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Having been beaten at Macclesfield a week earlier following a run of five games without defeat, Burnley got back on track with a 2-1 home win against Wrexham.

You sometimes don’t know how fortunate you are. I was aged 37 when I lost my first parent, but back in 1998 young children were left without their mum when two young Burnley women passed away.

Michelle Haythornthwaite was just thirty and died from a rare blood disorder which she was believed to have caught during a holiday in Majorca and two days later Louise Titley lost her life at 28 following an epileptic seizure. Michelle had a daughter aged eleven while Louise was mum to a six-year-old son and had also brought up her 12-year-old brother following the deaths of her parents.

When you receive an invitation to a Christening, that’s what you can expect to be attending but not for those who arrived at All Saints Church, Habergham. The congregation in the church were expecting just that but then witnessed the child’s parents arriving to the wedding march. Seems a bit of a daft way to do it and I’m sure it meant they received less wedding presents than might have been the case.

It might have been an enjoyable day for them but an old lady in the Coal Clough area of town had been subjected to two awful attacks on her home. She returned from shopping to find windows smashed and the house ransacked. The thieves had got away with £60 in cash and some jewellery. Then, just days later, she opened her door to a conman who talked his way in. He got away with her purse which had £40 in it along with some personal photographs.

We’d had some high winds in the week and it could have cost a builder his life. Nigel Hill, a 28-year-old, was working on the roof of the Rose and Crown in Manchester Road. He was found by police face down on the road with what were described as serious head injuries. Doctors at Burnley General Hospital described him as stable but poorly following emergency treatment.

Back to house break ins and this one had its consequences. William Moat came home from work to find his wife had been disturbed by burglars. Along with his brother, he decided to deal with things himself and, fuelled by drink, with a pickaxe handle and a claw hammer, they walked into a house looking for the man they suspected.

Thankfully, there was no violence and they were told in court that they could have been going to prison for a long time. Because of their previous good character, they were each given two hundred hours community service.

Despite the defeat against Macclesfield, manager Stan Ternent had seen enough improvement to believe that we could soon be pushing for a potential play-off place. Speaking before the game, he said: “We will go above Wrexham if we beat them, but I am more concerned first about getting eleven men on the field with our injury problems.

“It is about winning matches and being hard to beat. We are getting there and hopefully we can build another unbeaten run. It would be nice to move into the mid-table pack looking at the play-offs, and hopefully we can get among them.”

We were going into the game without the suspended Andy Cooke who was starting a four-match ban following his red card at Macclesfield a week earlier. We also had Paul Smith, Mark Robertson and Peter Swan ruled out but the big news was a potential return for Steve Morgan who had come through a reserve team game having recovered from injury.

Wrexham had drawn two and lost one of their three previous games and the lack of goals was a concern and perhaps a surprise given that Brian Flynn was able to call on Ian Rush although the striker had just passed his 37th birthday.

Rush had very little impact on the game and the one big threat from Wrexham came from Terry Cooke who was making his debut having signed on loan from Manchester United. Morgan, back in the Burnley team, was given a torrid time by the debutant but thankfully he was unable to find the pass into the box that might have caused us trouble with goalkeeper Gavin Ward dealing with most of it.

We hadn’t been in it much but Andy Payton got our first opportunity with a flicked header that went just wide and that seemed to give us the lift we needed and just before the half hour, we got ourselves in front. It was Rush too who lost the ball which was picked up by Glen Little who set off on a diagonal run. He played a pass to PAYTON who shrugged off a defender, moved forward and slipped the ball underneath advancing goalkeeper Mark Cartwright.

And Payton with his second to win the game

Wrexham were close to drawing level just before half time but again Ward denied Cooke with an excellent save and that saw us go in happy at half time with a one goal lead but that lead had gone within less than a minute of the restart. They won a corner straight from the kick off which was taken by Peter Ward. It dropped into the box, we hesitated and David RIDLER poked it home for his first ever goal.

They put us under pressure and we were thankful again to Ward alongside Brian Reid who kept us level and then, against the run of play, we regained our lead. It was the simplest of goals too with PAYTON rising above the defenders to head home a free kick.

For some time, a second Wrexham equaliser looked likely but Ternent shuffled his pack to give Morgan some help on our left and from then there was only going to be one result. We nearly scored again through a thunderous shot from John O’Kane but it all ended 2-1 and would see us go into two big games against two of the top three with confidence.

The teams were;

Burnley: Gavin Ward, Chris Brass, Chris Scott, Matt Heywood, Brian Reid, Steve Morgan, Glen Little,  Rune Vindheim (Phil Eastwood 84), Gordon Armstrong, John O’Kane, Andy Payton. Subs not used: Brad Maylett, Colin Carr-Lowton.

Wrexham: Mark Cartwright, Deryn Brace (Dean Spink 60), Phil Hardy, Dave Brammer, David Ridler, Brian Carey, Terry Cooke, Gareth Owen (Martyn Chalk 73), Karl Connolly, Ian Rush (Neil Roberts 84), Peter Ward.

Referee: Mick Fletcher (Warley).

Attendance: 10,109.

Millwall were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Oldham with Paul Shaw scoring their equaliser. He was the only player with a Burnley connection to score in this week.

We’d move up a place in the table to fourteenth but there had been changes at top and bottom. Stoke still led the table but joining them in the automatic promotion places was Fulham who had won at Blackpool. Northampton meanwhile won at Macclesfield which saw them climb out of the bottom three with Macclesfield replacing them.

Payton’s goals had also taken him to the top of the scoring charts in the league. He’d reached ten which was one more than York’s Richard Cresswell.

Division Two Results

Saturday 31st October
Blackpool 2 Fulham 3
Bristol Rovers 3 Walsall 4
Burnley 2 Wrexham 1
Lincoln 1 Gillingham 2
Macclesfield 0 Northampton 1
Manchester City 2 Colchester 1
Millwall 1 Oldham 1
Notts County 1 Stoke 0
Wigan 5 York 0
Wycombe 2 Reading 3

Burnley Goalscorers (League)

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

Burnley Goalscorers (Cups)

1: Andy Cooke, Andy Payton

Leading Goalscorers

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

League Table

Pos Team pld w d l f a gd pts
1 Stoke 16 10 1 5 22 14 8 31
2 Fulham 14 9 3 2 23 12 11 30
3 Preston 15 8 5 2 28 15 13 29
4 Walsall 16 9 2 5 23 22 1 29
5 Luton 15 8 3 4 20 13 7 27
6 Manchester City 15 6 6 4 20 17 3 24
7 Gillingham 16 5 8 3 24 17 7 23
8 Bournemouth 14 6 5 3 20 13 7 23
9 Millwall 16 6 5 5 17 17 0 23
10 Chesterfield 14 6 4 4 11 9 2 22
11 Bristol Rovers 16 5 6 5 21 19 2 21
12 Blackpool 15 6 3 6 21 22 -1 21
13 Wigan 15 6 2 7 21 16 5 20
14 Burnley 16 5 5 6 20 19 1 20
15 Notts County 16 5 5 6 19 20 -1 20
16 Wrexham 16 5 5 6 16 21 -5 20
17 Reading 14 5 4 5 16 20 -4 19
18 York 14 5 4 5 21 26 -5 19
19 Northampton 16 3 7 6 16 19 -3 16
20 Colchester 15 4 4 7 14 21 -7 16
21 Macclesfield 16 3 5 8 13 22 -9 14
22 Oldham 15 3 3 9 13 23 -10 12
23 Lincoln 15 3 2 10 15 27 -12 11
24 Wycombe 16 2 4 10 14 24 -10 10
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