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Q. Which two football clubs have met on the most number of occasions in one season? Can any pair beat the seven meetings, in five different competitions, between Rotherham United and Grimsby Town in 1988-89?

A. Dumbarton and Stirling Albion started eight competitive matches last season. First, they met in the Stirlingshire Cup, they played four matches in the Scottish League Second Division and also met in the Scottish Cup. The first cup match was abandoned at half-time. They met again one week later and drew 3-3, and Stirling won the replay. As Dumbarton only played 43 competitive matches last season, they played Stirling in almost one in five of their games. To top it all, the teams' final League match was on the last day of the season at Stirling. The match was a promotion decider with Stirling needing only a draw and Dumbarton victory. Dumbarton won 2-0 and were promoted to the First Division. - Stephen R Watt, Dumbarton

Q. Until yesterday, Nottingham Forest had not lost since last February. What is the longest spell a top- division team has lasted without losing, or, indeed, without a win?

A. Regarding the sequence of undefeated matches played by Nottingham Forest together with the record number of straight defeats held by Darwen, I thought you might be interested to know that an international record along these lines was broken last week. On 8 November Brazil defeated Argentina 1-0 in Buenos Aires to extend their unbeaten run to 33, bettering that of the great Hungarian team between 1950 and 1954 who went 32 games without defeat. Brazil's run includes a penalty shoot-out defeat against Uruguay in the 1994 Copa America final, but that is counted as a draw (1-1 aet) in the record books.

The record of international matches without victory is held by Luxembourg, a grand total of 80, set between 1980 and 1995. Special mention must also go to San Marino who, since first entering international competition in 1986, have yet to experience that winning feeling, having failed to win their opening 32 games. - Brian Mellowship, London SE12


Q. With the American wonder horse Cigar winning eight Grade 1 races in the past year, has any horse bettered this record in Grade 1/Group 1 company; and which horse has the best career record in Grade 1/Group 1 company? - Paul Beilby, Grimsby

Q. In a clip from the recent Match of the Seventies series, I noticed Peterborough wearing "Posh" on their jerseys. Are there any other examples of British clubs wearing nicknames rather than club crests on their jerseys? - Jim McAllister, Glasgow

Q. Recently, the Third Division club Fulham demolished Swansea City, from the Second, 7-0 in the FA Cup first round. Is this a record victory for a club in a lower division over one placed higher? Can anyone claim a better upset? - Conrad Amis, Swansea

Q. What is the logic behind Test matches in England commencing on a Thursday? What is the practice in other Test-playing countries on commencing play? - Kevin Maguire, Batley.

If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a sporting question of your own, write to: Q & A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL.

Fax: 0171-293 2894