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Burnley took their unbeaten run to five games in 1998 with a 1-0 home win against Oldham Athletic with supporters believing the team was now beginning to make great progress under  manager Stan Ternent in his first season as manager.

Supermarkets didn’t exist when I was young, not in Burnley, although during my early schooldays a Tesco opened on St. James’ Street close to where McDonalds is today. That all changed with Safeway initially opening in the mid-sixties before Sainsbury’s came into town and pushed them out. Other retailers came in but Tesco had long gone until news came that they were looking to move back into town with plans to create a massive outlet on Centenary Way on the site of Harcross builders’ merchants and the vacant British Telecom site.

Speaking on behalf of Tesco, Mr Martin Venning said: “Despite challenging and competitive market conditions, Tesco welcomes the prospect of competing with other major food retailers in the town.” He added: “The creation of a substantial number of new jobs for people, the regeneration of an important brown field site, the extension of consumer choice and the likelihood of lower food prices for local shoppers suggests Burnley’s economy could be about to receive an important boost during this period of economic uncertainty for local manufacturing businesses.”

It was now in the hands of the council and their spokesman said it was too early to say when the proposals would be considered by the Planning and Environment Committee.

You would think that should there be the necessity to call out the fire brigade then they’d be allowed to get on with their job of putting out a fire. Not so when fire fighters went to put out a bonfire on a plot of land between Grey Street and Ardwick Street in Burnley. They were set upon by a mob of spitting and missile throwing youngsters. This was no small group either. Between forty and fifty of them aged between six to their mid-teens were involved and the police had to be called to offer the firefighters some protection.

“They started throwing stones and spitting at us and being generally abusive. They were climbing all over the fire engine,” Station Officer Brian Rees explained. He added that the youngsters didn’t want them to put out the bonfire but the smoke was going into nearby houses. Mr Rees hoped that schools may be able to help resolve these problems and added: “The odd stone we do not bother about, although even that should not happen, but when it comes to spitting, I am sure the parents of these children and community leaders would not expect these children to behave in this way.” This had come exactly one week after ugly incidents when fire crews were stoned while attending a blaze in Belford Street.

When there is a dispute then often compromise is the best solution. Recently we reported that residents of Windemere Avenue in Burnley had sent in two petitions to the council, one demanding the removal of horse chestnut trees and the other demanding they remain. It went as far as the Planning and Environment Committee meeting and they came up with a solution which was to remove ten trees at the Colne Road end of the avenue but allow those at the Barden Lane end to remain. The problems had been caused by youngsters trying to get conkers from the trees so they decided that those trees remaining would be de-conkered.

There was even some disagreement in the meeting. Councillor Enid Tate said: “If there are no conkers then there will be no children throwing stones and sticks up to get them down,” but Councillor Tony Harrison said: “Everyone must have enjoyed conkering at some stage in their lives. There will not be any left in Burnley for future conkering champions the way things are going.”

Tuesday night was match night at the Turf and there was a boost ahead of the game against Oldham with news that goalkeeper Gavin Ward had signed a third loan deal with the club. Ward had come in for the second league game of the season at Chesterfield after Paul Crichton, who had joined from West Brom on loan, was recalled having played just once. Ward had done really well in his twelve appearances and had made a big impression in the dressing room.

Glen Little fires into the side netting

Stan Ternent was delighted too and moving on to the Oldham game, he said: “It’s a big game for us. Obviously we want to win every game we play, but winning our home games is very important to us, especially as we have drawn our last three games at Turf Moor.”

This was, according to the manager, a big local derby, but it was definitely a battle between clubs at the wrong end of the table. Burnley went into the game in eighteenth place while Oldham were four places lower and in the relegation positions.

The only surprise at half time in this game was that the scores were level at 0-0. Quite simply, Burnley had dominated the entire first half without finding a breakthrough. Oldham didn’t produce one single effort of any note but Burnley caused their defence so many problems.

Mark Robertson saw a volley go just over the top and then Paul Smith hit the bar. Robertson again came close, this time Gary Kelly saving his shot and then he made an even better save to deny Andy Cooke who had been set up after a superb run and diagonal pass by Rune Vindheim.

Nothing changed in the second half as the Clarets continued to swarm all over Oldham. Cooke failed to get a touch to a ball flicked on by Andy Payton and Glen Little hit the side netting having worked his way past three defenders. Phil Eastwood, on for the injured Smith, produced a carbon copy of the Little effort from the other wing but then blasted his shot over the bar.

Andy Cooke wins it with his stunning goal

We were playing so well,, a goal looked as though it might come at any time but as time moved on with the score still at 0-0, Oldham were beginning to believe they might get an unexpected and largely undeserved point.

