Thursday, 22 January 2015

FA Youth Cup: Burnley 3-1 Cardiff City

Burnley’s young starlets claimed an emphatic 3-1 victory over Cardiff City to progress to the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup.

A trip to the City Ground was the reward following goals from Brandon Wilson, Jamie Frost and Bradley Jackson on a bitterly cold evening at Turf Moor.

Burnley dominated the first half and it looked like it was only a matter of time before they took the lead. Ntumba Massanka was in the thick of the action and he was unlucky not to get on the score sheet. This lad has pace to burn.

The goal came just before half time following a bit of a goalmouth scrap which fell to Wilson who shot from the edge of the box.

The lead was nearly doubled on the stroke of half time when Jackson let rip only to see the Cardiff stopper make an absolutely world class save to tip it round the post.

I’ve seen Jackson play a few times now and he always impresses. He quick, has good feet and isn’t afraid to skin a full back.

The appropriately named Jamie Frost came on for Massanka just after the hour mark. He’s another young lad that I rate and he made an immediate impact.

On 75 minutes, Jackson muscled his way through the Welshmen’s defence. His cross was defelected but he managed to hook the ball over to the back post for the waiting Frost who slammed it in to the far corner giving their keeper absolutely no chance.

Burnley were two nil up, and true to recent form they conceded. Cardiff won a free kick on the edge of the box. All the players lined up as if Veale was going to cross it in to the box. From where we were sat it looked like there was a big gap. There was. He curled it in to the top corner.

But thankfully there was that man again. Khius Metz played a delightful through ball and Jackson powered in to the box and made no mistake making it 3-1 and guaranteeing them a fifth round tie against Nottingham Forest next Tuesday 27th January.

I would also like to give Waqas Azam a quick mention. I thought he was solid in the centre of defence. He’s not the tallest of centre halves but he put himself about. He’s another one to watch.

MOTM: Bradley Jackson

Burnley: Aghayere; El-Fitouri (Dixon 86), Hobson, Azam, Nugent; Jackson, Bianga, Wilson, Hill; Massanka (Frost 66), Metz.

Subs: King, Dolling, Crawford.

Cardiff: Massaro, Rees, Baker, Patten, R. Menayese, Williams, Watkins (Phipps 46), Yonwa-Toonga (So Sani 75), E. Menayese, Taylor (Veale 46), Noor.

Subs: Coughlan, Coxe.

Attendance: 282

Originally Published on 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Vintage Clarets 2-1 Ted's Old Boys

It was definitely a game of three halves for the Vintage Clarets as they ran out 2-1 winners against St. Theodores Old Boys at Burnley Belvedere FC in support of Mick Ennis with goals from Roger Eli and Brad Maylett.

Around 1500 people turned out on a sunny Lancashire afternoon to show their appreciation the teacher affectionately known as “Mennis” who is currently receiving treatment for cancer.

The game was played as three periods of 30 minutes with a different team from Teds playing in each with Dean Stowe pulling back a late goal for the old school boys.

The first chance fell to Teds with Nick Palich sliding in at the near post and Chris Pearce showed that he still had a sense of humour by shouting:”yes” as he failed to connect with the delivery.

It didn’t take the former pros long to take the lead. Paul Weller headed the ball in the box and Graham Lancashire saw it cleared off the line twice before it dropped to Eli who saw his header lob in to the far corner.

Weller was again in the thick of the action after a quarter of an hour when he saw his free kick hit the wall and five minutes later he leapt like a salmon only to see his header saved.

However, the resulting corner fell to Maylett who doubled the lead.

Pearce was again up to mischief when he charged up the field for a corner and hounded the Teds keeper just before the first break.

The second period was a quieter affair.

Jamie Hoyland spurned a golden opportunity when his header went close. Graham Lancashire was on hand to console him. When I say console, I mean laugh.

Manager John Deary gave veteran’s debuts to Alex Kevan, Lee Roche, Jason Heffernan and Dennis Hill.

The final third saw the big guns rolled out for the Ormerod Road school boys. Manchester United’s Class of ’92 starlet Chris Casper was joined by former Claret John Mullin and his brother and Accrington Stanley legend Paul.

The pressure was immediately piled on from the Mullin brothers with wave after wave of attack culminating in Stowe slotting the ball in the far corner despite a valiant Phil Eastwood challenge.

I suppose it was win, lose and draw for both teams but there can be only one winner and that was Mick Ennis who was able to attend for part of the game.

The game was played with a superb spirit and there was little for professional football league referee Graham Salisbury to do.

