Date: 15th August 2007 at 8:55pm
Written by:

The Clarets made hard work of knocking Grimsby out of the Carling Cup last night, but eventually came out on top after extra time and penalties. A score line of 0-0 after 90 minutes ensured extra time with Burnley finding themselves a goal behind after 97 minutes of play with Danny North opening the scoring. A shock might have been on the cards after Grimsby in all honesty did seem the team up for this match and deserved their lead. Eleven minutes later though and a pass from Blake found Gray levelling the score 1-1. A penalty shoot out was the inevitable conclusion to this match and thankfully we had the upper hand eventually winning 4-2. Jon Harley was one Claret with penalty egg on his face, being the only one to miss! Ciaran Toner and Nick Fenton however missed for Grimsby to ensure the spot-kicks from Gray, Blake, Mahon and James O`Connor put the Clarets in the hat for the draw on Thursday.

The first half was pretty dire with only one memorable incident from each team. Toner came closest to opening the scoring in normal time when he hit the bar in the first half. The unlikely Foster, was the only Burnley player to have a decent shot in the first half as Steve Cotterill may have been rueing the fact he changed the team so much,. There were only two players against the Mariners who were in the same starting eleven that defeated WBA last Saturday (Duff and Jordan)

David Unsworth, as expected started this match for the injured Caldwell and partnered Duff in the central defence. The lad had a good debut and managed to keep up the spirit for the whole of the 90 minutes before being replaced by Jon Harley. He was visibly knackered though when he left the pitch but his contribution had been excellent and his experience invaluable. He looks a very shrewd investment by the gaffer.

So who was captain with both Caldwell and Thomas not in the squad? The answer? -Michael Duff, who again despite the additional responsibility, had an excellent game in centre midfield. The starting back four was completed with Foster at right back and Jordan at left back. The Clarets seemed to adopt a 4-5-1 formation with Ade Akinbiyi up front supported by five midfielders including Lafferty.

With nine changes, the team had an unfamiliar ring about it and stated as follows:

Jensen, Duff, Foster, Unsworth, Jordan, Jones, James O’Connor, Spicer, Mahon, Akinbiyi Lafferty.

Subs: Elliott, Berisha., Harley, Gray, Blake

The current ‘heavyweights` were clearly the insurance policy on the sub`s bench and so it would prove.

Despite the dire first half, both sides came out for the second half unchanged. For a long time it seemed that Grimsby were the team pressing and seemed to be awarded endless corners.

Although the game only seemed to come alive in the second half, it still took until 97 minutes before North opened the scoring for Grimsby. By now though the double substitution of the lacklustre but poorly served Akinbiyi and Lafferty with Gray and Blake was beginning to pay dividends and it was no surprise when a clever pass from Blake found Gray to make it 1-1 in the second period of extra time before the penalty shoot-out victory.

Well it`s a win and we are in the hat for Thursday`s draw but it certainly was not one to remember. 2431 fans watched the match, a brave 371 of them were Clarets making the journey but let`s face it, these sort of games are a no-win situation. Win you are expected to, lose and you are the laughing stock! There were plenty of embarrassed Championship clubs last night (joining Southampton after Monday night), not least Preston North End who were beat by a different set of beachcombers than their deadly rivals, Blackpool! Morecambe come on down!! The price is right!

Apparently, the last time we beat Grimsby on their home soil was in 1974, so that`s been rectified at least even though Steve Cotterill openly admitted the Mariners were the better side and deserved to win this one. Oh sod it lets get back to the league and Scunthorpe away this Saturday!


Grimsby: Barnes, Bennett, Whittle, Fenton, Newey, Till (Bore 111), Hunt (Jones 74), Bolland, Boshell, Toner, Rankin (North 58).

Subs Not Used: Clarke, Montgomery.

Booked: Barnes, Jones.

Goals: North 97

Burnley: Jensen, Duff, Foster, Unsworth (Harley 90), Jordan, Jones, James O’Connor, Spicer, Mahon, Akinbiyi (Gray 65), Lafferty (Blake 64).

Subs Not Used: Elliott, Berisha.

Booked: Unsworth.

Goals: Gray 108.

Ref: C Oliver (Northumberland).