Burnley outfox Foxes!
10th November 2007 @ 3pm
The Clarets continued the tradition at the Walkers Stadium with another fine win 1-0 thanks to an Andy Gray goal after 23 minutes. The valuable three points after an hectic week that saw a bad home defeat to Hull followed by the departure of gaffer,Steve Cotterill, calmed a lot of nerves.
The victory now sees the team nicely placed in 13th position on 21 points only 4 points behind sixth placed club Ipswich and with a game in hand over most clubs.
We can now look forward to a two week break because of the Euro 2008 Internationals,knowing the team is in a reasonable position to plough on and attempt a push for the play-offs. The break though will be another hectic period for the Clarets as the Board seek to have a new manager in place by the time we play our next match at home to Stoke on the 24th November.
This was Steve Davis's day though as the caretaker manager tasted his first game (although probably also his last) in charge of the first team. He and the lads did us proud and Leicester never really looked like getting anything from this match as their fans got more and more frustrated and began to leave early.
The Foxes must be sick and tired of playing the Clarets at the Walkers Stadium. In the last few consecutive seasons we have had four 1-0 wins and a 0-0 draw so not even conceding a goal!
The result probably did not reflect though the total dominance the Clarets had in this game and I am sure both Steve Davis and the players were determined to do this for Steve Cotterill.
Back four team selection must have been a particular headache for the new man in charge. Duff and Caldwell being unavailable due to serious injury and Unsworth suspended because of his red card against Hull on 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: J O'Connor, Akinbiyi, Jensen, Jones, Mahon
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. 10 goals now for Andy!
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 wasnt to be and Steve Davis had to shuffle the pack with Alan Mahon coming on after 42 minutes and McCann dropping back into defence. Very worrying times now with Duff, Caldwell, and Jordan struggling with injury. 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.
Leicester: Fulop, McAuley, N'Gotty (Hume 60), Kisnorbo, Stearman, Kenton (Wesolowski 55), Campbell, Clemence, Mattock, Cort (John 56), Fryatt.
Subs Not Used: Henderson, Chambers.
Burnley: Kiraly, Alexander, Carlisle, Jordan (Mahon 42), Harley, Elliott, Spicer (James O'Connor 70), McCann, Lafferty (Akinbiyi 76), Gray, Blake.
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Jones.
Booked: Spicer, Lafferty, Elliott, Mahon, Alexander.
Goals: Gray 23.