This referee was bang out of order

Last updated : 22 March 2002 By Tony Scholes

Both managers seemed to be happy with the result and the game and Bradford City boss Nicky Law was more than pleased with the way he thought his team had handled the latest Claret. He said after the game,

"Paul Gascoigne is a great player and he's still got a great touch but when you haven't got the legs to get behind people anymore you've got to sit back in the hole and play from there. I thought he never really got behind us and as soon as he did try to run at us we tucked our wide man in and it seemed to work. So I don't think he caused us any real problems on the night. Our keeper did make a great save from a Gazza free kick but then that's his job and I think he came into the side and did very, very well.

"We were never going to come here and just make the numbers up. We knew it was going to be their big party night and we didn't want it to turn out like that so we went out with the same attitude as we always do and just tried to play our own game and I thought on the night we were every bit as good as them so we came and spoiled the party."

The only thing that seemed to upset Stan was the appalling decision by referee Bates not to award us a penalty when David Johnson was clearly fouled by Gunnar Halle as he was about to make the score 1-0,

"How that's not a penalty I will never know. If that's not a penalty I don't know what is. It is ridiculous. My players work hard for nine months and they don't get a bang to rights penalty. These are important decisions that can turn the game. It is not an excuse, it is just a fact. You get in trouble if you criticise referees but he was bang out of order. He is responsible to those players out there. How can 20 odd thousand people see it and he didn't, it is ridiculous.

"We got a point without playing as well as we can and we're still up there. We've had seven out of the last nine, which is excellent. I'm happy really, because the lads didn't play as well as they can. All in all, the lads did well to get a point. Their keeper made a few good saves and we had a few chances, but we need tha officials to make the decisions.

"Paul Gascoigne played well and showed some beautiful, class touches. Him and David Johnson had another run out and the games will do them good. Ashley Ward played well and he is a handful, but Mitchell Thomas handled him very well tonight.

"Also a word for the crowd, who I thought were very good, as we weren't at our best tonight.

"And Glen has flu or something, he said he was feeling a bit shaky and we got him off".

David Johnson had something to say about the non-penalty incident too,

"It was a great ball in from Mooro and someone caught my legs as I was going to knock it in. I thought the ref was too far away but I'm still surprised the linesman didn't give it."

But what did the newest Claret Gazza think of it all?

"I am looking forward to the play-offs because the team is definitely good enough but it has now got to be wins all the way if it is going to be automatic.

"We are really upset we let the points slip. With three points we would have been comfortable in the play-offs.

"I feel alright considering I have only played one game in five weeks. I was not getting the pace because it was very, very quick but I will adjust to that. I like it when the game is tight around me. I like to get on the ball and put Johnno and Ian Moore through. They make some fantastic runs. I really enjoyed playing with them".

On Alan Combe's save from his free kick,

"David Seaman would have let that in. I definitely thought it was in. I had a couple of shots from just outside the box and the one with my left foot just about made the keepers hands".

Claret, blue and yellow debut for Gazza

Dominic Fifield at Turf Moor (Guardian)

The Clown Prince is back in business. With the rain sweeping down off the Pennines, Paul Gascoigne swaggered into Burnley last night as the Clarets, frustrated at the death, nevertheless squeezed into third place.

The former England international's debut may have been relatively low-key - a trio of speculative free-kicks and a booking provided the high and low points - but his influence was there for all to see. If Gascoigne does nothing else, he will inspire those around him. Burnley are asking for nothing more.

Predictably enough, Gazza mania has gripped this success-starved pocket of Lancashire with his arrival from Everton last Saturday. Gazza needs to be loved and here they poured adulation upon him from the rafters.

Wearing the No34 shirt to match his age, he strode on to the sodden playing surface for only his second start since February 2 to a rapturous reception. The home fans reading the programme, crammed with accounts of the glittering episodes in the midfielder's eventful past, must have been pinching themselves that he was theirs. "Gazza is one of the greatest players that his country has ever produced," said the manager Stan Ternent, "and he is now a Burnley player."

