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Burnley had the long journey to Southampton just four days after the League Cup defeat against Plymouth Argyle and it was very much an in-form Burnley who returned home with a point from a 2-2 draw.

It had been a week of contradiction on Barclay Hill estate in Burnley, The Burnley Express had reported several problems which were all but dismissed by Councillor Albert Pickup but I think the information from the local paper was the one to believe given the action plan put in place.

More specialist police anti-vandal squads were being activated along with an active citizens’ backing and tougher action from local magistrates. Police superintendent Joe Henderson said: “Of course the police are concerned about vandalism and we take steps to counteract it, but we can’t do this alone. We need the help of the general public because we can’t be expected to be in every part of the town at the same time.”

In the early post war days of the late 1940s and early 1950s, families had to deal with food rationing as the country recovered from the effects of the war. In 1973 there was a warning that pop could be rationed as we moved closer to Christmas. The warning came from Hills, the soft drinks company based in Padiham and it was all down to a chronic shortage of bottles. M David Hill, head of the family business founded in 1901, explained: “We are hoping that we don’t have to ration our supplies. Unfortunately, all we can do once our supply of bottles does run out is to tell customers we can only supply them in proportion to the number of empty bottles they return to us.”

Mr John Mackie, Burnley’s Accident Prevention Officer, had hit out at schools for their decision to have half term on Monday to Wednesday given Monday was 5th November. Mackie said: “When you have working parents they can’t keep control of their children. They will be up to all sorts of mischief and it is the wrong time of year for them to be in that idle state. Because they are off school for bonfire night, during the day there are going to be rival gangs running about making a nuisance and pinching other gangs bonfire wood.”

Burnley man Michael Bryan landed himself in trouble when he walked into the Cooperative Retail Store wearing a jacket and then walked out wearing two. I don’t think it helped his cause when he admitted in court that he’d gone into the store having drunk fifteen pints of beer in the Sparrow Hawk. I’m not sure I would be capable of getting my arms into the sleeves of one jacket after drinking that amount but he managed it and he paid for it too with a £100 fine and six months imprisonment suspended for two years.

St. Peter’s Church was the place to be for live music in this week with the Black Dyke Mills Band giving their first brass band concert of the season. The church was packed too for what was described as an outstanding performance from the world famous band who made a promise to return in 1974.

For my entertainment, I had my first ever trip to Southampton as the Clarets looked to get back to some sort of form following the disappointment of winning just one point from the previous two games against Everton and Manchester United. We had a full car for the journey but the club’s special charter flight wasn’t booked up and on the day before they were advertising the remaining seats which were £13 return.

For once manager Jimmy Adamson wouldn’t confirm his line-up for the Friday edition of the Burnley Express; he would only inform them that thirteen players would be travelling but it was no surprise to when the team was announced with Billy Ingham and Billy Rodaway the two to sit it out with Ingham taking his place on the bench.

Ray Hankin heads across to Geoff Nulty but his goal is ruled out for an offside

If football is all about the level and quality of performance, then this was a terrific day to be a Burnley fan but if it is all about the number of points won then there was a tinge of disappointment that we were only able to claim one from a 2-2 draw.

We were superb and it was hard to believe that we didn’t win. Saints’ boss Lawrie McMenemy said of our performance: “Burnley were stroking the ball around so sweetly. We could not get into the match at all. Their passing and the way players supported the man and the ball was great. It was the best team display we’ve had here all season, and that includes Leeds.”

We were so close to going in front in the first minute only for Paul Fletcher to see his header saved superbly by Eric Martin and from his clearance, Southampton won a corner when Keith Newton got back to stop Mick Channon from breaking clear.

Terry Paine took the corner; it was flicked on at the near post by ex-Claret Brian O’Neil, now in his fourth season with the south coast club, and CHANNON was able to bundle the ball home from close range despite the attention of both Peter Noble and Alan Stevenson.

I don’t think we saw much of O’Neil after that opening goal as Burnley took control. It didn’t take us long to equalise and not much longer to go in front. The first of them on eight minutes was a typical Burnley goal with the most fluent of moves. As it reached its conclusion, Doug Collins switched the ball to Geoff Nulty who transferred it quickly to Ray Hankin. A subtle flick from Hankin gave FLETCHER the chance and he took it with a shot into the top corner from just outside the box.

Eric Martin makes a good save to deny Hankin

Ten minutes later came our second and another fine goal. Martin Dobson headed on a Collins corner and HANKIN turned on the dropping ball to send a low half volley into the bottom corner.

Between those goals, Nulty had scored with a fine header that was very harshly ruled out for offside and as the game progressed, only some misfortune and some good goalkeeping kept the score down to 2-1 with Burnley in total command.

