Date: 24th July 2008 at 10:38am
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The Clarets completed their Scottish tour on a high last night, defeating St Johnstone 3-1 at the McDiarmid Park in Perth. Goals by Paterson and Akinbiyi in the first half, supplemented by a goal by Alex MacDonald, his first for the club, in the closing minutes of the second half, were enough to seal victory.

One strange incident that occured early in the second half was the enforced substitution of Martin Paterson.

Paterson was enraged that the Saints had been awarded a throw in after appearing to keep the ball in play and argued his case forceably with the officials. So much so that it would appear that referee, Stephen Finney ordered Coyle to substitute the striker so in the 57th minute, Kalnins came on for the bemused Paterson

Coyle said later after the game:

‘Martin is 21-years-old, he scored 15 goals last year in a relegated team and he is a Northern Ireland international.

‘We certainly feel he is only going to be better, but I have given him a rollocking in there.

‘He is a young player who we have high hopes for and that’s why we invested the money we did.

‘But whether you think a decision is right or wrong, you can’t be involved in any sort of back chat.

‘He is a young kid and he wants to do his best, so he has learned his lesson.

‘It was an important lesson, so it’s probably good that it came in pre-season.’

Although this ws maybe a strange decision by the referee to request a player to be substituted, it is perhaps a very good one.

If this game had not been a friendly, it is possible Paterson could have been red carded or at the very least he may have received a yellow card. Many times referees show cards to players in friendlies and if the players are not careful they can count towards a banning at the start of the season.

The referee seems to have made a very sensible rather than bizarre decision and should be commended in my opinion.

So what of the game itself?

Well the Clarets lined up as follows for this game:

Penny, Duff, Kalvenes, Carlisle, Caldwell, Mahon, Elliott, McCann, Blake, Paterson, Akinbiyi

Subs: Jensen, Alexander, Jordan, Jones, Gudjonsson, A MacDonald, Kalnins, Berisha, Kay.

Owen Coyle explained afterwards that he had rested midfielder Kevin McDonald as a precaution after picking up a knock to the foot in training. One of our St Johnstone fans posting in our forum indicated there was no love lost between Dundee and the Saints and felt the former Dundee star could have been given a rough time by the St Johnstone fans. At least he was spared that ignominy!

Another face missing was Remco Van der Schaaf. The Dutchman hadn’t featured in the previous three friendlies and clearly injured there was some concern amongst Clarets fans.

Coyle however also had some encouraging news about our new midfielder, indicating he would most likely feature in our next match against Accrington Stanley this Saturday.

Our Latvian trialist,striker Gatis Kalnin? did manage to feature in this match, coming on as we know in controversial circumstances to replace Paterson after 57 minutes and Owen Coyle insisted after the game that he will make a decision on Kalnin? in the next 24 hours.

The starting line up also saw Penny retain the keeper’s role with Jensen on the bench and there was a return for captain,Steven Caldwell.

The Clarets started brightly.Chris McCann down the left laid the ball back to Blake. His crafty reverse pass found Paterson but Saints keeper, Euan McLean rushed off his line to smother the ball.

Burnley fans didnt have to wait long after though to celebrate our first goal.

After 10 minutes,Blake found Elliott on the right and the wide man’s cross found the unmarked Martin Paterson who headed home inside the far corner.

However the celebrations had hardly had time to die down before St Johnstone equalised one minute later.

Diego Penny pulled off a great save from a Gavin Swankie attempt but the ball fell nicely to Paul Sheerin who put the ball into an empty net to make it 1-1.

St Johnstone probably had their best period of the game now, putting the Clarets under some pressure as both Swankie and Rutkiewicz came close to scoring. The Saints also had the ball in the net but
Chris Millar was adjudged offside.

The Clarets, possibly against the run of play however took the lead again 12 minutes before half time. Paterson again was involved in the goal.

A Caldwell defensive header was pounced on by Paterson who after a run to the backline crossed perfectly for Akinbiyi to tap home from six yards out.

2-1 Clarets then at half time!

The usual sweeping changes in the second half took place with lots of activity on the Clarets bench. At the start of the second half, Alexander replaced Duff, Jordan came on for Kalvenes and Jones for Akinbiyi.

Two minutes later Gudjonsson was on for McCann. We know about the controversial Paterson substitution with trialist, Kalnins coming on after 55 minutes but this was followed 4 minutes later by MacDonald replacing Elliott. Berisha for Blake after 67 minutes closely followed by Kay for Mahon completed the changes leaving just Brian Jensen alone on the bench.

It was the Clarets though that sealed the win with just three minutes remaining on the clock

Gudjonsson got the ball out to Steve Jones, who ran to the line pulling the ball back to 18 year old Alex MacDonald.

He made no mistake scoring his first senior goal for the club by side-footing the ball inside the near post to make the final score St Johnstone 1 Burnley 3

Owen Coyle had this to say about the result and the team performance:

‘For the first 20 minutes I thought we looked very slick and, controlled on our play and generally a very good team.

‘I was disappointed with the goal we conceded and from then I thought we lost our way a little for 10 to 15 minutes.

‘We scored a very good second goal and the second half was probably very similar to many of our pre-season games in terms of changes.

‘When you make so many there is not much in terms of fluency, but I am very pleased again, especially with the fitness levels.

‘We had to work hard because you can see they (St Johnstone) are a very good footballing side, so overall I was pleased with the finish’