Clarets not Sky Blues!
6th May 07
Most Clarets fans will be wanting to send Coventry to Coventry after they spoilt the party atmosphere at the Turf by inflicting a 2-1 defeat on us in our last game of the season! For the third season running therefore with Steve Cotterill as manager, the Clarets claim the midtable mediocrity title with a slight improvement over last season despite the awful 19 match winless run between December-March. We finish 15th on 57 points with for once a positive goal difference of three goals.
Probably another season most Clarets will want to readily forget, especially the haunting from that winless run. At least the results in between August and November and in April gave some encouragement and its just a pity that the Sky Blues decided to cloud over the Turf in our final match ensuring we finish on a low note.
Steve Cotterill made a few changes to the line-up for the start of the match. Alan Mahon, perhaps surprisingly returned in midfield at the expense of Steve Jones who was named on the bench. Joey Gudjonsson retained his midfield spot with Chris McCann still out injured. Ade Akinbiyi was preferred to Paul McVeigh, with the Norwich loan named on the bench.
Jensen, Harley, Thomas, Caldwell, Duff, Mahon, Djemba-Djemba, Gudjonsson, Elliott, Akinbiyi, Gray
Subs: Coyne, Coughlan, Spicer, Jones, McVeigh.
Referee, Phil Joslin got the match underway on a rather dull and cold afternoon with both teams nothing to play for other than pride. The match never really reached fever pitch all afternoon in a dour and dire 90 minutes without even the consolation of a win. The Clarets got an early corner but Wayne Thomas headed wide in what turned out to be the only attempt from either side in the first quarter of the game.
After 30 minutes Joey Gudjonsson's put in a great block to deny Isaac Osbourne from a free kick from distance.
However in the 40th minute it was the Sky Blues who found the back of the net to go 1-0 up. Malta international Michael Mifsud found the bottom corner of the net with a left-footed strike after a skilful one-two with Michael Doyle.
The biggest disappointment this season has been Ade Akinbiyi. He just hasnt seemed to click and looks a shadow of his former self. Despite some odd glimpses of the old Ade against Norwich, he has consistently failed to deliver and yesterday was no exception. It might have been a different story had he scored just before half-time but again he fluffed another chance. Eric Djemba-Djemba put in a brilliant ball over the defence, but Ade picking up the ball, fired across goal putting it wide from just inside the area.
He had however looked lacklustre all the first half, and it was no surprise to see him substituted for the start of the second half.
Steve Cotterill made two changes for the start of the second half. Alan Mahon was replaced by Steve Jones in addition to Paul McVeigh coming on for Akinbiyi.
The Sky Blues again started to press and the Clarets found them themselves 2-0 down in the 54th minute when Jay Tabb scored from a Kevin Thornton pass finding the bottom corner.
The boredom set in after that goal and the Longside faithful were more content to sing about the demise of Leeds than bother about the match in hand. We were clearly looking jaded in what was a pretty dire match anyway.
Paul McVeigh tried to rescue the situation and give the Clarets fans something to cheer about by getting a goal back after 62 minutes. McVeigh latched onto a mistake from Osbourne and coolly scored from 12 yards.
There was to be no revival though and the match simply petered out although Wayne Thomas came close in the 88th minute with a header that he hit over the bar.
Dull, end of season,nothing-to-play for sort of game and it lived up to expectations. It would have been nice to round off the season with a win, but this topsy-turvy season would not allow that to occur.
Oh well thats it for 2006/7, almost a relief the season is over. We have to hope that the 'High Five' new players coming in during the Summer (including maybe Djemba-Djemba) add sufficient quality & quantity to the squad to allow a promotion or play-offs push next season; a season, Clarets will be hoping doesnt fizzle out at Xmas like the last three seasons!
Burnley: Jensen, Duff, Thomas, Caldwell, Harley, Elliott, Djemba-Djemba, Gudjonsson (Spicer 75), Mahon (Jones 46), Akinbiyi (McVeigh 46), Gray.
Subs Not Used: Coyne, Coughlan.
Booked: Elliott, Caldwell.
Goals: McVeigh 62.
Coventry: Marshall, McNamee, Ward, Hawkins, Hall, Tabb (Hildreth 90), Osbourne, Doyle, Thornton (Davis 68), Mifsud, Kyle.
Subs Not Used: Steele, Hughes, Gooding.
Booked: Ward, Osbourne, Kyle.
Goals: Mifsud 40, Tabb 55.
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