday with people wanting to know how we’ve got on. Everyone takes an interest in it now.”
So how do opposition teams approach the games given the run that the Strokes are on?
“It’s putting a bit of spice into the fixtures. Some of them say ‘we’re going to do you this week; we’re going to break your record’, but some have a joke beforehand saying ‘so what do you want it to be this week? 2-2? 3-3?’
“People might think we’re drawing deliberately but we’re really not. In our last league game we created three chances in the last minute to win it and we missed them all. We were gutted not to score.”
Since that 1-1 draw with Bradstow Albion – the ninth in the sequence – last Sunday’s Challenge Cup tie offered a week off from league action for the Strokes.
Almost inevitably, the tie was level after 90 minutes, although an extra time winner for their opponents Seaview FC meant that Tyman’s men couldn’t draw on their penalty practice.
So how would the manager feel if a last minute penalty came Strokes’ way with the game tied this weekend?
Is he crying out for the first three point haul of the season, or does part of him secretly want the run to continue?
“Nothing but the win,” he is quick to respond. “That’s been the aim in every game, genuinely. As much of a novelty factor as it is, we’re disappointed to not win. We’re proud of being unbeaten, but we’re desparate for that first win now.”
Next up are league leaders Active Queens Head in what promises to be another Sunday thriller.
“They are a very good side,” says Tyman, “but since we’ve been in the Premier Division, we’ve drawn with them three times. The sequence has gone 2-2, 3-3 and then 4-4.
“So everyone’s betting on 5-5 draw this time around!”
Given the Strokes’ run over the last nine games, you wouldn’t bet against it.
Dan Pope, Club Website editor
Keep up to date with Lanthorne Strokes’ progress via their club website.
Is the run a real record breaker? Let us know!
We’ve searched high and low for records to match the Strokes’ but can’t find anything so we’re claiming it for them, for now at least.
We’re waiting to hear back from Guinness World Records but, in the meantime, if you’ve ever heard of remarkable sequence of draws like this, we’d love to hear from you!