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Burnley took a run of one defeat in seven games to Preston but despite taking the lead, this was not Burnley’s day and we came home on the wrong end of a 4-1 defeat.

It was a week when local police officer PC Ken Inkle expressed serious concern over pens being sold to children. The red ink in them resembled blood, the plunger and the markings on the barrel all heled to make the pen look very similar to a hypodermic needle and they were turning up in a Burnley junior school.

“It is frightening, I thought it was a proper needle” Inkle said. “At the moment I am doing drugs education and insisting that children o not touch hypodermic syringes and that they must tell parents to sweep the up in an empty tin, and yet these pens are being sold to young kids.”

He was hoping to get them banned but Mr Paul Heward of Trading Standards said the pens were harmless and would pass any test although he added: “There’s a moral issue with the pens though. I think they are in very bad taste and we would recommend parents who find their children with the pens should take them off them.”

The pens were aimed at children between the ages of four and seven but two older girls found themselves in trouble when they came across a middle-aged man in Lowerhouse Lane early in the afternoon. He initially asked the girls for directions but then indecently assaulted one of them. Thankfully the girls escaped and were able to give police a good description of him although the police were appealing or information.

With crime increasing came news that the police were going to go back in time and bring more beat bobbies back on the streets. Sixty new, smaller beats had been created in the town which would give the police a greater presence within those communities and the officer allocated to each beat would be making himself know to important local figures in those areas. Superintendent Mike Griffin explained: “We want to meet the public’s concerns and get to the root of the problems, provide a visible, accountable and effective officer and co-operate fully in partnerships. This initiative will do that by reinforcing all the values of community policing.”

It might not have been a local matter but MP Peter Pike spoke out at BskyB’s plans to take over Manchester United. He was one of a number of politicians to put his name to a motion calling for the proposal to be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. The motion said that any such move would create an unacceptable situation as BskyB would become the biggest purchaser of televised football as well as the owner of Europe’s largest club. Mr Pike said any such takeover would not be in the best public interest.

He wasn’t the only Peter Pike in the news locally in this week. The Rev Peter Pike was introduced as the vicar of St. James’ Parish in Briercliffe and was welcomed by the Bishop of Burnley during a service at the church.

Whether either or both of the Pikes travelled to Deepdale, we don’t know, but for those of us who did we were certainly returning disappointed having seen the Clarets totally outplayed by the team in third place in the table. We were beaten 4-1 and this could, and would, have been a much bigger defeat but for the goalkeeping heroics of Gavin Ward.

Phil Eastwood heads Burnley into the lead

In a competitive start to the game, Preston had the edge with Darren Byfield missing the best of the early chances. But then, on the quarter hour, we got ourselves in front. We won a free kick for a foul on Matty Heywood by Ryan Kidd on the half way line. Clarets’ skipper Gordon Armstrong hoisted it into the North End penalty area. Brian Reid nodded it into the middle for Phil EASTWOOD to leave Gary Parkinson, one of three former Burnley players in the Preston team, and head into the top corner.

Burnley fans in the new Bill Shankly Kop for the first time were celebrating with hopes that it might just be our day but it took Preston just eight minutes to level things. Dominic Ludden, who was a thorn in Burnley’s side on the day, got down the left and crossed. We cleared it but only to Mark RANKINE who lashed home a shot from 25-yards with what was a stunning strike.

From then until half time it was all Preston and it was a minor miracle that we didn’t concede again in the first half. Kurt Nogan was unfortunate not to win a penalty, corners came and went as Preston took complete control.

We got to half time at 1-1 but we were forced into a change during the break with Brad Maylett coming on for the injured Armstrong. This time Preston intended turning their domination into goals and they did just that with the scorers hurting the Burnley fans even more.

Just 59 seconds of the second half had gone when we fell behind and for the third time in three league games for Preston against us it was the player the Burnley fans jeered throughout. We just couldn’t get the ball away and it dropped for NOGAN to fire home.

There was to be no response from Burnley and three minutes later the game was up when again we failed to clear and this time David EYRES slammed home. We were in disarray and we were still short of the hour when BYFIELD scored from the edge of the box following good work from Eyres.

Stan Ternent and Chris Brass at the final whistle

Preston were threatening to go goal crazy and with over half an hour we feared the biggest hammering for years. Twice Andy Payton saw efforts saved by David Lucas but other than that it was one way traffic towards our goal. North End had chance after chance after chance but some they missed and others they were foiled by the brilliant Ward.

With seven minutes remaining, Preston brought on Jon Macken and incredibly he probably should have got himself a hat trick but somehow missed target with all three.

