Keeping Something in Reserves!
Burnley FC played a rare Reserves game last night having had to endure a number of postponed games recently due to the inclement weather these past few months.
This was only their second home game of the season and the decision had been made to change the venue from Accrington Stanley's Crown Ground to Turf Moor for the visit of Manchester City Reserves.
The match was originally scheduled to be played at the Crown Ground last week but it had been postponed due to Accrington Stanley having a home game the night before. Even that game had to be postponed due to a frozen pitch!
A recent decision to also postpone our game against Liverpool Reserves due to surface water on the Crown Ground following a snowfall overnight caused furore amongst Supporters Clubs and Clarets fans with some calling for a change in the venue and a return to Turf Moor for the second-string games. The main problem was that a midday inspection had given the go-ahead for the match to be played but the ground staff were unable to remove enough surface water in time for the kick-off so a late postponement was announced causing inconvenience for a number of fans.
It is clear therefore that Stanley's groundsmen have been struggling to cope with the harsh weather conditions and it has been a frustrating time foe all.
There is no indication yet that Turf Moor will become the regular venue for the second-string games although that would certainly be popular with Clarets fans and Burnley Supporters Clubs.
Tha main argument against moving these games back to Turf Moor could be the affect it would have on the pitch for first team games, especially if we were relegated and had more midweek games to contend with.
It remains to be seen though what action is eventually taken but anyway lets return to last night's game.
A Manchester City second-string comprised of mainly youth team players had an easy time against Burnley Reserves despite our side containing a number of experienced first team players including Nicky Weaver, Graham Alexander, Michael Duff, David Edgar, Stephen Jordan, Joey Gudjonsson and Steven Thompson.
They won the match 4-1 despite the Clarets taking an early lead. A pass by Gudjonsson into the box had the keeper flapping before Thompson vollyed into the net to put the Clarets 1-0 up.
City though came back with a vengence and by half-time were leading 2-1 thanks to a brace from 17 year old striker, John Guidetti.
A highly controversial penalty put City 3-1 up with City's Andrew Tutte scoring from the spot.
Another penalty followed after Weaver brought down James Poole. This time they gave Guidetti a chance to get his hat-trick. Weaver saved his attempt from the spot but the ball fell to the young striker's feet and he made no mistake after being given his second chance to score.
Not a good night for the Clarets and a game that was not particularly entertaining but there were some interesting side issues surrounding the match.
Graham Alexander played over 60 minutes of football before being replaced by Chris Anderson on 64 minutes. This is good news and suggests Grezza could be close to a return to the first team having been sidelined with a calf injury since the match against Bolton at the Reebok in January.
There was also a new trialist on show for the Clarets, 29 year old Cameroon international midfielder Salomon Olembé who lined up in left midfield as part of a 4-4-2 formation. He did not have a particularly good game though and was replaced for the start of the second half. That is probably the last we might see of the former Nantes. Marseilles, Leeds and Wigan player!
One player who was surprisingly missing last night was Chris McCann. He was not even named on the bench which begs the question has he suffered a setback in terms of recovering from his knee injury?
McCann played recently in a knockabout against Dynamo Kiev whilst the club took a break out in Portugal last month.
Laws had been saying he thought McCann needed a couple of games in the Reserves to get back to full match fitness for the first team. They had all been clearly frustrated with the Reserves games being continually postponed so it was perhaps odd when we eventually played one there was no sign of McCann?
City's win keeps them in second place in the Barclays Premier Reserve League table whilst midtable Burnley Reserves' next game is against Everton this week on Thursday 4th March. This is classed as a 'home' game and at the moment will be played at the Crown Ground.