In the second half, James went close having received the ball from Fletcher and Collins saw a good effort hit the bar. But, with it still 2-1, we did begin to lose our grip on the game and we paid the price. With just eight minutes remaining, Hankin conceded a free kick taken by Paine. Paul Bennett outjumped the defence to head the ball down for Tony BYRNE to apply the finishing touch from right on the line.

Suddenly we were hanging on in a game we’d dominated for eighty minutes but hang on and for all the good work we had to be satisfied with a point. But this had been a heartening display that showed once again that Burnley were one of the country’s best teams.

“The best we have played this season,” manager Adamson said afterwards. “We played some excellent football in the first leg of the Texaco Cup against Hearts but in that case it was only after we had scored and had control of the game. Here we played some great stuff from the start. Even when we were behind we still played very well. From the footballing angle this was our best display of the season.”

The teams were;

Southampton: Eric Martin, Bob McCarthy, Steve Mills, Hugh Fisher, Paul Bennett, Tony Byrne, Terry Paine, Mick Channon, Paul Gilchrist, Brian O’Neil, Bobby Stokes. Sub not used: Jim Steele.

Burnley: Alan Stevenson, Peter Noble, Keith Newton, Martin Dobson, Colin Waldron, Jim Thomson, Geoff Nulty, Frank Casper, Paul Fletcher, Doug Collins, Leighton James. Sub not used: Billy Ingham.

Referee: Mr J. Homewood (Sunbury-on-Thames).

Attendance: 21,541.

Burnley had dropped to third a week earlier and this result saw his drop a further place to fourth with Newcastle beating Stoke to move ahead of both of us due to their better goal average. We were now all six points behind Leeds who had the biggest win of the day, beating West Ham 4-1.

West Ham remained next to bottom with Birmingham, who won a point at Sheffield United, moving within one point of them. Norwich beat Leicester and that saw them move ahead of Wolves and out of the bottom three.

First Division Results

Saturday 3rd November 1973
Arsenal 0 Liverpool 2
Coventry 0 Ipswich 1
Derby 1 QPR 2
Everton 1 Tottenham 1
Leeds 4 West Ham 1
Manchester United 2 Chelsea 2
Newcastle 2 Stoke 1
Norwich 1 Leicester 0
Sheffield United 1 Birmingham 1
Southampton 2 Burnley 2
Wolves 0 Manchester City 0

Burnley Goalscorers (League)

4: Paul Fletcher
3: Frank Casper, Doug Collins, Martin Dobson, Ray Hankin, Geoff Nulty
2: Leighton James, Colin Waldron

Burnley Goalscorers (Cups)

6: Leighton James
4: Paul Fletcher
3: Ray Hankin, Peter Noble
2: Geoff Nulty
1: Martin Dobson, Colin Waldron

First Division Leading Goalscorers

8: Tommy Baldwin (Chelsea), Mick Channon (Southampton), Mick Jones (Leeds), Malcolm MacDonald (Newcastle)
7: Derek Dougan (Wolves)
6: Stan Bowles (QPR), Roger Davies (Derby), Kevin Hector (Derby), David Johnson (Ipswich), Peter Lorimer (Leeds)
5: Billy Bremner (Leeds), Martin Chivers (Tottenham), Allan Clarke (Leeds), Jimmy Greenhoff (Stoke), Bryan Hamilton (Ipswich), Geoff Hurst (Stoke), Jim McCalliog (Wolves), Alan Woodward (Sheffield United)

League Table

Pos Team pld w d l f a ga pts
1 Leeds 14 11 3 0 29 8 3.63 25
2 Newcastle 14 8 3 3 24 14 1.71 19
3 Everton 14 7 5 2 17 10 1.70 19
4 Burnley 14 7 5 2 23 14 1.64 19
5 Derby 15 7 4 4 19 13 1.46 18
6 Liverpool 14 7 3 4 15 11 1.36 17
7 Ipswich 14 6 5 3 22 20 1.10 17
8 QPR 14 5 6 3 23 19 1.21 16
9 Southampton 14 6 4 4 20 19 1.05 16
10 Coventry 15 6 3 6 14 14 1.00 15
11 Manchester City 14 5 4 5 15 16 0.94 14
12 Sheffield United 14 5 3 6 16 17 0.94 13
13 Leicester 14 3 7 4 14 15 0.93 13
14 Manchester United 14 4 4 6 12 15 0.80 12
15 Tottenham 14 4 4 6 15 19 0.79 12
16 Arsenal 14 5 2 7 14 19 0.74 12
17 Chelsea 14 4 3 7 21 21 1.00 11
18 Stoke 14 2 6 6 15 18 0.83 10
19 Norwich 14 2 6 6 11 20 0.55 10
20 Wolves 14 3 3 8 15 25 0.60 9
21 West Ham 14 1 5 8 12 23 0.52 7
22 Birmingham 14 1 4 9 11 27 0.41 6
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