Burnley Melt Down The Iron
26th January 2008 @ 3pm
The Clarets easily achieved their third win in succession defeating a very poor Scunthorpe side 2-0 at Turf Moor thanks to first half goals from Robbie Blake and Ade Akinbiyi.
The score line probably does not reflect the domination we had in this match and The Iron I am afraid are possibly the worst side to visit Turf Moor in sometime, certainly the worst this season. It`s quite clear The Iron need some carbon in their side to give them some steel and harden them up! (Sorry I`ll get my coat!)
The victory on FA Cup day ensured we moved up to 7th place on 43 points, only one point behind the 6th placed club, Charlton (Watch out Gray!) although now with a game more played over most clubs. There were only two games played on Saturday including our own and we will have to hope that Ipswich, Cardiff and Wolves don`t win in midweek to maintain our current position.
On a cold and blustery day at Turf Moor, it soon became apparent there was not going to be any shock announcements on the transfer front to warm the hearts of the Clarets fans.
Alan Mahon failed to make the sixteen, still it would appear suffering from a niggling hamstring problem despite returning off the bench to play in the last match away to Coventry. Caldwell perhaps surprisingly was on the bench after returning from a one match ban. Jones was also maybe surprisingly omitted after a good cameo appearance after coming on from the bench for the last ten minutes in the last match at Coventry. Spicer and Garreth O`Connor duly took up their places on the bench therefore to represent our midfield cover.
We lined up as follows:
Jensen, Alexander, Varga, Unsworth, Harley, Elliott, Gudjonsson McCann, J O'Connor, Blake Akinbiyi
Subs: Kiraly, Caldwell, Jordan, Spicer, G O'Connor.
Referee, Michael Oliver from Northumberland got the match underway.
It was Robbie Blake who should maybe have scored after only six minutes, firing over the bar from six yards out after picking up the ball from a corner and avoiding a couple of challenges.
Blake made sure three minutes later though with an impressive right-footed shot from the edge of the box which gave Iron keeper, Joe Murphy little chance as it flew neatly into the bottom corner to put the Clarets 1-0 up.
After 12 minutes, Scunthorpe managed a rare attack when a ball over the top put Martin Paterson clear.
He tried to hit the ball over the advancing Jensen but it missed the target with Alexander looking on to ensure we got a goal kick.
Jack Cork from 45 yards out then tried a spectacular shot but it hit the post scrambling to safety much to the relief of Jensen.
Burnley then doubled their lead on 32 minutes .Blake & Gudjonsson set up some nice play to put Wade Elliot free and his pin-point cross found Akinbiyi totally unmarked and he neatly headed in from close range.
Burnley continued to look impressive for the remainder of the first half putting together some nice passes and playing very attractive football highlighting considerable weaknesses in the Scunthorpe defence.
Blake got a free kick just before half-time but the ball whizzed wide of the right-hand post.
That was it for the first half and the Clarets confidently trotted off the pitch 2-0 up and totally in control.
Scunthorpe`s Goodwin and Hayes came on for the start of the second half to try and lift the visitor`s spirits but the Clarets maintained their control and snuffed out any attacks the Scunthorpe side could muster and that wasn`t many.
Elliott on 63 minutes found Blake who could have scored but for a good challenge by a defender but the resulting corner came to nothing.
We nearly got that elusive third goal after 69 minutes; Elliott though under pressure could not get the right purchase on the ball from an excellent Harley cross.
Chris McCann`s header was then well saved by Murphy at point blank range.
A free kick from Blake on 81 minutes found the hapless Murphy struggling to get across his goal but the ball went a few inches too wide.
The second half perhaps did not live up to the expectations of the first for the Clarets and we could not add to the tally of goals, despite the pressure and domination. A very useful three points though and lots of positives to take into our next match away to leaders, West Brom.
Owen Coyle had this to say about the victory:
'I felt particularly in the first half the level of performance and the quality of the goals was what we are after.
'The conditions were not conducive to good football and there was a lot to be pleased about especially in the first half.
'It was a big three points today and all you can do is try and win all your games.
'We do have quality within the team but we have offers in for players, although he won't be held to ransom.'
Praise also from a very disappointed Scunthorpe boss Nigel Adkins:
'We were very poor, Burnley were excellent, they were top drawer"
Burnley: Jensen, Alexander, Varga, Unsworth, Harley, Elliott, James O'Connor, Gudjonsson (Spicer 77), McCann, Blake (Garreth O'Connor 89), Akinbiyi (Caldwell 90).
Subs Not Used: Kiraly, Jordan.
Goals: Blake 9, Akinbiyi 32.
Scunthorpe: Murphy, Hobbs, Butler, Martis, Williams, Sparrow, Cork, McCann, Morris (Goodwin 46), Paterson (Forte 65), May (Hayes 46).
Subs Not Used: Lillis, Hurst.
Booked: Williams, Sparrow.
Ref: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).