Last Time We Met...Coventry City
The Clarets face a trip to the Ricoh Arena this Saturday but we recall the last time Burnley played Coventry City over the two Championship games during our promotion season of 2008/9.
Burnley took four points off Coventry City during our promotion season of 2008/9. The last time we visited the Ricoh Arena was on the night of Tuesday 21st October 2008 .We came away with three points after beating the Sky Blues 3-1; our second successive win on this ground following a 2-1 victory the previous season. The win propelled the Clarets into sixth spot giving all Burnley fans the belief that we could be in the play-offs come the end of the season.
Burnley though suffered their traditional Christmas slump notching up five games without picking up a point before beating Charlton 2-1 at the beginning of February to break the poor run of form. That same month, Coventry City were the visitors to Turf Moor.
The return clash was also a midweek night match, played on Tuesday 17th February 2009 in front of 14,595 fans. This time the result was disappointing and we could only manage a point in a 1-1 draw. A victory would have seen the Clarets in one of the play-offs spots despite their poor form over the festive season and New Year but it wasn`t to be.
The result though did mean we had now played four games without defeat so things were looking up a bit after the awful Christmas. We would extend that to five with a point away to Norwich before coming down to earth with a bump when Brian Laws` Sheffield Wednesday came into town and thumped us 4-2. It would though at least be sweetness and light come the end of the season but our Wembley dreams seemed to have hit the buffers in those early months of 2009.
Back in October 2008, Clarets fans were by now sensing this could be our season with Owen Coyle at the helm. He had the team motivated with belief and we were playing some attractive free-flowing football. In our clash at the Ricoh, Coyle selected the following line-up:
Jensen, Duff, Carlisle, Caldwell, Kalvenes, Alexander, Elliott, Gudjonsson, McCann, Paterson, Thompson
Subs: Penny, Van der Schaaf, Blake, Eagles, Rodriguez
In a rather uninspiring first half with quite a bit of sloppy play by both sides, it was Coventry who took the lead with five minutes of the half remaining. A rather controversial penalty was awarded when Mifsud was determined to get something for an innocuous looking challenge by Alexander and seemed to make a meal of it. The referee however awarded the spot kick and Ward put the Sky Blues 1-0 up. It was to prove a busy night for Suffolk referee, Mike Thorpe who booked six players in total, three from each side. Bizarrely it was Duff who was booked following the penalty incident rather than Alexander with Paterson and Kalvenes the other Clarets picking up yellow cards.
However it was 1-0 to Coventry at half-time
The second half would prove a different story with the Clarets dominating for most of the half. Michael Duff smashed home the equaliser after 52 minutes to score his first goal since the opening game of last season.
With ten minutes to go, the Clarets then turned up the heat inspired by two substitutions with Blake and in particular Eagles coming on from the bench Chris Eagles yet again proved he should really be in the starting eleven by first assisting in Robbie Blake`s first goal in 25 games after 88 minutes and then two minutes later scoring himself with a stunning 25 yard shot.
The away win was a great tonic and Clarets fans could now once again 'dare to dream`
The dream had turned into a bit of a nightmare over Christmas but at least by the time Coventry City came to Turf Moor for the return game we had put a stop to the awful run and had begun to play well again picking up some notable points against sides pushing for automatic promotion. In our last three games before Coventry, we had defeated struggling Charlton 2-1 at Turf Moor, picked up a valuable point on the road away to Birmingham and had then beat League leaders, Wolves 1-0 at home.
Expectations were therefore high and another three points against Coventry, a pretty average side that season would have really set-us up well for the promotion push.
The Clarets lined up as follows:
Jensen, Williams, Duff, Caldwell, Jordan, Alexander, Elliott, McCann, Paterson, Thompson, Blake
Subs: Penny, Gudjonsson, McDonald, Eagles, Rodriguez
All we had to do was to play like we had in the previous game at home to league leaders, Wolves and the result would have been a formality but then in typical Burnley fashion we failed to grasp the nettle Instead of that we seemed under par and error prone with the final pass going astray time and time again as attack after attack broke down despite having the lion`s share of possession for most of the game.
We just couldn`t seem to make the pressure count with wayward passes, shots off target and the Sky Blues keeper playing a blinder when it mattered. It was a pretty scrappy affair all round to be honest and such a disappointing match for Clarets fans.
Leon Best scored for the Sky Blues one minute before half-time thanks to a defensive blunder by Stephen Jordan and it looked like that was going to be enough for the Sky Blues to take all three points until one minute from time.
Chris Eagles, who was one of the players who had come on from the bench as part of a triple substitution after 71 minutes was our savior! Charging towards goal, he chipped the ball over Coventry keeper, Westwood to score. Clarets fans hopes were then raised when the fourth official announced there would be four minutes of added time, but try as we might that elusive winner was not to be and the Clarets had to be content with a point.
If you want to read more about both these games you can visit our Match Archive by clicking these links:
Sky High Burnley Hit 6th
The Point in Disappointment!