"I know what the First Division's all about," claimed Gascoigne, who played at this level with Middlesbrough. It took four minutes for Eoin Jess to dump him in a muddy mess. He picked himself up and, seven minutes later, arrowed a quickly-taken free-kick which forced Alan Combe to tip the ball to safety. After that he concentrated on a mixture of subtle probing and playful pats on opponents' heads, chuckling his way around the pitch.

Burnley created plenty without the main attraction's invention. Glen Little, outstanding whether charging down the flank or flitting inside, slipped Ian Moore away between Mark Bower and Wayne Jacobs with the striker's cross, zipping along the edge of the six-yard box, eluding David Johnson.

The forward's arrival on loan from Nottingham Forest had been overshadowed, though his impact has been startling. There was a debut goal against Preston at the weekend and, after 20 minutes here, Little's corner was headed down by Ian Cox and Johnson, spinning in the six-yard box, thumped the loose ball into the roof of the net. He might have had a second just before the break, poking wide after meeting Moore's centre at the near post.

Bradford's attempt at a riposte saw Jess denied by the diving Marlon Beresford, while the loan goalkeeper did well to clutch Ashley Ward's header on the line. Then David Wetherall fluffed an attempt from inside the six-yard box.

Instead, Moore forced Combe to tip wide and, fed by Johnson seconds later, turned Wetherall only to be thwarted twice by the goalkeeper when it seemed easier to score.

Moore and Johnson continually left the visitors floundering. Early in the second half Moore spun away from Stuart McCall, up against his former Rangers team-mate in Gascoigne, and threaded a pass for Johnson to chase with the striker forcing Combe to save.

Not that Bradford were outclassed. The Bantams arrived without a win in five, a sequence threatening to suck them into the relegation squabble. Yet Claus Jorgensen and Jess proved tricky with Ward, booed at every touch for his Blackburn past, giving the home defence a torrid time.

Only desperate tackles kept out Danny Cadamarteri and Jamie Lawrence. The former had an effort disallowed for offside before Jorgensen, charging late into the area, bundled in Ward's flick for a deserved equaliser with 12 minutes left.

That deflated the crowd, but not Gazza. Booked early in the second half after tripping Wayne Jacobs - at least those punters who had bet at 5-2 that he would see yellow left happy - he continued to bound around the stodgy surface with reassuring energy until being substituted five minutes from time. Combe did well to palm away another trademark free-kick, suggesting there is plenty of life in the old legs yet.

Gascoigne begins long farewell

By Sam Wallace (Daily Telegraph)

THERE IS always one more audience to beguile when you have been the most famous footballer of your generation, but Paul Gascoigne is having to travel farther outside the Premiership to find them. It was Turf Moor's turn last night, a short trip outside the elite to a First Division club who hope they might be at the start of something good. He may protest, but Gascoigne is going in the opposite direction.

In the meantime, he can take encouragement from the throaty roar that greeted his name on the roll-call and a squad number that matches his age (34). Burnley briefly offered a home to Ian Wright as he headed towards the door and the season's biggest crowd last night, who watched their 1-1 draw against Bradford, seemed to suggest that this latest acquisition has captured their imagination.

It took Burnley only 20 minutes to score a goal that did not require a contribution from Gascoigne. Glen Little's corner was met by Ian Cox and David Johnson fired home.

It took another eight minutes for Gascoigne to collect the ball on the right and step inside for a shot. After a half-hour, the ground hushed in awed expectation of a Gascoigne free-kick from 35 yards that missed the bar by a respectable margin. That effort, and his re-emergence for the second half, at least guaranteed the locals their money's worth.

Add to that a booking for a foul on Wayne Jacobs just after the re-start, and there could be little doubt that Gascoigne was serious about his new life in the First Division. After 58 minutes, he set off on one of those skittering runs towards the Bradford defence that once precluded a burst of pace into the box.

These days, though, it is that important bit at the end that is missing. If the dribbling is fading, there will always be the free-kicks that require no more effort than the long run-ups Gascoigne favours. After 63 minutes, he found himself to the left of Alan Coombe's goal with a decent view of the top-right corner. Coombe had to fling himself just under the bar to turn the ball away.

The equaliser was bundled over the line by Claus Jorgensen with 12 minutes to play. It was rather an unhappy ending for Gascoigne, who was substituted at the end, but he will be accustomed to that by now.