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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Barnsley 3 - Burnley 2

Oakwell

25th November 2008 @7:45pm KO

Attendance: 10,678

Burnley Fall Foul of Goal that Wasn`t

The Clarets came away aggrieved in last night`s 3-2 defeat by Barnsley at Oakwell and rightly so.

At the start of the second half, the Clarets were 1-0 down thanks to a goal by Macken against the run of play with just 18 minutes played. By the end of 51 minutes they were 3-0 down, the second a goal that should have been disallowed as clearly shown courtesy of the Sky Sports cameras that were televising the game. Campbell-Ryce's shot got a deflection into the net by Simon Whaley but as the cameras clearly indicated the ball came off Whaley`s arm and just for good measure he was standing in an offside position.

Owen Coyle and the team clearly saw what happened, they were incensed that the goal was allowed, most of the crowd clearly saw the same thing and those football fans watching the match on television obviously knew the truth. Just two folk seemed to miss the obvious, the referee and his assistant. Could also someone explain to me what the role of the 4th official is here?

Coyle said this about the incident after the match:

'It's just a bad decision and I asked at the time the fourth official to ask the linesman who was playing him on. And the answer I got was that his view was obscured by Burnley players but there were no Burnley players in sight of that line.

'It's a hard one to take because we certainly merited a result out of that game.'

That goal clearly took the stuffing out of the Burnley side, they took their eye off the ball and within 3 minutes of the goal that shouldn`t have been, found themselves 3-0 down thanks to yet another deflected goal after some poor defending.

It looked game over with a potential tonking on the cards.

What followed next just shows the character and professionalism that we have in the team these days and most Clarets fans will be proud of the attempted comeback even if it ended in disappointment.

The fight back started with a double substitution on 55 minutes, Paterson replaced Akinbiyi and McDonald replaced Duff and all hell broke loose as the Clarets took over the game. A brace of goals by Paterson had brought the score back to 3-2 with 17 minutes to play and for the rest of the match the Clarets dominated possession, getting chance after chance to score the equaliser.

Barnsley`s man of the match turned out to be their keeper, Heinz Muller who had to make two fine saves at the death to deny McCann and Eagles.

Yes, we can be proud of that performance despite coming away with nothing; the only criticism really is that we should have been more professional after their second goal. Our loss of concentration with some players still arguing with the officials led to their third goal and a mountain to climb. A mountain we nearly scaled in the end.

The defeat means we have lost some ground and will have to wait for the results of tonight`s game to see what damage has been done. We are still currently fifth but we could be as low as 10th by tonight if Cardiff, Plymouth, Ipswich, Swansea and Preston all win.

Oh well, is anybody old enough to remember John Hall? He was the scorer in the game between Barnsley and Burnley at Oakwell in 1932, a game we won 1-0 and the last time we won on this ground. The jinx continues!

Owen Coyle at the start of this match must have been concerned that fatigue might be a problem after the side only played two days ago in a frustrating afternoon at Turf Moor against Doncaster Rovers. The Clarets too had to run around with only ten men after the unfortunate sending off of Steve Thompson for a second yellow with 60 minutes of that match remaining. The team must have been shattered by the end but they held on for a valuable point in a 0-0 draw.

The loss of Thompson for the Barnsley game thanks to the one-match suspension would have given Coyle selection problems in attack. Would he play our hero at Chelsea, Ade Akinbiyi in the starting eleven giving him his first start since Cardiff in the final game of the 2007/08 campaign? What about Martin Paterson though, he has had to be content with a place on the bench in recent league games and most be chomping at the bit to get back in the side? Then there is young Jay Rodriguez, a regular on the bench until the return of form and favour of Akinbiyi.

In the end it was Akinbiyi who got the nod with both Paterson and Rodriguez named on the bench.

