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With just two wins from the first ten games of the season, Burnley travelled to Maine Road to take on a Manchester City side who were ten places higher in the table with seven more points.

There was sad news in town with the discovery of 53-year-old Mr John Stoiles whose body was found at his home on the previous Saturday. Detective Superintendent Paul Buschini, who was leading the investigation into his death, appealed to the public for further help. He said: “Officers engaged with the inquiries into Mr Stoiles’ death are still anxious to speak with anybody who can provide information as to the movement and whereabouts of Mr Stoiles between the afternoon of Wednesday, September 23rd and the morning of Saturday, September 26th when his body was discovered at his home address on Ashley Street.”

Five days after the body had been found, Desmond John McDermott (31) and Tracy Marian Parker (28), both of Rylands Street in Burnley, appeared in court charged with the murder of Mr Stoiles. They were remanded in custody for one week while a provisional date in November was given for committal to the crown court.

In another crime, 75-yar-old Mrs Maud Pollard had cash snatched from her bag during an attack in Burnley Market and this in broad daylight. Two of her sons had offered a reward for the capture of the two people responsible for the attack that had seen Mrs Pollard admitted to hospital after suffering an angina attack.

Let’s brighten the mood and look at news of a regular at the Duke of York who enjoyed drinking the beer on offer there. The issue was that this was Bobby who just happened to be a budgie. For whatever reason, his owners Jimmy and Jonathan Lowry decided to take him to the pub with them and he got the taste for the drink. He wasn’t fussy either, as Jimmy explained: “He loves a little sip of whatever is in front of him. He doesn’t care whether it’s beer, whisky or wine.” He also said Bobby had now been tamed and never flew off when out.

On the subject of birds, the local RSPCA were looking for a good home for a flock of ten hens and ducks and wanted to ensure their next stop would not be the cooking pot. The birds were among forty that had been rescued having been neglected by their previous owners.

Burnley’s reserve team had been beaten in the week by Coventry who won the game 1-0. It was a very experienced Coventry team but the Burnley interest was in two trialists brought in by Stan Ternent and both did well. One was German goalkeeper Lutz Pfannenstiel who played the first half and in front of him was Norwegian defender Rune Vindheim. Both did well too and Vindheim must really have impressed the manager.

Ternent said of Vindheim: “Rune did very well and we will continue to look at him in training and probably another game. He was very impressive, but one swallow doesn’t make a summer. But we will get him on a free if we decide to offer him a deal.”

Ahead of the short trip to Maine Road, Ternent was without the services of Peter Swan, suspended having been sent off at Reading, and the injured Chris Brass, Neil Moore, Mark Ford, Paul Weller, Ronnie Jepson and Steve Morgan with only Morgan thought to be anywhere near a comeback.

Ternent said: “You never know what will happen, it’s eleven versus eleven over ninety minutes. We will have a lot of inexperienced players out there, but these are the games to be involved in. Everyone wants to play at grounds like Maine Road and hopefully in time we will be playing in places like that more regularly.

“There will be a great crowd, a good following from Burnley, and it will be a fabulous occasion. It will be brilliant for the kids. You never know how they will handle the occasion but they will have to cope. I hold no fears that they won’t. Hopefully their crowd will turn on them but they will only turn on them if we are playing well.”

Andy Payton latches on to a back pass to equalise for the Clarets

Once again, as had happened so often already in the season, Burnley had no luck whatsoever although we did come back from Maine Road with a point from a 2-2 draw. Once again we conceded a late goal but prior to that, we’d had a perfectly good goal ruled out.

Vindheim was signed just in time to make a debut although, like others in the side, had to play out of position, but it didn’t start well for us and we were a goal behind in only the ninth minute. Jim Whitley released Danny Tiatto who sent Lee Bradbury on his way forward. Bradbury played a neat ball to Shaun GOATER who held off Brian Reid before firing a shot under the advancing Gavin Ward.

We were level, or thought we were, soon afterwards when Andy Cooke slammed in a shot from 25-yards only for referee Roger Furnandiz to astonishingly rule it out for an offside by a player not even close to being involved.

But we did equalise just over ten minutes from the break. Nick Fenton intercepted a pass through from Andy Payton and tried to play it back to his goalkeeper Nicky Weaver but PAYTON was there to pounce and slot the ball home.

Playing towards the Burnley fans in the second half, we went in front. Paul Smith crossed from the left and COOKE smashed it home leaving Weaver with no chance. Glen Little came close to a third but for much of the last twenty to thirty minutes it was all City but we defended so well. It took another dreadful combination of decisions in the end to get them their second. The referee astonishingly gave them a free kick. If that was a poor decision then the linesman’s disinterest in flagging Danny ALLSOPP offside when he hooked home Goater’s goal bound header was hard to take. TV evidence showed him to be some way offside.

Andy Cooke scores to give Burnley a 2-1 lead

Once again, decisions had cost us, but this had been a good performance and really a good result for this Burnley team.

