Date:Monday September 27 2010
It seems like only yesterday that Burnley were promoted to the top flight for the first time in 33 years and we were fighting to stay in the Premier League. It was certainly an eventful season but one that would end in tears with Burnley relegated back down to the second tier. One of the clubs that also experienced the drop was Hull City and we now face them again on Tuesday night (28th Sept) but this time of course in a Championship clash. We however recall the heady days of last season and the two games we played against the Tigers.
Last season we only got one away win and one double and both were at the expense of Hull City. In a remarkable game at the KC Stadium on Saturday 10th April this year we stunned the Tigers coming away with a 4-1 victory. This truly was a relegation six pointer and although with just four games to play after this clash, Burnley had new hope of avoiding the drop, it wasn`t to be.
Let`s first though recall the earlier game at Turf Moor played on Saturday 31st October 2009 in front of a crowd of 20,219. Owen Coyle was still our manager and we would eventually enjoy a 2-0 victory leaving the club well-placed in 10th spot. It was a pretty dire game but at least for a time 'Fortress Turf Moor` was back on song after suffering our first home defeat against Wigan in the previous match.
The Clarets line-up that day was as follows:
Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Alexander, Eagles, Bikey, Elliott, Blake, Fletcher
Subs: Penny, Duff, Gudjonsson, McDonald, Guerrero, Nugent, Thompson
Hull City, still managed by Phil Brown were struggling third from bottom with the club in dire financial straits. Hull fans came to Turf Moor amidst news that their manager could be about to be sacked with Clarets fans hoping that we didn`t give him a lifeline! In the end despite losing the game, Phil Brown would hang on for a bit longer yet.
It was the Clarets who started this game the brightest with Jensen having to just clear the ball occasionally without being fully tested. He did however save an early shot from Seyo Olofijana after diving to his right. It was the Clarets though who spent most of the time pressing in these early stages with the ball continually it seemed in the Tigers half. Eagles was a handful for the Tigers defence with Blake on the opposite flank also causing them problems.
On 20 minutes, the Clarets found themselves ahead after being awarded a controversial penalty. A neat, inch-perfect pass by Elliott put Mears in the clear heading towards goal. Hunt on his tail could have had a hand on Mears back but Mears could equally have lost his footing whilst trying to cross the ball in the penalty area. He fell to the ground though and the referee had no hesitation but to award a penalty. Penalty king, Graham Alexander thumped the ball past Hull`s deputy keeper, Duke and the Clarets fans were ecstatic bursting into song with 'You are getting sacked in the morning` aimed clearly at Phil Brown.
The Clarets were now in complete control with Hull City looking clueless and demoralised but we could not double our advantage so it was 1-0 at half-time. Coyle made no changes for the start of the second half
Hull to their credit did try all they could to get the equaliser but you just sensed they were going to be kept out. Jensen once more snuffed out any danger by saving low to his right following a mazy run by Mendy but everybody in the ground thought Hull had equalised from a direct free kick in the 66th minute when Geovanni thumped the ball into the top corner of the net.
Referee, Mike Jones though disallowed it for pushing in the wall and despite Hull protests the decision stood much to the relief of the Claret & Blue contingent. Geovanni doth protested too much and got a booking and a couple of minutes he must have regretted protesting because he then fouled Fletcher from behind, picked up a second yellow and had to leave the pitch reducing Hull City to ten men.
It was now effectively game over for the Tigers and it certainly was when Burnley scored their second goal in the 77th minute . Steven Fletcher and substitute, Kevin McDonald were both involved in the build up. It was the Scottish under 21 international though who passed the ball square to Graham Alexander who driving forward then decided to have a go himself. He let rip from 22 yards out and the ball sweetly found the back of the net making it the perfect day for Grezza and all Clarets fans.
How different things were by the time we played Hull City again for the return match at the KC Stadium. Owen Coyle had jumped ship and been replaced by Brian Laws and for Hull Phil Brown`s luck had run out. In March, he had been put on gardening leave and by the time we lined up against them in April, Iain Dowie had taken over.
Back in October we were in the top ten but boy how we had slumped with 'Fortress Turf Moor` now a distant memory and the club struggling with only one win in 14 games since the arrival of our new manager. To make matters worse, we had yet to win an away game on the road so with relegation staring us in the face things looked very bleak, very bleak indeed and we simply had to win this one to have any realistic chance of staying up. At least Hull City`s situation was just as bleak if not worse and they too were still trying to avoid the drop under the backcloth of deep financial woe.
Clarets fans at least could enjoy the bright sunshine no matter what the result but little did we know the extent our enjoyment would be in the end. In our previous game at home to Manchester City in torrential rain we had been tonked 6-1 with a number of Clarets fans booing Laws off the pitch. There was a sort of resignation to our fate at the KC Stadium and Clarets fans were almost relaxed having accepted the inevitable. We were just going to enjoy ourselves come what may!
Laws selected the following eighteen for this clash:
Jensen, Mears, Duff, Cort, Fox, Alexander, Elliott, Cork, Paterson, Nugent, Fletcher
Subs: Weaver, Carlisle, Caldwell, Bikey, Blake, Eagles, Thompson
It looked like this game was going to be just like all the others on the road when Hull City took the lead after just two minutes of play. Kevin Kilbane headed home from close range with our typically clueless defence standing there scratching their heads!
Hull City effectively though let us off the hook and failed to make their goal advantage count. Gradually the Clarets sensed that Hull were not struggling down there for nothing but to be honest what followed for most of the first half was a scrappy affair with both sides struggling to make any impression. It was the Clarets though who looked the most determined and they fought hard getting an equaliser with ten minutes of the first-half to go. It was a delightful bit of awareness from Martin Paterson that did the trick after some grim determination by Mears down the right flank. Mears left footed cross found Pato with his back to goal, his instincts though told him where the target was and bringing the ball down, he swivelled round to fire past Myhill. 1-1 then at half-time with no changes made for the start of the second half.
The Clarets looked determined to get the second goal and within the space of six minutes we were suddenly 3-1 up thanks to two penalties.
Just over the hour mark, with the Clarets pressing, Duff was brought down in the box after the ball was headed down to him following a Fox free-kick. Cool as a cucumber, Alexander slotted home from the spot with the side of his boot putting the ball low to the left of the keeper who was now diving in the opposite direction.
David Nugent won Burnley's second penalty six minutes later when he was brought down by Steven Mouyokolo following a mazy run. Up stepped Alexander for the second time and blow me in virtually a carbon copy of the first penalty sent Myhill the wrong way again with the ball this time sailing a bit higher into the net. So 3-1 Burnley away from home with the Clarets fans going wild.
It was icing on the cake time though when deep into added time, Elliott scored a superb goal from a direct free-kick. His in-swinging free-kick from wide on the left sweetly found the top corner of the net to make it a happy 200th game in Claret & Blue for our Wembley hero!
'We`re winning awayyyyyyyyy, how **** you must be, we`re winning away!` and hell we were in style with Brian Laws looking the happiest we had seen him in three months!
The result ensured we would leap frog Hull City in the table but third from bottom we were still four points behind Wigan and West Ham with an inferior goal difference. We still had a lot to do and in the end we failed but at least for the moment we could celebrate our first away win of the season and still hold onto the dream.
If you want to read more about these games you can visit our Match Report Archive by clicking these links:
Tigers Listing Ship is Hulled & Sunk
Hulluva Win To Put Clarets Dream Back On Agenda
Date:Monday September 27 2010
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