They were right on the edge of the play offs when they came to the Turf at the beginning of November but on a memorable day that saw Craig Hignett receive a red card the Clarets won comfortably 3-1. It was the first of a run of four successive defeats for the Sky Blues.
The last of these defeats was a shock 2-1 reverse at home against Preston and this run had seem them drop to 15th place in the league.
Four defeats though were followed by four wins and after the Boxing Day win against Reading thy found themselves in the play off places and things were looking good.
But just as the poor form turned into good form then they have lost the ability to win and the four wins, which followed four defeats, were followed by four draws and during this period of draws they won through to the 4th round of the FA Cup with a comfortable replay win against Cardiff after drawing at Ninian Park.
Manager Gary McAllister, in his first season, has made heavy use of loan signings to bolster his squad. Brian Kerr and Craig Hignett have returned to Newcastle and Blackburn respectively since the Turf Moor meeting whilst Gary Caldwell (Newcastle) and Ritchie Partridge (Liverpool) remain on long term loan deals.
Since then Jamie McMaster (Leeds) and Ben Williams (Manchester United) have been and gone whilst Dean Holdsworth signed from Bolton initially on loan but has now made the move permanent.
But back to the results and the last couple of weeks have not been kind to them. A fortnight ago they went out of the FA Cup at 3rd Division Rochdale and last week were beaten at home 1-0 to Watford.
Youssef Chippo was sent off for a second yellow card when he jumped up in front of a Watford player taking a throw in just before the hour and two minutes later the Hornets scored the only goal of the game through Micah Hyde.
It was though a comfortable win for Watford who were on top throughout the game and Coventry failed to trouble Chamberlain in the Watford goal when they did get forward. The result has seen them down in 9th place with 43 points, 5 more than the Clarets.
Coventry lined up against Watford: Morten Hyldgaard, Barry Quinn (Jan Sara 64), Mohammed Konjic, Richard Shaw, Dean Gordon (Calum Davenport 55), Youssef Chippo, Craig Pead, Gary McAllister, Ritchie Partridge, Jay Bothroyd (Dean Holdsworth 65), Gary McSheffrey. Subs not used: Fabien Debec, Isaac Osbourne.
Manager Gary McAllister is joint leading goalscorer, he and Jay Bothroyd have both scored eight in a total of 36 league goals although three of McAllister’s are from the penalty spot.
Both sides are looking to get their first league win of the year and where better than a ground that has proved to be lucky for the Clarets in the past.
He played for both
The first of these was former England midfielder Nick Pickering who was once ridiculously described as Burnley’s worst ever player in a magazine having only played four games for us.
The second and the player we feature is full back Ally Pickering who had just a brief but successful spell with the Clarets.
Ally joined the Clarets towards the end of 1998 as Stan Ternent’s Burnley were already facing a tough battle to avoid relegation from the 2nd Division, he was signed on a free transfer from Stoke City.
The Manchester born defender had started his league career with Rotherham after the Millers paid £18,500 for him from non league Buxton. He stayed with them for three and a half years before joining Coventry for £80,000 and in just under three years made 65 league appearances.
Stoke then paid £280,000 for him and for two years he was a regular in the side but having played the first two games of the 1998/99 season he was then left out and on 17th December was allowed to join the Clarets on a free transfer.
His debut came two days later in a dreadful team performance against Northampton that ended in a 2-0 defeat and his signing was soon followed with a number more as Steve Davis, Graham Branch, Micky Mellon, Lenny Johnrose, Tom Cowan and Paul Cook all arrived to help us to safety.
Probably his best day was his return to Stoke. He scored the first goal of the game with an absolute block buster of a shot in the first minute and helped us to a 4-1 win.
As we arrived at Northampton for the last match of the season there were rumours that he would not be retained and these were strengthened when he was substituted as early as the 34th minute with Brad Maylett coming on.
It proved to be true and his Burnley career ended as it started, against Northampton. He had done an excellent job for us but struggled to find another club. He did play a few games for Altrincham the following season and then for Chester, his last Football League club.
He can now be found at Mossley where he took over as manager in November 2001, a position that has been previously held by former Burnley striker Steve Taylor and current Sunderland boss Howard Wilkinson.
League results in the last 20 years
Blake(pen) Grant Davenport(og)
Click HERE to see details of all previous games between Burnley and Coventry since our first meeting at Easter 1937.
Last Time in the League
Coventry City 0 Burnley 2 (Taylor – Nationwide League Division 1, Saturday 17th November 2001
We took control of the game right from the start and never let go and were head and shoulders better than Coventry on the day. Having started the season so well we arrived at Highfield Road without a win in any of our previous five away games with just a solitary point collected at Gillingham.
But once Gareth Taylor gave us the lead on 10 minutes, a header from a Paul Cook corner this game was won so much better were we. There was more to come though, much more, and the second goal lifted the roof covering the Burnley fans.
It came from a free kick that had wrongly been moved forward ten yards into the box by referee Fraser Stretton. Glen positioned himself to the right of goal and Paul Cook found him with a pass from the free kick that just about put all eleven Coventry players out of the game.
But it wasn’t just Cooky’s day – we performed everywhere on the field – and even had Bally at centre half in the second half after a reshuffle brought about by an injury to Lee Briscoe.
We all know that not long after this win the wheels came off the promotion challenge but as I left Highfield Road that afternoon I was totally convinced that we were good enough to reach and play in the Premiership.
The day was also a very special one for me for personal reasons and will be a day I will always remember with a lot of affection not least because of this great win that I later that day described as ‘The best since Adamson’s team’.
The teams were:
Coventry: Magnus Hedman, Marc Edworthy, Gary Breen, Calum Davenport, Richard Shaw, Marcus Hall, Barry Quinn (Lee Fowler 64), Youssef Chippo, Jay Bothroyd (Gary McSheffrey 54), Jairo Martinez, Laurent Delorge. Subs not used: Andy Goram, Thomas Antonelius, Runar Normann.
Burnley: Nik Michopoulos, Dean West, Ian Cox, Arthur Gnohere, Lee Briscoe (Kevin Ball 45), Glen Little, Paul Weller, Tony Grant, Paul Cook (Alan Moore 76), Ian Moore, Gareth Taylor. Subs not used: Luigi Cennamo, Lenny Johnrose, Andy Payton.
Referee: Fraser Stretton (Nottingham).