Following the game there was an action with some amazing pieces of memorabilia donated from far and wide. Jimmy Anderson had donated a signed England cricket shirt. There was a Manchester United shirt signed by Angel di Maria and signed Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs photos.

Man of the moment, Danny Ings who was actually in attendance, donated his shirt from the Stoke City game as well as a pair of his orange boots.

But my favorite lot of the evening was a signed picture of Bertie Bee rugby tackling that streaker against Preston North End.

Well over £2000 was raised from those sales alone. Who said there was no money in Burnley?

It really was a terrific event and thanks must be given to all those who organized it.

All of us at NNN send Mr Ennis our very best wishes.

Vintage Clarets: Pearce, Ishy, Atkinson, Eastwood, Harrison, Hoyland, Lancashire, Cartwright, Weller, Mumby, Eli

Subs: Kevan, Maylett, Roche, Heffernan, Hill, Deary

Pacific Finance MOTM: Jamie Hoyland

Team 1: Heys, Palich, Clarke, Perry, Taylor, Horne, Woodfield, Fogarty, Dugdale, Stowe, Finn

Subs: Russell

Team 2: Garnett, Byrne, Bentley, Byrne, Cole, Ennis, Geogheghan, Boyle, Cole, Berry

Subs: Palich, MacMahon

Team 3: Anderson, Dugdale, Collins, Casper, Walsh, Bridge, Mullin, Bridge, Mullin, Stowe, Horrocks

Subs: McLaughlin

If you would like to donate direct to Pendleside Hospice and include gift aid as a taxpayer, please do so at the following website:

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Commercial Old Boys 1-1 Vintage Clarets

The Vintage Clarets failed to overcome the Commercial Old Boys in this year’s Bill Heywood Memorial Trophy. The game finished a stalemate despite Dennis Hill scoring both goals.

The home side got off to a flying start and took the lead after a quarter on an hour with Hill’s low shot beating the advancing keeper at the near post.

It was great to see John Borland making his Vintage Clarets debut along side former youth player and local lad and Preston North End legend Lee Cartwright.

The game was really physical with some over zealous challenges on Gerry Harrison, Liam Robinson and Phil Eastwood.

But the defining moment of the half was on 26 minutes when Robinson saw his penalty hit the upright denying the chance of levelling the scores.

However, within a minute of the restart Hill turned from hero to villain as he inadvertently put the ball in to the back of his own net.

The rough and tumble continued with Roger Eli lucky not to have his leg broken by a dangerous tackle and Peter Mumby on the receiving end of a two-footed challenge from Simon Burrows in the opposition goal.

The Clarets piled on the pressure but couldn’t find the winner and the game finished with handshakes all round with both teams sharing the glory.

Vintage Clarets: Lee, Atkinson, Lancashire, Borland, Eastwood, Cartwright, Harrison, Weller, Hoyland, Robinson, Mumby

Subs: Deary, Eli, Hamilton, Oghani

Sunday, 17 August 2014

We Won't Win Promotion

Well, I told you so. Sorry but I had to say it, seeing as I was ridiculed by some non-believers.

I was certainly in the minority last year when I said, before the season started, that we would win promotion. The reason behind my correct prediction was based on the fact that you have to believe you can achieve something in order to compete. That mentality is exactly what Sean Dyche has instilled in our band of brothers. The Club tweeted a picture of him recently stood next to a sign entitled state of mind which goes on to say that if you think you are beaten, you are.

The key to our success last season was that the lads never gave up. The manager never gave up. The coaches never gave up and we never gave up.

Of course all the pundits are immediately saying that we will return to footballs second tier. But who cares what a former player, whose sole career highlight was winning the League Cup, thinks? Not to disrespect the League Cup, I’m actually a fan of it and think we will win it in the next five years.

But I don’t care what anyone thinks. We ARE there and be that for one season or more we play Chelsea at Turf Moor tonight. Not Leyton Orient. Not Stockport County. Not even Wolverhampton Wanderers but Jose Mourinho’s team of millionaires.

I don’t care that you could buy over 1000 Michael Duff’s for the price of one Diego Costa. I know which one I’d rather have. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited about the fact that we are going to see these fantastic world class footballers playing in our town. But I’ll be far more excited when Duffo dispossesses Eden Hazard on the edge of the box. I’ll be jumping for joy when Kieran Trippier skips past Cesc Fàbregas and I’ll be doing summersaults when Danny Ings nutmegs John Terry and slots the ball past Petr Čech.

