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Burnley 1 - Leicester City 1

Turf Moor

4th December 2007 @ 7:45pm

Attendance: 10,688

Clarets Not at the Double

The Clarets did everything but win this match last night at Turf Moor and had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Leicester City. So I am afraid they didnt get their first double of the season afterall.

This was still a creditable,entertaining performance though, a good team effort and a number of excellent individual performances, most notably from Alan Mahon.

You are supposed to win at home and draw away! We seem to be doing the opposite and one can only imagine where we would be now if we had managed to convert some of the home draws to wins.

We have only managed two home wins this season compared to five draws, compare that to our away form which reads an amazing won five and drawn three (We have lost four matches so far,2 home and 2away)

Oh well, another two points dropped sadly. We are now 10th on 29 points with a game in hand still over all the top 6 clubs and only 4 points behind 6th placed club Wolves who we play next at Molineux this Saturday.

Owen Coyle has not been too adventurous recently in his team selection and again he picked the same sixteen

Kiraly; Alexander, Harley, Carlisle, Unsworth; Elliott, Mahon, McCann, Lafferty; Blake, Gray.

Subs: Jensen, O'Connor, Gudjonsson, Akinbiyi, Jones.

As on Saturday, we had a novice referee in charge. This time it was West Yorkshire referee, Mark Hayward officiating in only his second Championship match after experience mainly in League 1 and 2.

New boss Ian Holloway's men despite their lowly midtable position have been quite impressive on the road this season and just as the Walker Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for the Clarets, the Foxes have won five out of the last seven matches played at Turf Moor. You have to go back to 1976 though for the last time these two clubs played each other in the top flight. That day we won 1-0 thanks to a goal by Keith Newton so what would tonight bring?

Well to be honest, the first 15 minutes of this match seemed a dull, dire affair with little happening. Andy Gray wasted a great early chance for the Clarets when he mis-kicked from six yards out but then things really began to hot up after the Clarets took the lead following a delightful goal by David Unsworth set up from a Robbie Blake pass.

The Clarets continued to press and both Robbie Blake and Chris McCann had their shots blocked. Gray and Lafferty were also both off target with their efforts.

20 minutes left and Ian Holloway switched from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 and began to attack with more flair.Leicester though created little until a cross by Richard Stearman found Iain Hume via Carlisle's head and he volleyed home with only 12 minutes left to make the score 1-1.

It would have been a travesty of justice though had we lost this match although the Foxes did try a few times to spoil the night in the second half following their equaliser but the Clarets still had their moments. Foxes keeper, Fulop's legs denied Gray after being put through by Mahon. Clemence then made a clearance on the goalline in stoppage time to deny Gray again and frustrate the Clarets even more.

Kyle Lafferty seemed to be huffing and puffing all over the place but failed to score and it might have been better a number of times if he had tried to pass the ball rather than go for glory. We really need to start seeing some goals from Kyle Lafferty if the £2-3 million price tag is to be justified in the January window. A number of top flight clubs including Fulham, Newcastle and Celtic have shown interest in him, not to mention Wolves in the Championship. Unless Kyle starts to bang in the goals, some Clarets fans might not be too worried if he did leave this January.

Owen Coyle had quite a bit of praise to dish out on Kyle though:

'Kyle is a young kid making his way in the game and if we can get to work with him, which we have not really been able to do, we can maybe add that little bit of composure.

'We saw at the end how he came along the by-line and took two or three players out of play. It just needed that little bit of composure to finish it, but I said at the end of the game that nobody will get a rollocking from me for trying things in the last third'

It has to be said though there were some excellent individual performances last night, notably from the back four players. Harley looks vastly improved of late and he works well with Carlisle, Unsworth and Alexander. Elliott had another excellent match, but midfielder, Alan Mahon was a star and fully deserved his Sponsor's Man of the Match award (and ours)

The crowd of 10,688 was perhaps a little disappointing after all the hype of a new manager and the two amazing away wins against leaders,Watford and third placed Charlton and the team really must now start to give us all something to cheer about at home with a few emphatic, entertaining wins. We do seem to be in a rut at Turf Moor although the last two matches at least although draws have shown encouraging signs.

Owen Coyle had this to say after the game:

'I think we deserved to win the game. Particularly in the first half we created chance after chance, not even half chances,' Coyle said. 'In the second half we started to make chance after chance again and their goalkeeper has had an inspired night.

'Some of the passing and moving was terrific and I think we can develop that and get better at it and if we keep playing like that the home wins are just around the corner, there's no doubt about that.

'The fans stayed there until the end because they can see what we are trying to do and we can take that on now, develop it and show we can be a threat. We kept carrying the fight into injury time to get to get that winner and if we keep playing that way we will win games.

'I was a striker and you miss chances. I missed enough of them, but you are looking to take a decent percentage and if we had done that we would be sitting here now with three or four goals.'

'We want to win games, of course we do. But equally we want people coming back saying 'you know what, that's not bad football'.'

Oh well lets see if our away form continues against Wolves this Saturday and we can then hopefully start to chalk up some good home wins with QPR and Preston next up

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

Burnley: Kiraly, Alexander, Carlisle, Unsworth, Harley, Elliott, Mahon (Gudjonsson 87), McCann, Lafferty, Gray, Blake (Jones 79).
Subs Not Used: Jensen, James O'Connor, Akinbiyi.

Goals: Unsworth 19.

Leicester: Fulop, Stearman, McAuley, Kisnorbo, Sheehan (King 72), Maybury (Ashley Chambers 71), Clemence, Kenton, Mattock, Hume, Cort.
Subs Not Used: Henderson, N'Gotty, Newton.

Goals: Hume 78.

Ref: Mark Haywood (W Yorkshire).

Star Player

Alan Mahon was the Sponsors choice also. He looks a gem this year and at long last we have our midfielder back




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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday December 5 2007

Time: 6:12PM

 

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