Mercifully referee Eddie Lomas brought it to an end at 4-1 and there was not one word from the Burnley camp, not even the manager who left the dressing room with his players and straight onto the coach home.

This had been a damaging performance and a damaging result and was a real kick in the teeth for the fans who were beginning to believe we had turned a corner. And it was league leaders Stoke next. We needed to be, we had to be much, much better than this.

Two days after the game, Stan Ternent did speak about the game. He said: “We were useless in the second half. I think that was a throwback to last season. It could have been eight or nine. You can blame the manager, but I blame the players.

“Preston weren’t that good, we were just terrible. It was unforgiveable. I felt sorry for the fans., We embarrassed them. We turned up at the ground, and there was already a great atmosphere building up. We walked out onto the pitch in front of 4,000 Burnley fans in the Billy Shankly Stand, who had chosen to spend their money. They were looking forward to a blood and thunder local derby but got short changed. After the game I was too embarrassed to face the press and I didn’t want to say anything I might regret.”

The teams were;

Preston: David Lucas, Gary Parkinson, Dominic Ludden, Ryan Kidd, Michael Jackson, Michael Appleton, Paul McKenna, Mark Rankine (Lee Cartwright 39), Kurt Nogan, Darren Byfield (Jon Macken 83), David Eyres. Sub not used: Colin Murdock.

Burnley: Gavin Ward, Chris Scott, Matt Heywood, Brian Reid (Kevin Henderson 61), Steve Morgan, Chris Brass, Rune Vindheim (Mark Ford 55), Gordon Armstrong (Brad Maylett ht), Phil Eastwood, Andy Payton.

Referee: Eddie Lomas (Manchester).

Attendance: 15,888.

The defeat saw us drop three places in the table, back to 17th and between Wigan and York on goal difference. Preston didn’t move in the table with all of the top four recording victories. There was no change at the bottom either with the same four clubs in the relegation positions.

Division Two Results

Wednesday 4th November
Reading 1 York 0

Friday 6th November
Colchester 1 Macclesfield 1

Saturday 7th November
Chesterfield 3 Lincoln 0
Fulham 1 Bristol Rovers 0
Gillingham 2 Wigan 0
Northampton 1 Wycombe 1
Oldham 0 Manchester City 3
Preston 4 Burnley 1
Reading 3 Bournemouth 3
Stoke 3 Luton 1
Walsall 3 Millwall 0
Wrexham 1 Blackpool 1
York 1 Notts County 1

Burnley Goalscorers (League)

10: Andy Payton
5: Andy Cooke
2: Rune Vindheim
1; Gordon Armstrong, Phil Eastwood, Glen Little, Brian Reid

Burnley Goalscorers (Cups)

1: Andy Cooke, Andy Payton

Leading Goalscorers

10: Andy Payton (Burnley)
9: Carl Asaba (Gillingham), Richard Cresswell (York), Barry Hayles (Bristol Rovers), Andy Rammell (Walsall), Martin Williams (Reading)
8: Stuart Barlow (Wigan), Shaun Goater (Manchester City), Mark Stein (Bournemouth)
7: Carlo Corazzin (Northampton), Kurt Nogan (Preston)

League Table

Pos Team pld w d l f a gd pts
1 Stoke 17 11 1 5 25 15 10 34
2 Fulham 15 10 3 2 24 12 12 33
3 Preston 16 9 5 2 32 16 16 32
4 Walsall 17 10 2 5 26 22 4 32
5 Manchester City 17 7 6 4 23 17 6 27
6 Luton 16 8 3 5 21 16 5 27
7 Gillingham 17 6 8 3 26 17 9 26
8 Chesterfield 15 7 4 4 14 9 5 25
9 Bournemouth 15 6 6 3 23 16 7 24
10 Reading 16 6 5 5 20 23 -3 23
11 Millwall 17 6 5 6 17 20 -3 23
12 Blackpool 16 6 4 6 22 23 -1 22
13 Bristol Rovers 17 5 6 6 21 20 1 21
14 Notts County 17 5 6 6 20 21 -1 21
15 Wrexham 17 5 6 6 17 22 -5 21
16 Wigan 16 6 2 8 21 18 3 20
17 Burnley 17 5 5 7 21 23 -2 20
18 York 16 5 5 6 22 28 -6 20
19 Northampton 17 3 8 6 17 20 -3 17
20 Colchester 16 4 5 7 15 22 -7 17
21 Macclesfield 17 3 6 8 14 23 -9 15
22 Oldham 17 3 4 10 13 26 -13 13
23 Wycombe 17 2 5 10 15 25 -10 11
24 Lincoln 16 3 2 11 15 30 -15 11
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