Chaplow gets his first Burnley goal

Richard Chaplow - his first goal came in the pre-season game against Leeds
This Saturday lunch time the clarets get back to Championship action and it’s ‘hotpot vs puddings’ as Leeds United cross the border for what should be a very passionate affair.

Kevin Blackwell’s side currently lie in 6th place and have a game in hand on all teams above them in the league. However, Leeds have been unable to establish any sort of winning momentum this season and have dropped points when it has been least expected. Burnley go into the game five points adrift of the Whites but can dramatically reduce that gap if they continue the winning form which they showed against Ipswich and Wolves in their previous games.

Two familiar faces will likely be in the Leeds squad on the day, Robbie Blake and Ian Moore. Both were signed by Blackwell for a cash fee and many would say that the 50K sale of Moore was the easiest 50K our club had made in quite some time. It’s so often the case that a returning player goes back to his previous club and scores a goal. It can only be hoped that both Blake and Moore aren’t given even a sniff of goal on Saturday.

Taking a look back – recent games between the two sides have been few and far between, with one league fixture taking place at Turf Moor in the last twenty years. Poor financial management at Elland Road has seen the Whites tumble from Champions League Semi finalists to the second tier of England’s footballing ladder. Who was to know that when Peter Reid accepted a pre season friendly invitation from Stan Ternent two years ago, that the talent on display would not survive the season in the top flight.

As far as pre season games go this one wasn’t half bad. In fact, it was a very exciting game, filled with goals and incident. In goal for Leeds was the young Paul Robinson. England’s current number one had very little to do until the even younger and new look Richard Chaplow fired his first goal (albeit an unofficial one) for Burnley, down at the Cricket field end. Ian Moore scored a brace of goals in this game and he played extremely well in the process.

Burnley fans in the stands were discussing how trim our Moore looked and how this could be his season. It was therefore very frustrating to see Ian in the stands for the first three games of the season after picking up a suspension at the end of the last campaign. Unfortunately the form he showed throughout pre season was not to return when he came back to the first team in late August.

Sadly, this game turned out to be Gareth Taylor’s last in a Burnley shirt. Going up for a high ball in the second half, Leeds defender Michael Duberry, accidentally caught Taylor in the eye. Taylor thought he had initially lost his vision and a long period on the sideline was to follow. As our target man recovered, Nottingham Forest managed to lure him away from Burnley for a very reasonable half a million pounds.

After the game Peter Reid spoke highly about Burnley and his good friend Stan, but admitted he was worried about his own team’s performance, particularly with it being so close to the start of the Premier League season.

In 2005, Leeds brought a healthy following to Turf Moor and from the first whistle it was the away contingent generating the atmosphere in ground.

Burnley were now without Robbie Blake who had left for Birmingham a few weeks previous. Since his departure Burnley had only notched up two league goals and it came as no surprise that we didn’t get on the score sheet against a very resilient Leeds rearguard.

Ian Moore - his penalty was saved
The only goal in the game came in the 66th minute as new signing Einarsson headed in from close range. The goal resulted in some rather unsavoury scenes down in the Lower Jimmy Mcllroy Stand. Several Leeds supporters had bought tickets in the stand after Leeds had sold out their full away end allocation. To say that some Burnley fans were displeased about their celebratory actions is an understatement, but thankfully the rocksteadies immediately ejected them from the ground.

Leeds midfielder Aaron Lennon was excellent all afternoon, running the Burnley defence ragged; no wonder Tottenham snapped him up towards the end of the campaign. With little over ten minutes left, Frank Sinclair was dismissed for a second bookable offence, after he swung a leg at the Leeds united goalscorer, Einarsson. Ironically, being reduced to ten men saw the Clarets step up their game considerably.

With just a few minutes left to play, Leeds centre half, Clarke Carlisle pulled Ian Moore down in the box when the ball was seemingly about to run out of play. With Robbie Blake no longer at the club, it was Moore who brushed himself down and stepped up to the spot. It was a dreadful strike and Sullivan saved easily. It just wasn’t going to be our day; typified in the dying seconds as Neil Sullivan made an excellent save, tipping over his crossbar from a point blank Ian Moore header.

We have had good days against Leeds at Turf Moor but the last win is now very much confined to history, coming on the day that the leader of the opposition Edward Heath officially opened the Bob Lord Stand. Goals from Paul Fletcher and a Leighton James penalty gave us a 2-1 win against a Leeds side who had just sacked Brian Clough.

The 1968 win was the one to remember. In previous years these games had become bloodbaths with Harry Potts more than once making complaints about the way Leeds tried to kick us. This time they never got a chance, as a Burnley side full of youngsters beat the league leaders by five goals to one in a performance inspired by youngster Dave Thomas.

Hopefully it’ll be a day like that for the Clarets when the two teams clash again this Saturday.