Date:Friday April 8 2011
When the Clarets play Leicester City at the Walkers Stadium this Saturday they will be hoping to repeat the result they had against them back in August 2010 in our last clash. In our third game of the 2010-11 season on Saturday 27th August we despatched Leicester City 3-0 at Turf Moor in front of a crowd of 15,516 fans but to be honest we were still not firing on all cylinders at the time.
At times in this match Burnley looked slow and laboured in the build up and there were also the typical dodgy moments at times in the defence. Tyrone Mears in particular looked lacklustre but perhaps he had still not fully recovered from an injury.
Leicester by contrast were fluid playing an attractive passing game. The Foxes problems were in the final third; if the strikers had not been so wayward in their heading and shooting we could have been behind and struggling. We could have been 2-0 down in the first half had they taken their chances but thankfully they didn`t and in the end the result was convincing.
Brian Laws had selected an eighteen that was widely expected following news that Tyrone Mears had recovered from an injury that had kept him sidelined for the Ipswich game at Portman Road the previous week. David Edgar had stepped-in at right back against the Blues but picked up a red card in that match following two bookable offences so he was not in contention due to his automatic one-match ban. Michael Duff was also still sidelined with a calf injury and of course Chris McCann was out of contention following surgery to fix his cruciate ligament.
There was only therefore one change to the eighteen selected for the Ipswich match with Mears replacing Edgar at right back.
In summary we lined up as follows:
Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Fox, Alexander, Marney, Elliott, Wallace, Iwelumo, Paterson
Subs: Grant, Cort, Cork, McDonald, Eagles, Rodriguez, Thompson
Novice referee, Geoff Eltringham in only his second season and second Championship match got the game underway on a predominantly sunny afternoon.
This was an early warning for the Clarets in the first minute when Brian Jensen had to come to the rescue and deal with a shot from Danny N'Guessan saving with his left hand. The Foxes winger had tricked his way into the box catching the Burnley defence off guard.
Clarets fans thought Burnley had taken the lead though in the fifth minute. Bikey`s header into the net from a Wallace delivery looked a perfectly good goal. It was chalked off however by the referee although it is was not clear why.
It could be that the referee spotted Clarke Carlisle pulling Moreno's shirt in the build-up or possibly Paterson was penalised for making contact and impeding Foxes keeper, Chris Weale. The decision certainly didn`t endear the referee to the home crowd and it has to be said he did seem to make a number of odd decisions that were not in the Clarets best interests as the game unfolded.
Martin Paterson came close with a header before DJ Campbell having a bit of an off-day blasted just over at the other end.
It was a stroke of fortune for the Clarets that broke the deadlock and it was a body blow to Leicester with the goal coming two minutes into added time in the first half. A Wallace strike took a wicked deflection from Joao Moreno. Substitute Foxes keeper Logan had only just come on to replace the injured Weale and virtually his first task was to pick the ball out of the net.
1-0 at half-time then and a perfect time to score! No changes were made by Laws for the start of the second half and it was Leicester who started the more brightly determined to try and get the equaliser. It was Burnley though who were creating the better chances and Iwelumo came close with a header from close range.
Just after the hour mark, the Clarets doubled their lead. Wallace got in a cross that hung perfectly for Iwelumo to head home after 62 minutes and clock up his 100th career goal. Even at 2-0 up Leicester continued to look threatening at times on the break and we could not afford to take our foot off the accelerator.
Some fresh legs though in the form of Chris Eagles and Jack Cork gave us some additional impetus. They came on replacing Wallace and Marney (who had both been yellow carded) on 66 minutes with Cork making his second debut for the Clarets since re-signing from Chelsea on loan earlier that month. The Clarets boosted by Iwelumo`s goal now began to play their best football of the match.
Another goal for the Clarets though would still relieve some of the tensions and it came in the 74th minute when Lamey brought down Eagles in the area. Grezza, coolly side-footed home from the spot to make it 3-0 Clarets. Just reward for someone making his 900th club career start.
You have to go back to the 2007-8 season for the last time we played Leicester City at the Walkers Stadium. The Foxes were relegated by the end of that season finishing third from bottom but would only spend one season in League One before returning to the Championship after finishing in top spot by the end of 2008-9
Of course that season we were also promoted so our paths would not cross again until this season following our relegation from the Premier League. So when was the last time we played them at the Walkers Stadium?
The Walkers Stadium has been a lucky ground for the Clarets. Leicester moved there from Filbert Street in 2002 and we have played them five times on this ground since. One goalless draw and four 1-0 wins is a pretty good record for the Clarets and it was a 1-0 win the last time we played them there thanks to a 23rd minute goal from Andy Gray. However it was the background to this clash that was the main talking point. It had been a hectic week for Burnley after a bad home defeat to Hull had led to the departure of gaffer, Steve Cotterill by mutual consent. Steve Davis therefore had been named caretaker manager for the game which was played on Saturday 10th November 2007 in front of 21,334 fans.