It is eleven men against eleven men and the opposition cannot possibly have more desire to win than we do. We have to put an air inflated bladder between two sticks and into a net. Nothing more and nothing less. Why does costing £32m make you better at doing that than costing £30k? It doesn’t. Money doesn’t make players any better. Training, effort, practice, coaching and above all else a desire to win does that.

I’ll be honest we are not going to win promotion this season I’m sorry to say. But we still have to set out to win every game and if we do that we’ll be Champions of England for the third time, an achievement only held by 14 other clubs. In fact we rank seventh in the all-time league table. We have a tradition that is as great if not greater than more than half of the Premier League never mind the other 72 clubs. Of course we deserve to be there. We are founder members of the football league. We have won the FA cup twice. We have won all four divisions of English football and now we begin as equals in arguably the greatest league in the world.

So as we start this new season there is no reason on paper why we can’t win the league but even I maybe think that is asking too much. Last season we had worked up to promotion and this season we only need to finish 17th. So if we are aiming 16 places higher who knows what can happen. However, I do think that a European place is a real possibility. You heard it here first.

Mock me at your peril, remember as Dyche says:” It’s all in the state of mind.”

Up the Clarets.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Bank of Ing-land

Burnley FC

Will we have a full England international before too long? I think we will.

As most of you will be aware, van salesman turned TV star Dave Fishwick sponsors the Cricket Field stand at Turf Moor. He also started a small bank. He did this because he thought it was unfair that the market was controlled by behemoths who charged ridiculous fees.

The Premier League could be seen to be such a giant monster. One that swallows up all the talent leaving the lower clubs to fight for the scraps of flesh that are left behind. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. But let’s be honest, the football has probably got better since all this money has come into the game and especially because we made the promised land courtesy of Wade Elliott’s £60m+ goal.

However, the national team seems to have suffered in the same time period. This is, in my opinion, due to the influx of foreign players in to the game. Now don’t get me wrong, I have no objections to foreign players. Without them we wouldn’t have had the pleasure of watching Arthur Gnohéré, Marco Gentile or even Remco van der Schaaf. England just do not seem to be able to compete like they did in Italia 90.

English players are few and far between at the top clubs. There are exceptions of course. Let’s not forget the likes of James Milner. But, we’re never going to win the World Cup by continually wheeling out John Terry and Frank Lampard.

It would appear that Roy Hodgson, who I like despite his brain fart of managing Blackburn, also seems to agree with me and has begun looking to the future and the Euro’s of 2016 by pencilling in Danny Ings in his squad. (Warning: Daily Mail link)

Now some of you may know that I’m a slight fan of Danny Ings ever since I saw him make his Claret debut against Preston reserves at Chorley where he came off the bench and within minutes had chased down the defender, rounded the keeper and slotted the ball calmly in to the far corner of the onion bag. “We’ve got a new Mike Conroy here,” I remember thinking.

I said at the start of this season that he’d score 40 goals. People thought I was mental but records are there to be broken. 25 league and cup and two England U21 goals means he’s 67.5% of the way there. I genuinely think he can make the magic four zero figure.

Some people have commented that Hodgson is scraping the bottom of the barrel by considering Ings, but why is he? By this time next year he could, and probably will be, a Premier League player. He’s got the skill, touch and awareness needed by an international. He’s only 21 so maybe he lacks a bit of experience. But he’ll have another year by then.

I’d be absolutely delighted if he went on to play for England and if I’m being honest even if that wasn’t as a Burnley player but it probably will be.

He’ll be the first full England international that we have had since Martin Dobson – mark my words. You can bank on it.

First Published on

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Morecambe 1-0 Clarets

On a rather hot and balmy evening on the north Lancashire coast, Morecambe ran out the victors.

The goal came from a right-wing cross as the Shrimps had hit the woodwork three times in close succession, finally managing to beat Alex Cisak making his Clarets debut.

Morecambe were buoyed by new signings Tony Diagne, Marcus Marshall and new captain Mark Hughes.

Burnley fielded a trialist, Scott Arfield, who didn’t really impress. He was released from Huddersfield at the end of last season. A Terriers fan told me that when he arrived there he was supposed to be a quality player but he was a disappointment. To be fair, one game in 80 degree heat probably isn’t a proper reflection on the lad so it's probably worth giving him a chance.

Kieran Trippier was a notable exception to Sean Dyche’s squad. However, I did spot him in the stand cheering the lads on.

On the pitch Danny Ings looked sharp as ever. He was consistently looking to make runs into the box. A somewhat svelte looking Keith Treacy looked distinctly positive running down the right-hand side and made numerous crosses into the box.

Up front Sam Vokes didn’t seem very effective and never appeared to be where he needed to be when the balls came in. Again it is only game one of pre-season.

