Reaction after a dreadful performance

Last updated : 21 January 2002 By Tony Scholes

Terry Yorath
Wednesday boss Terry Yorath was clearly delighted to see his side win two consecutive games and climb out of the relegation positions. He said after the game,

"To come to Burnley and win even when they have got injuries is a terrific performance, they gave me real fight.

"When they came back with the penalty I think I would have settled for a point. Putting your hands up in the penalty area, you just can't expect to get away with it. Ashley Westwood knows he shouldn't have done it.

"Then we missed our penalty and I was very glad to hear the ref's whistle straight after it. That is two league wins on the trot for us and getting six points and moving out of the bottom three has been a huge boost for me, the club and the fans."

Stan was anything but happy with the Clarets performance and admitted that Wednesday deserved their victory,

"I thought Sheffield Wednesday dictated the way that the game was played and I thought we were found wanting. It was a bad mix up for the first goal and the second goal was worse, it was ridiculous. Arthur and Coxy need to buck up on that.

"We were poor and got what we deserved. It is a setback and I didn't think we were as competitive as we can be. I knew there would be a lot of injury time because Marlon Broomes and the keeper had injuries and they took an eternity to take throw-ins and corners. The ref was aware of that.

"We missed out on Shefki Kuqi and we know he is a real handful. He played particularly well against us."

Kuqi shocks Burnley (Observer)

Gerald Sibon missed a penalty with the very last kick of this match, but that was not the biggest surprise at the end of a bizarre game. Thankfully for Sibon and Sheffield Wednesday, Shefki Kuqi had already scored an injury-time goal to give the visiting team a shock victory.

Wednesday looked to have thrown away a rare win when they conceded a penalty 14 minutes from time. They were then hanging on, having also had two players carried off on stretchers.

Burnley were caught on the break three minutes into time added on at the end when Kuqi beat the offside trap to score. The Finnish striker was tripped four minutes later by Arthur Gnohere to earn a penalty, which was saved by Nik Michopoulos.

An edgy start from both teams made for a far from attractive match on a cold and windy afternoon. Burnley, playing their first home league match of the new year, were expected to go for the jugular of a struggling Wednesday, whose very existence could depend on them avoiding relegation from the First Division.

The balance of play was fairly even, but it was Wednesday who had the best of the early chances and Kuqi twice went close to giving them the lead. Lee Briscoe first threatened for Burnley, but his volley went over the crossbar.

A goal for either side hardly looked likely, but when it did come, nine minutes before half-time, it was a scrappy affair. Gareth Taylor had been caught offside attacking the Wednesday goal, enabling keeper Kevin Pressman to launch a long free-kick into the Burnley penalty area. Kuqi helped the ball on, Efan Ekoku swung and missed and, as the Burnley defence stood and watched, Paul McLaren forced home the loose ball.

Burnley briefly rallied, but Wednesday grew in stature after the goal and had their band of loyal supporters singing all the way through to the half-time whistle. The home side could have silenced them, though, had Taylor been more accurate with a header from six yards out and Alan Moore been a touch more fortunate when his 25-yard drive clipped the Wednesday crossbar just before the break.

The Wednesday fans were still in full voice when play resumed and their side nearly doubled their lead 18 seconds into the second half. Burnley defender Ian Cox made a mess of an attempted interception and Kuqi was in on goal again. Michopoulos reacted quickly this time, though, and raced off his line to block a certain goal.

Pressman, meanwhile, was still to be really tested by the strangely shot-shy Burnley strikeforce. The Burnley supporters did not really know how to take it. They had seen their side beaten only once at home all season and Wednesday were not supposed to be putting up a fight, let alone having the better of the game.

Slowly, their team responded to the evident frustration being barked at them, but they still lacked the necessary sharpness in front of goal, as was shown by Taylor's limp attempt to back-heel the ball over the line from substitute Bradley Maylett's pass.

It took an appalling bit of luck to shift the play in Burnley's favour when, with 22 minutes to go, Wednesday midfielder Marlon Broomes was carried off after an innocuous-looking challenge from Maylett. Burnley were level soon after when referee Mike Pike awarded them a 76th-minute penalty after Ashley Westwood had handled. Taylor drove the ball into the middle of the goal.

Pressman proceeded to make two point-blank saves from Taylor, the second resulting in injury, ending Pressman's involvement in the game with four minutes remaining. The injuries produced seven minutes of added time and that was when the game was decided.

Tough Kuqi sticks in Burnley's throat

By Jon Culley (Independent on Sunday)

After four matches without a win in the Nationwide League, Burnley's push for automatic promotion to the Premiership has lost its momentum since Manchester City knocked them off the top of the First Division with that 5-1 thrashing on the last Saturday of 2001.

After a late penalty by Gareth Taylor appeared to have salvaged a point against stricken Wednesday yesterday, Stan Ternent's side were stung by an injury-time winner as Finnish striker Shefki Kuqi, the Sheffield club's recent £1m signing from Stockport, scored his first goal for his new employers. In fact, a bad day might have turned worse still for Burnley had Wednesday's Gerald Sibon not made a feeble effort to convert a penalty with the last kick of the game after Kuqi had been brought down by defender Arthur Gnohere.

"We were poor and deserved everything we got," Ternent said afterwards. "Wednesday were better than us in all departments and, if we are going to push on from here, we are going to have to do better than that." The visitors, out of the bottom three, revelled in their unlikely boost ahead of Tuesday's Worthington Cup semi-final second leg against Blackburn. Ahead after Paul McLaren had taken advantage of Burnley's sloppy defending before half-time, they were ready to settle for a point when an inexplicable hand-ball by Ashley Westwood gave Burnley a lifeline and Taylor scored from the spot.

But Kuqi, who might have joined Burnley had Ternent not decided instead to pursue Bradford's Robbie Blake, came up with a splendid finish two minutes into stoppage time, slotting the ball firmly past Nik Michopoulos after Leigh Bromby's crossfield pass left the defence floundering.

"We've won two in a row now," Terry Yorath, the Wednesday manager said. "For us, that's a bit of a run." His joy at climbing out of the bottom three was tempered by an injury to goalkeeper Kevin Pressman. Rookie Sean Roberts, 19, took over, as regular understudy, Chris Stringer, is also injured. Yorath needs an emergency stand-in for Tuesday's trip to Ewood Park, with Wednesday 2-1 down from the first leg.

Burnley's real problem was in defence, where McLaren's first-half goal was flagged by a series of errors and misunderstandings. The former Luton midfielder took advantage when Michopoulos failed to claim the ball after Kuqi had flicked on a free-kick from the Wednesday half.

Burnley's penalty, a reward for incessant pressure if not the quality of their play, should have been enough for a point, Ternent believed. "In those circumstances, we need to learn how not to lose," the manager said.