Burnley nowt in Cardiff
6th October 2007 @ 3pm
The Clarets entered this match on the back of a six match unbeaten league run against the home team, Cardiff who had not won a match at home since March 2007. I have been a Clarets fan for over 40 years and I'm too long in the tooth to have expected anything other than a defeat faced with those statistics and so it proved. Burnley came away from Ninian Park with no points suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Bluebirds. The result sees a drop in the table from 9th to 13th although we are still very much in contention for the play-off positions with the game in hand. A very disappointing result though, especially since we once again fought back from a goal down to equalise thanks to a far-post headed goal by substitute, Ade Akinbiyi.This time Ade was given the whole of the second half to play following a triple substitution at half time by the gaffer. He replaced Kyle Lafferty. The other half time substitutions saw Chris McCann come on for Alan Mahon and Wade Elliott for Unsworth as we changed from a 4-1-4-1 formation to 4:4:2. The changes seemed to work initially following Ade's equaliser after 50 minutes cancelling out Ledley's first half goal on 36 minutes. However, the Clarets fans' joy did not last long with Cardiff going ahead again 5 minutes later following a scorching shot from Parry after beating two defenders.
Oh well, we now face a two week break for the Euro 2008 Internationals so hopefully we can regroup and come back refreshed in our next two matches against Barnsley away on 20th October (Saturday) and then Norwich at home the following Tuesday night.
At the start of the match, Steve Cotterill made just one change to the team that faced Ipswich in midweek. David Unsworth in only his second league start was preferred in preference to Wade Elliott. Unsworth took up a midfield holding role as the Clarets tried a 4-1-4-1 formation with Blake playing a wider role with Lafferty on the other flank both supporting the sole striker up front,Andy Gray. Chris McCann as expected was named on the bench following his recovery from the hamstring injury and joined Ade Akinbiyi, Wade Elliott, Jon Harley and Brian Jensen
Cardiff were forced into a late change when Stephen McPhail was injured in the warm up.He was replaced by our ex-loanee Peter Whittingham.
Whittingham was instrumental in a lot of the early pressure from Cardiff and we took some time to settle down but we weathered the initial storm.
In our first chance of the match,Robbie Blake found Gray but he was just offside after trying to get behind the Bluebirds defence. However this settled the Clarets nerves and we got more into the match.
Lafferty's flew down the right after 13 minutes of play and found Blake on the other side of the pitch. He found some space and put in a typical Blake drive but it was a few inches too high.
The Bluebirds potential threat from strike pair,Robbie Fowler and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink however never really materialised and the Clarets seemed to handle them well in defence all afternoon
That man Whittingham however on 25 minutes came close to scoring in the six-yard box but just missed the ball by a whisker.
Our luck didnt last much longer though and we fell behind after 36 minutes when substitute Darren Purse crossed and found the dangerous Joe Ledley to head past Kiraly with the defence nowhere to be seen.
Ledley nearly made it two within 60 seconds later but was denied by a Kiraly save at full stretch.
The first half came to a close with little further action
The Clarets came out for the second half with a different game plan, making the triple substitution as mentioned above and changing to 4:4:2 with Akinbiyi supporting Gray upfront.
The Clarets were level within six minutes too.
Blake's back heel found Stephen Jordan,and his cross was deflected at the near post to find Akinbiyi, who simply headed back across goal to beat the Cardiff keeper,Oakes.
Gray was then close to putting the Clarets ahead almost immediately after controlling the ball and getting in a right-foot shot. This time though Oakes managed to parry the ball away.
It was Cardiff though that took the lead again with Parry cutting in from the right and finding the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the box after 55 minutes play
Burnley now looked shell-shocked and with an hour remaining Kiraly denied Parry again with a brilliant save following his right foot shot after beating Jordan.
Hasselbaink tried some amateur dramatics that referee Andy Penn fell for (as well as Hasselbaink!)and awarded a free kick nine minutes from time on the edge of the Clarets box,but Kiraly again pulled out a save
It wasnt to be for the Clarets as the game fizzled out despite four minutes of added time and we came away again from Ninian Park without any points. Still at least we scored there for the first time since 2000!
Burnley: Kiraly, Jordan, Caldwell, Carlisle, Alexander, Unsworth (Elliott 46), Mahon (McCann 46), Spicer, Lafferty (Akinbiyi 46), Gray, Blake.
Subs not used: Harley, Jensen.
Booked; Spicer 72, Caldwell 81
Cardiff: Oakes, McNaughton, Capaldi, Rae, Loovens (Purse 23), Fowler (Thompson 66), Whittingham, Parry, Johnson, Ledley, Hasselbaink (Ramsey 86), Ramsey.
Subs not used: Forde, Gunter
Ref: A Penn