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Bradford survive

Pre-season tour
Gallen signs
Hornets sting Town
Owls shot down
Gray returns
Wijnhard crashes out
Worthington woe
Ayre departs
First home point
Bye Bye Brucie
New manager announced
Fans show anger
9 points to safety
First home win
Ndlovu at first sight
Town leap to safety
Macari wins award
More cup woe
Ndlovu joins Blades
Jamie jumps ship
Town hit rock bottom again
Morris' McApline move
Prodigal son returns
Biggest win
QPR doomed
Nearly there
The bitter end

Saturday 24th February.

Trips to Turf Moor seldom bring a maximum return, and today proved to be no different. I felt so apathetic (a sentiment seemingly shared by the board I sometimes think) that I didn’t even seriously consider a trip over the big hill and decided to knock out a fireplace instead. As predicted the same eleven were called upon to try to wrest the points from Burnley, a team who have surprised me with their unexpectedly lofty position in the table and managed to beat Fulham during the week, so they must be capable of beating sides far better than ourselves.

Some games demand my full attention even when listening on the radio and doing other bits and pieces at the same time. However, today’s game sounded to be such a dour affair my attention switched to the more interesting task of knocking seven shades out of some masonry. Burnley dominated the game from the outset with the influential Glen Little running the show for the home side and they managed to exploit Town’s shaky defence with alarming regularity. I cannot fathom out why Macari persisted with the same back four when they had looked so suspect a week ago, but thankfully one member of the back line was in good form with Nico Vaesen exorcising the spectre of the previous week’s nightmare by making a series of first-rate stops.

Burnley’s dominance was such that they continued to increase their corner tally in the first half whilst with Town failing to achieve a single one, still if you can keep the somehow contrive to keep the scores level you might eventually create a chance to take a shock lead. Unfortunately for Town, when the odd chance presented itself it was squandered, and Delroy Facey fired wide from around 8 yards out after Martin Smith’s shot had been blocked. When you are in our predicament you have to take half chances when they come along, and Town’s front players don’t seem capable of doing this at the moment. Half time came along with some sense of relief that the score was surprisingly level at 0-0. Perhaps Macari could wind the players up during the interval and we could yet bring something back from snowy Lancashire.

The half time adverts and e-mails on Home 107.9 overran by a minute or so, and as they returned to Turf Moor for the second half commentary we immediately went a goal down. A short corner from Little to Weller was played back to the corner taker to play the ball into the Town penalty area where it was met by the head of the unmarked Steve Davis. It’s a shame for Town that Davis didn’t stick to snooker as his header bounced into the goal off the underside of the crossbar with Nico Vaesen having no chance of stopping it.

The goal seemed to pep Town up a little as they started to become more involved in proceedings and our expected capitulation didn’t materialise for once. The game degenerated into a scrappy midfield affair for the most part, with chances at a premium and Town’s first corner finally came with around 25 minutes to go, but a final tally of 11 corners to Burnley and only 4 for Town told its own tale. The Burnley defence had been dominated by ex-Spurs man Mitchell Thomas but he had to leave the field following a clash of heads with Delroy Facey, the Town striker able to continuing after lengthy treatment. Having used 2 previous substitutes, Stan Ternent introduced striker Andy Payton and I hoped this might unsettle the home defence, as on loan striker Gareth Taylor had to slot into the position vacated by the departed Thomas.

Town continued to enjoy the greater part of the possession without creating too many real chances, and with the final whistle nearing they were denied once again by Burnley’s Greek goalkeeper Nik Michopoulos. Having kept Town at bay in the game at the McAlpine, he dived smartly to his right to deny Chris Lucketti with just seconds of the game remaining. A draw might have been a more just reflection of the 90 minutes play, but would only have served to paper over the cracks that this team aren’t good enough. The defence appears unbalanced and prone to stupid lapses of concentration at vital times and conceding unnecessary goals.

The post match phone in had most callers in agreement that the present side is quite simply not good enough, and some money has to be spent to bring in some new blood into the team. There were also suggestions that Mr Rubery has given up on this campaign, and is trying to recoup some of the money he has lost during his 2-year flirtation with football prior to jumping ship when the opportunity arises.

Other results were pretty good today, with only Barnsley of the relegation threatened teams picking up three points, but we cannot rely on other teams cocking things up and we have got to start winning games, preferably starting on Tuesday.

Burnley 1 (Davis 47)


Position in table – 23rd

Town – Vaesen; Heary; Lucketti; Moses; Jenkins; Armstrong; Thornley (Irons 81); Holland; Gallen; Facey; Smith. Subs not used – Margetson; Gray; Dyson; Sellars.

Burnley – Michopoulos; Thomas (Payton 73); Ball (Johnrose 69); Armstrong; Davis; Little; Weller; Cook (Mellon 69); Taylor; Moore; Branch. Subs not used – Crichton; Mullin.

Referee – David Crick (Surrey). Attendance 16,191



All words and thoughts by Chris except where stated.

A big thank you to Machala for putting up with me doing this and Ian for his support and my Mum for her proof reading.

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