Cooke and Payts last and Chappy's first
As we take a look back at some of our recent games with the Alex, it was an Andy Cooke header from a fine Graham Branch cross which provided the only goal of the game in our 2000/2001 meeting, back in what was then the Nationwide first division. It proved to be Cooke's last Burnley goal in his last appearance for the club.
It was a very cold and extremely wet Tuesday night fixture, yet over 13,000 fans bared the elements and turned out to show their support; ironically this gate was at the very least, 2,000 less than what the Clarets had been getting for their previous games, yet it seems a very good turnout in comparison with what the club currently get. Maybe that was the novelty of being a promoted team in a new league, or perhaps the result of ticket prices still being affordable.
The win was an important one, putting us in 6th place on 28 points and firmly wiping out the memories of that terrible 5-0 loss at Nottingham Forest just a few days previous.
In 2001/2002, our game with Crewe was again played on a Tuesday night, as it had been a year previous. John Barnes had said on ITV digital that Burnley, although in a high league position, would not get promotion this season as we were simply conceding too many goals. How right he was as the clarets scored two late goals and robbed the Railwaymen of the three points on offer in what was an action filled 3-3 draw.
Crewe quickly found themselves 2-0 to the good, through Rodney Jack and Stephen Foster. To make things worse, Foster then tripped Ian Moore inside the box and unbelievably wasn’t dismissed. Paul Cook’s spot kick was fired straight at Bankole in the centre of the Crewe goal, who made the easiest possible penalty save.
After half time, Payton came off the bench replacing Dean West and Burnley were soon back in it as Gareth Taylor dived in to score a trademark header. On 83 minutes, the Clarets forced a second penalty and with Payton now on the field, Paul Cook getting nowhere near this one. The Padiham Predator dispatched with consummate ease and levelled the scores.
However, we were back in the game for just minutes as Rob Hulse planted a header past Michopoulos, from an exquisitely worked injury time free kick. Game over? No - from the restart, Gareth Taylor managed to win a crucial flick on and racing into the box to dispatch a volley in typical fashion was our very own Natural Born Claret, Andy Payton – his last goal in open play for Burnley; a truly remarkable end to a quite bizarre game.
In our most recent encounter with Dario Gradi’s side, the Clarets managed to pick up their biggest league win of Steve Cotterill’s first season in charge. As with Richard Chaplow one year before, there was another first for Burnley as John McGreal grabbed his first for the club to put us one up after just two minutes. Just before half time, Burnley went 2-0 up as Robbie Blake put the ball in the net from an Ian Moore shot, come cross.
The second half provided over 40 minutes of comfort for the home support, as Richard Chaplow ran clean through and slotted the ball with precision, past Williams in Crewe’s goal. That was the last goal of the afternoon and the 3-0 win secured Burnley’s place in mid-table.
On a weekend where the club have commendably dropped the surcharge again, here’s to another win at home and to a healthy attendance. It’s not a fortress yet, but very slowly, Turf Moor is becoming a very difficult place for visitors to take points from and increased crowds and better atmosphere can only help the team in this respect.