Date: 21st December 2007 at 12:55pm
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A belated match report this week concerning the ugly Preston disaster and an update on the further bad news concerning Gudjonsson and his sending off appeal.

What do you say about losing yet another match at home against the bottom club especially when that bottom club is our biggest local rivals? Just to rub salt in our wounds we also lose two players to red cards, meaning our already fairly small squad will now lose the services of both McCann and Gudjonsson. Fair enough, McCann you cant really disagree with and he now serves a three match ban.

The Clarets however felt Joey had been unfairly dismissed and appealed. Our luck continued to plummet when the sods decided we were having a laugh and increased the ban to four matches.

A disciplinary panel ruled that the appeal against Gudjonsson’s dismissal for stamping was ‘frivolous.’ ,this was despite the fact that the Clarets argued the stamping was an accident

The Iceland international will now miss four games, sitting out the matches against Ipswich, Sheffield Wednesday, Bristol City and Blackpool.

‘We are astounded at the decision.’ said Owen Coyle and having looked at this on video, I tend to agree. It could be fifty-fifty at least and certainly worth an appeal, typical of the pathetic panel to make our plight even worse. Thankfully at least we have James O’Connor and John Spicer ready to cover and we might even see Garreth O’Connor feature in the sixteen.

Your editor has been away, staying at Mum’s the last few days without any IT, so the match report is late and shorter than usual this week. However, since we lost 3-2 to our local rivals, probably best to forget this match as soon as possible.

What on earth is happening at home? Two games against the bottom club at the time in each case and we come away with zero points? Unbelievable as it is worrying. Relegation form at home and promotion form away is bizarre and if we miss out on a play-offs place by one to six points, these last two matches against QPR and Preston at home will come back to haunt us.

Owen Coyle has had the luxury of being able to select the same sixteen for each of his matches since becoming gaffer but was forced into at least one change this time after Clarke Carlisle picked up a hamstring injury against QPR. The good news though was that Jordan was now available to play and was selected in the back four along with former Preston player, Graham Alexander, Jon Harley and David Unsworth. The rest of the starting eleven remained the same with the same bench so it was also good news that Alan Mahon had shaked off his hamstring injury.

Its easy to look for excuses for losing this match, and it truly was an awful display by referee, Lee Mason from Lancashire. I suspect wherever he was born in Lancashire, it was closer to Preston than Burnley..or maybe Blackburn was his hometown club! This Masonic Ritual will truly go down as one of the most biased refereeing performances at Turf Moor in some time

It was Preston’s Simon Whaley who got a late winner in a controversial match as the Clarets finished the game with only nine men.

Kyle Lafferty put the Clarets ahead with an header after 31 minutes only to see Sedgwick get the equaliser on the stroke of half-time.

Further despair for the Clarets in the second half when Mellor put the Lilywhites ahead after 54 minutes but the Clarets were then given some hope when Chris McCann levelled eight minutes later.

We could probably have gone on to win the match from there but fate dealt a cruel blow with McCann then getting a red card for a two-footed tackle on Sean St Ledger in the 64th minute.

Whaley then clinched victory for Preston eight minutes from time with a 25-yard right-foot shot, before Joey Gudjonsson was sent off for a late challenge on Mellor.

A very disappointing result that now leaves the Clarets in 9th place on 32 points, three points adrift of 6th placed Ipswich who we play tomorrow at Portman Road. Especially disappointing when we would now be in third spot had we won our last two matches at Turf Moor against the bottom club in each case. If Cotterill had still been in charge and we had got similar results, I can only imagine the stick and boos he would have received. Owen Coyle’s honeymoon is well and truly over and now is the time to see what he can do to motivate his players at home.

The gaffer had this to say about the match:

‘Preston should have been down to 10 men and facing a penalty after two minutes.

‘I thought I heard Stevie Wonder in the stands shouting for a penalty.

‘Everybody could see it. I know the referee and played with his younger brother (Andy Mason) at Bolton and we had a chat before the game.

‘But those are major decisions and pivotal moments that affected the outcome of games.’


Burnley: Kiraly, Alexander, Harley, Jordan, Unsworth, Elliott, Mahon (Gudjonsson 56), McCann, Blake (James O’Connor 67), Lafferty (Jones 53), Gray.

Subs Not Used: Jensen, Akinbiyi.

Sent Off: McCann (64), Gudjonsson (90).

Booked: Elliott.

Goals: Lafferty 31, McCann 62.

Preston: Lonergan, Jones (Mawene 73), St. Ledger, Chilvers, Hill, Sedgwick, Davidson, McKenna (Carter 48), Whaley, Mellor, Gallagher (Hawley 86).

Subs Not Used: Lewis Neal, Chris Neal.

Booked: Mellor.

Goals: Sedgwick 45, Mellor 54, Whaley 82.

Ref: Lee ‘Stevie Wonder’ Mason (Lancashire).