In the end, it was a great victory and the lads did us proud. Leicester never really looked like getting anything from this match with their fans getting more and more frustrated and beginning to leave early. It was Steve Davis`s day but it would be his one and only game in charge. Owen Coyle would soon be on board by the time the International Break was over following the Leicester match and the rest as they say is history. Let`s however recall the day that Steve Davis made his mark!
Back four team selection must have been a particular headache for the new man in charge ahead of the clash. Duff and Caldwell being unavailable due to serious injury and Unsworth suspended because of a red card against Hull on the previous Tuesday night.
Steve Davis however did play it safe and did not make any radical changes to the sixteen despite the horror show performance in midweek. Jordan was moved to the centre to partner Carlisle with Harley and Alexander taking up the full back positions.
The team therefore lined up as follows:
Kiraly, Alexander, Jordan, Carlisle, Harley, Elliott, McCann, Spicer, Lafferty, Gray, Blake.
Subs: Jensen, J O'Connor, Akinbiyi, Jones, Mahon
Referee, Clive Penton (Sussex) got the match underway with all Clarets fans wondering what was going to happen as a new era began.
It was the Clarets though that started well. Wade Elliott soon went on a 50 yards run to earn a corner from his cross with Andy Gray looking menacing.
Clarke Carlisle was then just wide of the goal from the corner.
The Clarets continued some delightful passing and continued to put the Foxes under pressure.
Blake almost put Gray clear, but Foxes keeper, Martin Fulop had other ideas.
A few moments later a low cross from Harley on the left could not find anyone to slot home despite only needing the faintest of touches.
McCann could then have scored from a Blake free kick, but his header from close range brought out a superb save from Fulop on his line.
It was only half cleared though and Elliott picked up the loose ball and put Gray through, his shot finding the bottom corner of the net to put the Clarets a deserved 1-0 up.
Gabor Kiraly may as well have left the pitch and brewed himself a coffee, he was hardly called upon although when he finally was he ensured Matty Fryatt's ambitious 25-yard drive after 30 minutes play would not secure an equaliser.
The only downside in the first half was that our problems in the back four continued after Stephen Jordan's troublesome ankle injury flared up again with only eight minutes of the first half to go. He tried to bravely carry on up to the first half whistle but it wasn`t to be and Steve Davis had to shuffle the pack with Alan Mahon coming on after 42 minutes and McCann dropping back into defence. We held out though and went in 1-0 up at half-time.
Leicester City had been woeful and had to try something to placate the fans so they made three rapid tactical substitutions after the break, to try and get an equaliser.
65 minutes had passed though before Kiraly was forced into action saving a shot from Gareth McAuley with considerable ease.
The best spell for Leicester however was in this period and we did seem to be on the back foot for sometime as Leicester piled on some pressure to give the Foxes fans something to cheer about at long last. More injury concerns for the Clarets then flared up when Spicer, who had been key in midfield limped off with a knee injury 20 minutes from time to be replaced by James O'Connor.
Burnley however came close to putting the match out of the Foxes reach 15 minutes from time after Blake set up Lafferty. His shot was too weak though and Fulop saved easily.
That would be Laff's final action of the day, being replaced by Akinbiyi after 76 minutes for his customary final 15-20 minutes.
Leicester tried in vain without ever looking convincing and the final whistle went with Burnley taking all three points much to the relief of the Clarets faithful after a torrid week.
The two teams met again soon after at Turf Moor on the night of Tuesday 4th December 2007. Owen Coyle was now firmly ensconced and Leicester too had a new gaffer, none other than Ian Holloway!
The Clarets did everything but win this match but in the end had to settle for a 1-1 draw. The first 15 minutes of this match seemed a dull, dire affair with very little happening. Andy Gray wasted a great early chance for the Clarets when he miss-kicked from six yards out but then things really began to hot up after the Clarets took the lead following a delightful goal by David Unsworth set up from a Robbie Blake pass.
The Clarets continued to press and both Robbie Blake and Chris McCann had their shots blocked. Gray and Lafferty were also both off target with their efforts.
20 minutes left and Ian Holloway switched from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 and the Foxes began to attack with more flair. Leicester though created little until a cross by Richard Stearman found Iain Hume via Carlisle's head and he volleyed home with only 12 minutes left to make the score 1-1.
The Burnley team that night was:
Kiraly, Alexander, Harley, Carlisle, Unsworth, Elliott, Mahon, McCann, Lafferty, Blake, Gray.
Subs: Jensen, O'Connor, Gudjonsson, Akinbiyi, Jones.
Date:Friday April 8 2011
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