Wade Elliott was sidelined still suffering from a groin injury he picked up in the last match against Doncaster which meant that the Clarets returned to a 4-1-4-1 formation and lined up as follows:

Jensen, Duff, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Alexander, McCann, Gudjonsson, Eagles, Blake, Akinbiyi

Subs: Penny, McDonald, Mahon, Paterson, Rodriguez

As soon as referee, Nigel Miller (Durham) blew his whistle for the start of the game, the Clarets stormed out of the block first putting to bed any concerns of fatigue as they began to make the first 15 minutes count.

Akinbiyi brought the ball down and fed Chris McCann but his shot was high.

Burnley had most of the possession in the first ten minutes and looked the most likely to score first but Jensen came to the rescue in the 12th minute in the first attack by the Tykes after Macken saw his shot turned round for a corner.

The Clarets then turned on the pressure at the other end bringing out two saves by Muller as long range shots from Blake and then Eagles were turned round the post.

Very much against the run of play though, disaster struck for the Clarets with just 18 minutes on the clock. Macken made no mistake after picking up a ball from Kozluk and sent Jensen the wrong way to put Barnsley 1-0 up.

It was nearly game over in the 27th minute after Ade`s cousin, Odejayi stormed towards goal after getting the better of Carlisle. With only Jensen to beat, he seemed to delay too long before shooting allowing Jensen to once more save the day this time with his right leg.

The game now seemed to deteriorate into a scrappy affair after such a high-energy start by the Clarets. Their goal knocked the stuffing out of the side and we seemed to be unable to get the ball to Akinbiyi who looked frustrated up front with the Clarets losing possession time and time again. Barnsley were not much better though

Stephen Jordan however came close to an equaliser with two minutes to go to the break after Blake held the ball up on the by-line. He fed Jordan who hit the ball first time only to see the shot go inches high.

That was it for the first-half and Coyle would have some thinking to do in the dressing room if we were to get back into this game.

He wasn`t however tempted to make any changes for the start of the second half and once again it was the Clarets who started the brighter.

It wasn`t to last long though after Barnsley made it 2-0 with that controversial Whaley goal after just 48 minutes. Enough has already been said about the goal that wasn`t!

Three minutes later and the Clarets fans hearts sank again after a short corner found Leon and the Spaniard's deflected shot once again foiled Jensen to put the Tykes 3-0 up with serious questions to be asked about the Burnley defence who still seemed to be thinking about the second goal and not concentrating.

There was still 40 minutes to play with the Clarets looking in disarray. The game looked to be well and truly over but we had not bargained on Paterson and the fight back about to happen.

A double substitution on 55 minutes saw Gudjonsson replaced by McDonald and the frustrated and despondent looking Akinbiyi replaced by Paterson.

With 69 minutes on the clock, Paterson restored some pride by scoring after some nice approach work between Blake and Alexander. You could see the determination on Paterson`s face and how the team were lifted by the goal.

Four minutes later it was 3-2 and it was that man Paterson again! Paterson this time went on a mazy run down the right and in a great solo effort scored to set up an amazing finale. What a second-half this was turning out to be and what a match for the neutrals to watch on TV!

It was now all Burnley as the home crowd nerves jangled

After 80 minutes, Muller got to a shot by Alexander from distance with Paterson about to pounce.

McCann then first had a cross partially cleared before pouncing to shoot on target only to see Muller pull off a great save to deny the Irishman.

Chris Eagles then danced in the box and pulled the trigger but again it was Muller who saved the day for Barnsley.

With the four minutes of extra time coming to an end there was just time for Caldwell to try one last ditch attempt with an header but it wasn`t to be as the ball sailed above the bar.

Disappointed yes, but credit where credit is due, the fight back attempt was phenomenal and it made you proud once more to be Claret. So many times in recent seasons a goal down would mean certain defeat let alone attempting to come back from 3-0 down. We will just have to hope the results go our way tonight, the thoughts of Preston winning and being above Burnley albeit on goal difference doesn`t bear thinking about. We have to storm back against Derby County at Turf Moor this Saturday now if we are to maintain our assault on a play-offs spot. With Christmas looming, I am not sure I can take yet another Xmas slump!

