Point From Burnley Trip

Last updated : 20 October 2004 By Kev Monks
Eight games without a win or two games without defeat depending on whether your pint is half full or half empty was the result of City twice squandering the lead at Burnley.

Nowadays,a trip to Turf Moor is a familiar event like those we used to endure at the likes of Old Trafford and Highbury.
However,a relaxing drink,followed by the delicacy of pie & peas in the local cricket club, had to be waived as some joker in charge of the Football League Fixture Computer thought it would be a jolly wheeze to send us up the M6 and M65 on a Tuesday night.
Not that we went up the M6, having to pick up our driver for the main part of the journey in Nottingham and arrived in the town via the M1.M62 and some very winding roads on the Yorks/Lancs border, just after 7pm after leaving Coventry at 3pm.
Anyway, the match saw Peter Reid who again chose not to travel on the team coach (although living in Bolton was a plausible excuse on this occasion),naming the same team that started against Leicester.
Whilst Clarets Boss Steve Cotterill fielded Leicester rejects Danny Coyne and Frank Sinclair,a man famed for the La Manga incident.

With one of the 212 strong travelling Sky Blue support doing his best to make some noise by repeatedly chanting "Peter Reid's Sky Blue Army" something ignored by the rest of the support, Luke Steele was in action in the fourth minute saving from a Jean Louis Valois shot after a good move by Ian Moore.
Three minutes,the home side won the first corner of the evening which Richard Shaw rose to head out for a throw in.
City counter attacked and won a free kick on the edge of the area, when Rohan Ricketts found Morrell who saw a shot handled on the edge of the area by Sinclair. Michael Doyle took the resulting free kick which hit a defender and went for a corner.
Burnley were looking dangerous on the attack and in the 13th minute,Mo Camara tore down the left and delivered the ball right across the face of Luke Steele's goal
Rohan Ricketts in only his second game for City looks a player not good enough for the Premiership but probably too good for the Championship and in the 18th minute, a lovely move by him saw the loanee from Spurs cut in and fire a low shot at home keeper Danny Coyne.
The home team quickly counter attacked with Michael Duff hitting a low effort which was cleared back upfield for Andy Morrell to hit the ball off Sinclair for a corner. Michael Doyle took such a poor kick that it missed everyone in the penalty area and went out the other side for a throw.
Another City corner was followed by Andy Whing getting forward and finding Morrell some ten yards out of goal. However, the former Wrexham striker fluffed his shot and sent the ball very wide of the goal.
In the 25th minute, a neat piece of passing from the Sky Blues saw Doyle on the right spot Stephen Hughes some 25 yards out in the centre. Hughes hit a terrific shot which just went over Coyne's bar.
Frank Sinclair was booked in 27th minute for a foul on Stern John by referee Mr Mathieson as another cross from Stern John who clearly was finding it difficult to stay on his feet went across the penalty are and out for a goal kick.
On the half hour mark, Burnley came closest to scoring when a Robbie Blake through ball found Richard Chaplow who advanced to thankfully fire wide from ten yards with only Steele to beat.
The City supporters were still trying to create an atmosphere in what was a morgue and were resorting to demanding a wave off any player or anyone within earshot,but looked at each other in amazement as Valios was allowed space to curl the ball from twelve yards just past Steele's right hand post.
The City keeper was having a fine game and saved from a Valios shot in the 34th minute.
Three minutes later,his opposite number got to use his hands when an exquisite turn by Ricketts saw him lose his marker and find John who hit a tame effort.
Burnley came straight back at City with Steele firstly saving from Micah Hyde and when the ball was played back into Robbie Blake,Steele dived to his right to make another excellent save.
Now the City fans had been stood singing at the rear of the David Fishlock stand, (jobsworth stewards had forced everyone up the steep steps towards the back for some reason and thankfully my stick stopped me from falling on those steps on three occasions) when as the half-time whistle sounded, the stewards moved in and ejected two City supporters.
One was drunk and in possession of a can of alcohol,so no complaints there. But the other person ejected had done nothing wrong, unless you class singing as a heinous crime.
Like the said person, we tried to ascertain as to why this had occurred and were met by a string of different answers from the stewards who are employed by the Rocksteady Events Security company who were as much help as they were organised.
