Date: 23rd September 2007 at 10:27am
Written by:

What a game this was! The Clarets were ahead 1-0 for most of the second half at Ashton Gate thanks to a goal by Andy Gray after 52 minutes. However our hearts then sank as Darren Byfield first levelled after 80 minutes and then after increasing Bristol City pressure, scored again to put Bristol City 2-1 up with only four minutes of normal play left on the clock.

The game seemed to be over and the 989 visiting Clarets fans were feeling pretty miserable that the lads had let this slip and appeared to be coming away with nothing.

The fight and determination though from the Clarets won through in the end and in almost a complete reversal of the Blackpool match at Turf Moor, it was now our turn to score and equalise in the dying minutes of the match.

What a goal it was too, with Clarke Carlisle turning into a striker and acrobatically volleying Ade Akinbiyi’s cross towards the goal. As the ball crept over the line we had salvaged a point and the fans hearts were lifted again. We would have settled for a point before this match kicked off bearing in mind Bristol City’s form and the fact they still have not been beaten this season.

We are now still placed 6th on 11 points with one game in hand over the Top 5 and only five points behind the leaders, Watford. Things are looking good, very good!

The Clarets named an unchanged 16 for the start of this match. The starting eleven were the same as the team selected for the Sheffield Wednesday match in midweek with the good news that Chris McCann was fit to play afterall. That joy was to turn sour though when later in the match Chris was injured and had to be stretchered off

The Clarets were the quicker team off the blocks as the referee got the game underway. It is becoming a trait that we appear to dominate games now in the first 20-30 minutes or so although Bristol City did have their moments.

The former Swansea striker,Lee Trundle however was looking to cause havoc down the right flank but in most of the attacks he tried to do the fancy stuff once to often with Stephen Jordan getting the better of him in most of the battles between the two.

Bristol City were now getting corners in quick succession after about 15 minutes of play but Gabor Kiraly was a rock and nothing was going to get past him.

Disaster then struck for the Clarets 20 minutes into the match when Chris McCann fell heavily. He had to be stretchered off and was replaced by Joey Gudjonsson.

There was not too much football played though in the first half and things were looking very scappy with no team really dominating as the whistle blew for the break. We really needed to get more attacking momentum into the side.

John Spicer came on for the start of the second half to make his 50th appearance for the club. He had replaced Kyle Lafferty who had not really managed to get into the match in the first half. Spicer took up position on the right, with Wade Elliott moving over to the left.

The Clarets now looked much more attack-minded and it did not take long for us to score and take the lead in the 51st minute.

That man Robbie Blake was the architect again and his chip to the back post was only half cleared straight to Wade Elliott. Wado then whacked a shot off the inside of the post and there was Andy Gray in a perfect position to score a goal and the poacher did just that!

Blake after 60 minutes went on a dazzling run and found himself in the box, but couldnt find the right shot

Defender and former Clarets loan player,Bradley Orr, tried a shot from distance for the Robins but thankfully he made a hash of it.

A much brighter looking,Joey Gudjonsson then came close to doubling our lead after 75 minutes following a powered low drive that just went narrowly wide of the post, to the relief of Robins keeper, Basso.

Ade Akinbiyi was then given his normal ‘supersub’ role with 15 minutes left and he came on to replace Blake. Ade of course was once a Bristol City player himself and he still has the respect of the Robins fans. It was probably a toss-up for the gaffer whether to replace Andy Gray who had been battered and bruised during the match or Robbie Blake who had always looked a danger and the most creative. The change had worked in midweek against Sheffield Wednesday and the gaffer was probably thinking of Andy Gray’s height in defence and the potential benefit that might bring if we had to defend free kicks and corners.

Sadly though it was Bristol City substitute Darren Byfield who headed home with only ten minutes to go and the Clarets heads seemed to drop after the equaliser with the Robins pounding our defence and forcing errors.

Clarke Carlisle was however solid in defence and made two amazing clearances to deny Bristol taking the lead

But it was almost inevitable that the Clarets would conceed another goal after the continual pressure and so it proved. Gabor Kiraly parried a shot from Bradley Orr from the edge of the box but Byfield was there again to slot home his second.

However, the match was not over yet, even if most Clarets fans feared the worst after that second Robins goal. Ade Akinbiyi carried out some crafty stuff in the Robin’s box during the three minutes of injury time and the ball eventually found Carlisle who leapt in acrobatic fashion to score a remarkable equaliser.

What a match for the neutral and what a heart-pounder for the Clarets in this see-saw of a game.


Burnley: Kiraly, Duff, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, W Elliott, Alexander, McCann (Gudjonsson 19), Lafferty (Spicer 45), Blake (Akinbiyi 75), Gray

Subs not used: Unsworth, Jensen.

Booked: Duff 38

Bristol City: Basso, Orr, Fontaine, Carey, McAllister, Wilson (Byfield 45), Johnson, M Elliott, McIndoe, Trundle, Sproule (Vasko 79).

Subs not used: Weale, Murrey, Skuse.

Booked: Trundle 76

Ref: Mike Thorpe (Suffolk).