After the game, Ternent said: “I really thought we were going to win the game. We’ve got young players and they’re learning all the time. At the end of the day, it’s a point and that’s a great result for us.

“I’m delighted for the kids and the way they played, but somebody has got to do something about the standard of officials in the game. I thought the referee had a smashing game, but we had a goal disallowed when Andy Cooke fired one in from 25-yards and somebody else is deemed to be interfering with play, it’s just not right.

“I think that players should be being pushed through to be officials as quickly as possible. They know what’s going on and they would be able to sort out what’s right and what’s not right. Having said all that, I’m delighted with the result. We had all sorts of people playing out of position and we still came away with a point. That has got to be one of our toughest games out of the way.”

The teams were;

Manchester City: Nicky Weaver, Richard Edghill, Danny Tiatto (Danny Allsopp 56), Nick Fenton, Gerard Wiekens, Tony Vaughan, Jim Whitley, Gary Mason, Shaun Goater, Kevin Horlock, Lee Bradbury. Subs not used: Crooks, Jeff Whitley.

Burnley: Gavin Ward, Chris Scott, Matt Heywood, Brian Reid, Gordon Armstrong, Glen Little, Mark Robertson, Rune Vindheim (Carl Smith 71), Paul Smith, Andy Cooke, Andy Payton. Subs not used: Brad Maylett, Colin Carr-Lawton.

Referee: Roger Furnandiz (Doncaster).

Attendance: 30,722.

Stoke were surprisingly beaten at Reading but remained top, now just two points ahead of Walsall who had moved into second place with a win against Preston who they moved ahead of in the table whilst also benefiting form Fulham losing. It wasn’t a good day for Preston at all, they lost to an Andy Rammell goal. Both sides ended the game with ten men with referee Rob Styles sending off Walsall’s Jason Brissett just minutes after he’d dismissed North End’s Michael Jackson. He was the only player with a Burnley connection to be sent off but there were two to score with both Phil Gray and Steve Davis netting for Luton in their win at Fulham.

Despite the point at City, we had dropped two places to 20th in the table.

Division Two Results

Tuesday 29th September
Fulham 2 Wycombe 0
Millwall 1 Manchester City 1

Wednesday 30th September
Walsall 0 Reading 2

Saturday 3rd October
Blackpool 1 York 2
Bristol Rovers 1 Bournemouth 0
Fulham 1 Luton 3
Gillingham 2 Macclesfield 2
Manchester City 2 Burnley 2
Millwall 0 Chesterfield 0
Oldham 1 Colchester 0
Reading 2 Stoke 1
Walsall 1 Preston 0
Wigan 1 Northampton 0
Wrexham 2 Lincoln 1
Wycombe 1 Notts County 1

Burnley Goalscorers

6: Andy Payton
3: Andy Cooke
1; Gordon Armstrong, Brian Reid

Leading Goalscorers

7: Shaun Goater (Manchester City), Barry Hayles (Bristol Rovers), Andy Rammell (Walsall)
6: Stuart Barlow (Wigan),Dean Crowe (Stoke), Andy Payton (Burnley)
5: Richard Cresswell (York), Steve Davis (Luton), Kurt Nogan (Preston), Martin Williams (Reading)
4: Phil Clarkson (Blackpool) Carlo Corazzin (Northampton), David Eyres (Preston), Ian Hendon (Notts County), Graham Kavanagh (Stoke), Neil Thompson (York)

League Table

Pos Team pld w d l f a gd pts
1 Stoke 11 8 0 3 18 10 8 24
2 Walsall 11 7 1 3 15 12 3 22
3 Preston 11 6 3 2 22 12 10 21
4 Fulham 11 6 3 2 15 9 6 21
5 Bournemouth 11 6 2 3 14 7 7 20
6 Luton 11 6 2 3 14 9 5 20
7 Blackpool 11 6 2 3 16 14 2 20
8 Manchester City 11 4 6 1 16 12 4 18
9 York 10 5 3 2 16 13 3 18
10 Bristol Rovers 11 4 4 3 15 11 4 16
11 Colchester 11 4 3 4 12 12 0 15
12 Notts County 11 4 3 4 14 12 2 15
13 Wrexham 11 4 3 4 13 15 -2 15
14 Millwall 11 4 3 4 10 12 -2 15
15 Chesterfield 11 4 3 4 6 8 -2 15
16 Gillingham 11 2 6 3 15 13 2 12
17 Wigan 11 4 2 5 12 11 1 14
18 Reading 10 3 2 5 11 17 -6 11
19 Oldham 11 3 2 6 10 16 -6 11
20 Burnley 11 2 4 5 11 15 -4 10
21 Macclesfield 11 2 3 6 7 13 -6 9
22 Northampton 11 1 5 5 10 15 -5 8
23 Lincoln 11 1 2 8 8 20 -12 5
24 Wycombe 11 0 3 8 6 18 -12 3
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