The drunk person was later arrested whilst the other person watched what he could see of the game from the Cricket Club next to the ground after being given short thrift by Burnley FC officials when he tried to complain.
Now whether, these bully boys have to eject at least one person per game as part of some target,we didn't find out but it seemed a likely reason when the stewards completely left us alone when the second half recommenced.
Steele made an early save from a Graham Branch effort and after Andy Whing had received treatment for a hefty bang on the legs which went unpunished, Eddy Johnson ran in the penalty area and went down under pressure from Sinclair. It was deliberate obstruction as a minimum but Mr Mathieson was having none of it and waved play on.
On the hour mark, Peter Reid made the first substitution of the night when he replaced Andy Morrell with Graham Barrett.
Many of the City followers had wanted the lightweight Stern John and Eddy Johnson off instead of Morrell and two minutes later, the decision was vindicated when Ricketts did well to get past his marker on the left and sent over a ball for Eddy Johnson to tap in from close range and put the Sky Blues ahead.
The City fans were still celebrating when less than thirty seconds later, Burnley attacked through Robbie Blake. Andy Whing was already on the deck and as he tried to sweep away the ball,Blake went over him and the referee pointed to the spot.
Rohan Ricketts got some advice from ex Claret Adrian Heath who admitted in the Burnley local paper that he should never have left Turf Moor as to what way,Blake would put it.
This was relayed back to Luke Steele and although the England U20's keeper went the right way, Robbie Blake's penalty kick just got past him and into the net.
The home side were clearly getting the better of the refereeing decisions and play was allowed to continue in the 68th minute as Blake burst forward and fired past Steele only for the excellent Dean Leacock to clear off the goal line and out for a corner.
Boosted by this let off, City came back and Steve Staunton in one his better games found Stern John on the left. The Trinidadian who was City's most expensive buy for three years,looked inside and played a thirty yard pass out to Graham Barrett on the right. Coyne came out but the Irishman kept his cool and fired the ball into the back of the net before running behind the goal to celebrate with the City supporters.
We were happy,we were singing but three minutes later, Burnley drew level for the second time in the game when a mistake in City's back four allowed Graham Branch to fire in from close range.
Stern John then rifled just over the bar with a right footed effort as the City fans called for Patrick Suffo to be brought on.
Our chants were rewarded when the Cameroonian replaced John in the 78th minute. Normally, most players clap their supporters but there was not even a glance from the striker whom Birmingham boss Steve Bruce wishes he had not sold.
With Suffo on,City looked to go forward and a move from the right found Ricketts who curled a 16 yard effort inches wide of Coyne's left hand post.
Robbie Blake was replaced by Lee Roche and this was followed by a lovely turn by Suffo leading to him shooting wide.
With five minutes left, Suffo's threat won City a corner which was met by the head of Graham Barrett. The Irishman's header was caught by Coyne on the goal-line. Now whether the whole of the ball was over the line as Coyne stood there with his hands aloft, I for one could not tell but some of my fellow supporters were convinced it did. However it mattered not as the referee and his assistant on the side to our left did not think it and Burnley were allowed to clear.
Deep in injury time and with the City fans singing "You Should Have Given A Pen" at every decision that went the way of the home team and just as Patrick Suffo had jinked his way through. Mr Mathieson blew the final. Suffo lobbed the ball into the net. We cheered but know it was too late and a reasonably good City performance brought only one point instead of three.
Coming back,we opted for the usual way back towards Coventry and were making some good progress but somehow we took a wrong at Junction 20A of the M6 and found ourselves eleven miles from Wigan. We turned round and hit the traffic caused by Liverpool fans making their way back from a European Cup tie. We tried to off the motorway at Junction 18,heading for Crewe but took a wrong turn and found ourselves back on the M6.
We got off at Junction 16 headed through Stoke on the A50,took a wrong turn and ended up (yes you guessed it) back on the M6.
Eventually,we made our way via Uttoxeter and Derby and were back in Cov some four hours after we had left Burnley.
ATT 10 919
GOALS Eddy Johnson (62)
Robbie Blake (63 pen)
Graham Barrett (69)
Graham Branch (72)
Booked Sinclair
Man Of The Match - Dean Leacock and Luke Steele
Mare Of The Match - The stewards and the referee.
Steele,Whing,Staunton,Shaw,Leacock,Hughes, Doyle,Ricketts,Morrell (Barrett 60),Johnson,John (Suffo 78) SNU Shearer, Giddings,Sherwood