More pressure led to a corner with just a quarter of an hour remaining. Little hoisted it into the box where first Brian Reid and then Matt Heywood headed it towards goal. Peter Swan got to it and redirected it towards COOKE who flew through the air to smash home an acrobatic overhead kick out of the top drawer and finally we were in front.

Oldham, inevitably, pushed players forward in the search for an equaliser but we held firm and there wasn’t going to be anything for Andy Ritchie’s team on the night and right at the end we were so close to getting a second. Little was the architect with a great run and cross which Payton headed perfectly back across Kelly only to see the ball hit the goalkeeper’s ankle. It led to a corner which was followed by two more, but the whistle then blew on a 1-0 win.

It was a win that was fully deserved and how it failed to be by more goals was a mystery, but Ternent’s message of keep creating the chances and the goals will come was surely going to stand us in good stead going forward.

The teams were;

Burnley: Gavin Ward, Matt Heywood, Peter Swan, Brian Reid, Glen Little, Mark Robertson, Rune Vindheim (Chris Scott 70), Gordon Armstrong, Paul Smith (Phil Eastwood 52), Andy Cooke, Andy Payton. Sub not used: Brad Maylett.

Oldham: Gary Kelly, Scott McNiven, Ian McLean, Shaun Garnett, Stuart Thom, Lee Sinnott, Paul Rickers, Toddy Örlygsson, Adrian Littlejohn, Mark Allott (Matthew Tipton 78), Paul Reid. Subs not used: Andy Holt, David McNiven.

Referee: Graham Frankland (Middlesbrough).

Attendance: 9,539.

With Stoke beaten at Bristol Rovers, it allowed Preston to go top of the league on goal difference despite being held to a draw by strugglers Macclesfield. North End had gone 2-0 behind early in the game too and it took a Michael Jackson goal two minutes from time to draw them level.  Luton were third and their goal came from a player who would end the season at Preston. It was just a second goal of the season for Graham Alexander.

Things were looking up for Burnley. This win had lifted us to fifteenth in the table.

Division Two Results

Tuesday 20th October
Bournemouth 3 Gillingham 3
Bristol Rovers 1 Stoke 0
Burnley 1 Oldham 0
Chesterfield 3 Notts County 0
Lincoln 2 Manchester City 1
Luton 1 Northampton 0
Preston 2 Macclesfield 2
Walsall 1 Colchester 1
Wycombe 3 Wrexham 0

Wednesday 21st October
Millwall 3 York 1
Reading 1 Blackpool 1

Burnley Goalscorers (League)

8: Andy Payton
5: Andy Cooke
2: Rune Vindheim
1; Gordon Armstrong, Brian Reid

Burnley Goalscorers (Cups)

1: Andy Cooke, Andy Payton

Leading Goalscorers

9: Richard Cresswell (York)
8: Shaun Goater (Manchester City), Andy Payton (Burnley)
7: Stuart Barlow (Wigan), Barry Hayles (Bristol Rovers), Andy Rammell (Walsall)
6: Dean Crowe (Stoke), Kurt Nogan (Preston), Mark Stein (Bournemouth), Martin Williams (Reading)
5: Martin Aldridge (Blackpool), Carl Asaba (Gillingham), Andy Cooke (Burnley), Carlo Corazzin (Northampton), Steve Davis (Luton), David Eyres (Preston), Ian Hendon (Notts County), Paul Shaw (Millwall)

League Table

Pos Team pld w d l f a gd pts
1 Preston 14 8 4 2 27 14 13 28
2 Stoke 14 9 1 4 20 12 8 28
3 Luton 14 8 3 3 20 12 8 27
4 Walsall 14 8 2 4 18 15 3 26
5 Fulham 12 7 3 2 16 9 7 24
6 Bournemouth 14 6 5 3 20 13 7 23
7 Chesterfield 14 6 4 4 11 9 2 22
8 Manchester City 14 5 6 3 18 15 3 21
9 Blackpool 14 6 3 5 19 19 0 21
10 Millwall 14 6 3 5 16 16 0 21
11 Bristol Rovers 14 5 5 4 17 14 3 20
12 York 13 5 4 4 21 21 0 19
13 Wrexham 14 5 4 5 15 19 -4 19
14 Gillingham 14 3 8 3 21 16 5 17
15 Burnley 14 4 5 5 17 16 1 17
16 Wigan 13 5 2 6 15 14 1 17
17 Notts County 14 4 4 6 17 19 -2 16
18 Colchester 14 4 4 6 13 19 -6 16
19 Reading 12 3 4 5 12 18 -6 13
20 Northampton 14 2 6 6 14 18 -4 12
21 Macclesfield 14 2 5 7 11 20 -9 11
22 Oldham 14 3 2 9 12 22 -10 11
23 Lincoln 14 3 2 9 14 25 -11 11
24 Wycombe 14 2 3 9 12 21 -9 9
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