--------------------------------------------------------

Barnsley: Muller, Hassell, Foster, Guedes, Kozluk, Whaley, Campbell-Ryce, Colace, Devaney (Leon 10), Odejayi (Coulson 84), Macken, Leon (Van Homoet 84).

Subs Not Used: Mostto, Rigters.

Booked: Foster.

Goals: Macken 18, Whaley 48, Leon 51.

Burnley: Jensen, Duff (Rodriguez 88), Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Alexander, McCann, Gudjonsson (McDonald 55), Eagles, Akinbiyi (Paterson 55), Blake.

Subs Not Used: Penny, Mahon.

Booked: Carlisle, Eagles, Paterson.

Goals: Paterson 69, 73.

Ref: Nigel Miller (Durham)

Star Player

I thought Kevin McDonald looked strong when he came on but really all credit must go to Martin Paterson for almost single-handedly getting us back into this game with his brace after coming on from the bench in the second-half.

The big question is whether Paterson has done enough to reclaim a starting eleven place bearing in mind Steve Thompson will be available after his one match suspension and Blake is still on form.

I think it might be time to revert back to a true 4-4-2 with Gudjonsson making way. He has certainly been the weaker of the midfielders in recent games. I have sensed recently that we should have more attack options upfront even though we have picked up results and I think it`s time for a proper strike pair rather than Blake playing just behind a target man.

I would opt for the following against Derby this Saturday assuming Elliott is fit by then and we have no further injuries:

Jensen, Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Elliott, McCann, Eagles, Blake, Thompson, Paterson

Subs: Penny, Duff, McDonald, Gudjonsson or Mahon, Akinbiyi




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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 25 2008

Time: 11:16AM

Your Comments

What do you think about playing Thompson/Paterson up front together?
turfmanphil
I'd go for it!
whentheballmoves
I like to be positive but that line up is too attacking to start a match with. Very little cover for our defence which as proved costly earlier in the season. If Pato is to start, then Blake must be dropped, but he is playing too well for that.
smitrit
I would replace Joey with Mcdonald and Akinbiyi with Thompson. I also would probably drop Robbie to the bench in favour of Pato.
Claretdale
I would still like to try it Andy. We always have Duff on the bench and can revert to 4-1-4-1 if we need to and Chris McCann we know can also play centre back. I wish we could accommodate McDonald too,he looked sharp in match yesterday. When was the last time we had so many players all playing well and competing for places?
turfmanphil
Totally right, the 2nd goal should never have been given the officials were obviously not in the right positions to have missed it. Credit to Burnley, you dogged us for most of the match, especially the last 20 plus stoppage time. However if the players had kept a little composure the 3rd goal may not have gone in. As soon as Patterson's number came up, my words were 'Oh ****'. You pretty much murdered us from then on. We were done by a dodgy goal at Preston so you have my sympathy. On a positive note at least you lost to a dodgy goal and not a case of being outplayed. You'll no doubt claim revenge on boxing day!!
yorkie_tyke
Dale if you do what you suggest, who is playing left and right mid?
whentheballmoves
Hi Yorkie, looks like Foster is doing well for you and I see now he is also your captain! He was a right duffer for us!! I felt a lot better about the game at the end rather than after 51 mins at 3-0 down but it was still a disappointment. Oh well congrats and like you say revenge will be sweet in the return game!! ;-)
turfmanphil
At least all the results went our way last night and we are still 5th with Preston still below us, 2 points behind after their 2-2 draw at Derby
turfmanphil
Yeah Foster has been solid for us, but you're right he wasn't the best at Burnley, he turned us down to go to turf moor too, something to do with personal reasons. Hope the game at your place is a cracker!! I'll be more than happy for you to trounce us as long as you go up instead of the blades!!!
yorkie_tyke
Barnsey - not certain now I think about it. I just think that a Mcdonald/Mccann partnership in the centre has great potential. When fit, Wade and Eagles on either side with Pato and Thommo up front.
Claretdale
 

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