Damp Burnley Sparks!
Saturday 21st July 2007 @ 3pm
The Clarets held Premiership visitors Middlesbrough to a 1:1 draw yesterday at Turf Moor in their third friendly match of the close season. The rain however dampened proceedings and the safety announcement over the tannoy of fire engines at the back of the James Hargreaves might have suggested more of a potential flooding problem than the small electrical fire that it actually turned out to be!
Slightly disappointing for the 4000 plus Clarets fans in the crowd was the fact that Robbie Blake was not mentioned in the squad for this match. He was nursing a thigh strain. Two other new boys, Besart Berisha and Stephen Jordan began the game on the bench so that left just our new keeper, Kiraly to watch in the first half. That was assuming, you could put up with watching him wear those tracky bottoms!
The strike pair chosen to start the match was Ade Akinbiyi and Kyle Lafferty. Burnley however suffered an early setback, with Kyle Lafferty injured and replaced by Andy Gray. Kyle had picked up an injury at Wrexham in our last friendly and was stretchered off as a precaution. He seemed to be having trouble with his back and at one point Ade was lifting him onto his own back to relieve the muscle tension or spasm! It didn`t work though and a few minutes later he was replaced by Gray as he walked off with Claire Judd for some physiotherapy. Let`s hope he will soon be fit again and this doesn`t become a persistent problem.
Burnley however were putting in quite an impressive performance with some good moves from the lads during an entertaining first half. Joey Gudjonsson continued his current run of form and did particularly well in midfield and came close to scoring on a number of occasions. Wade Elliott was also particularly effective on the right as the Clarets seemed to spend most of the first half in Boro`s defensive area.
Andy Gray tapped in the first goal right on half-time following some nifty build-up play from a corner.
So 1-0 to the Clarets at half-time
Substitute, James Morrison however pulled Gareth Southgate`s men back level early in the second half after rounding Jensen before shooting.
The match seemed to then revert to a pretty dull affair as the game was played out with very little action but all in all it was a creditable performance by the Clarets with a number of encouraging signs. All the other new faces got a spell in the match and Berisha made some nice touches and looks a very promising signing. Young Jay Rodriguez was also given a ten minute spell towards the end of the match and Wayne Thomas saw some action for the first time in the summer replacing Caldwell after 68 minutes
Steve Cotterill had this to say after the match:
'Both sides played some good football at times; it was just what we wanted.
I was a bit sorry for Kyle, he seems to be going through a tough time at the moment.
Robbie tweaked is thigh in training, but we will see how he is for Tuesday.
And there was another goal for Andy Gray - we've told him to stop because he might use them up!'
So next up Bradford this Tuesday night in Yorkshire before we entertain Leeds at Turf Moor next Saturday
Burnley: Kiraly (Jensen 46), Foster, Duff, Caldwell (Thomas 68), Harley, Elliott (Mahon 68), McCann (J. O'Connor 46), Gudjonsson (Spicer 46), Jones (Berisha 46), Akinbiyi (Jordan 74), Lafferty (Gray 15, Rodriquez 83).
Middlesbrough: Turnbull, Davies, Wheater, Taylor (Walker 67), Tuncay (Owens 75), Boeteng (Cattermole 45), Rochemback (Kennedy 67), Johnson (Morrison 45), Aliadiere (Craddock 67), Yakubu (Euell 70). Sub not used: Knight.
Referee: Jonathan Moss (West Yorkshire).