The second half saw a number of changes and a number of the young professionals introduced such as Alex Coleman and Steven Hewitt with Junior Stanislas and Ross Wallace on the left and right wings respectively. I’ve never been a massive Stanislas fan, but I have to say that he was very effective, consistently breaking away and lofting ball after ball into the Morecambe box. Wallace was also crossing more balls than we ever saw last season. Maybe this is a statement of intent from Dyche. Let’s hope so. The only downside was that Vokes was never in the right place again.

In the second half however, we played with two up top. Now, I actually couldn’t work out who the other player was. I could name all our substitutes such as Tom Anderson, Luke Gallagher and Jason Gilchrist but this striker eluded me. It turned out that it was George Porter. He looked strong and did a fair amount of running, keeping the Morecambe defenders busy.

It was good to see more of the young lads get a chance. We have some very good talent especially with the likes of Gilchrist, who only last season scored a hat trick at Old Trafford against Manchester United in the FA Youth Cup.

Their goal eventually came after the woodwork had saved three efforts. This probably makes the cross-bar our fifth keeper on paper and statistically our best!

The ball was crossed from the right wing and floated in to Kevin Ellison who diverted it across to the far top corner and past a bemused Cisak. The debut keeper didn’t have much work to do, probably because the woodwork was doing it for him, however, one of the shots was turned on to it by him. He did look a bit hesitant at times when deciding whether to come out for crosses, but it's early days.

So, as I said the other week, on my way to the Globe Arena I was thinking about when we win promotion. Well to spout a pre-season metaphor, the result is irrelevant - on my way home I was thinking the same thing.

Off to the Emerald Isle we go. Up the Clarets.

Burnley (First-half): Heaton; Lafferty, Long, Shackell, Mills; Treacy, Marney, Stock, Arfield; Vokes, Ings.

(Second-half) Cisak; Coleman, Duff, Mee, Lafferty; Wallace, Hewitt, Arfield; Stanislas, Vokes, Porter.

First published on 

When We Win Promotion...

That’s what I will be thinking on my way to Morecambe next Tuesday night.

Yes, I do mean this forthcoming season. Why not? It’s just a game between two sets of 11 players who merely need to kick an inflated pig bladder between two sticks and into a net. Simples.

If you start the season with the mentality that you are 'happy if we stay up' and 'not get relegated' then it’s going to be a long arduous and depressing season.

The aim of the game is to win. Win every game. That is the aim. The aim has to be to win.

And as a fan our job is to believe that we can win every game. I don’t think for one minute that we will win every game. That’s realism. Football is not about realism. It’s about dreams, it’s about passion and belief. It’s about wanting to kick every ball and save every shot. It’s about working all week with the knowledge that you can go to the Turf on Saturday and live your dreams. It’s about shouting and screaming to motivate your team to victory. It’s about being part of a clan of Claret, not knowing the person next to you, yet knowing enough to know he’s (or she’s) on your side and shares your common gusto.

Football is entertainment. Win, lose or draw, you are still entertained. However, sometimes it may not be to your liking. That’s fine. That’s life. That’s football. Go to the pub and discuss it with your mates. Then, next week, who cares because it’s time to start all over again. They all start 0-0. We start even no matter who the opposition is. That dream should be alive before every game.

And when the time comes that we cannot get our name on the Championship trophy then we will make the play-offs. And if that becomes mathematically impossible then we shall finish as high as we can. If we get dragged in to a relegation fight then so be it. But until the day comes that Sky Sports sources tell us we are relegated we will believe.

We’ve done it before. We believed against Orient when Ian Britton scored. We believed when Roger Eli fired a header past Peter Shilton. We believed one night in York when John Francis scored. We believed when Gary Parkinson found the net against Stockport County. We believed when Glen Little smashed the ball in at Scunthorpe. We believed when Ade Akinbiyi bagged at Stamford Bridge. We believed when we were 3-0 up after 90 minutes against Spurs. We believed when Steven Thompson volleyed in from the edge of the box at Reading. We believed when Wade Elliott whipped in that magical goal at Wembley. And we certainly believed when Robbie scored... no not against Manchester United... the opener away at Ewood!

This is what football is about. This is what being a Burnley fan is all about.

We may not have bundles of cash. We may not have millionaire players. We may not have fans from every corner of the globe. What we have got is a history and tradition that most clubs in this country can only dream of.

But most importantly of all we have you, the fans and Burnley fans are the most passionate, loyal, zealous, enthusiastic and fanatical fans in the whole world.

So as I was saying, when we get promotion…

Up the Clarets.

First published on