Glen inspires Burnley win

Darren Bent - the difference between the teams last season
Following a very poor performance against Brighton at the weekend, the Clarets will have to step up their game considerably if they are to have any chance of turning over what is often a well organised Ipswich outfit.

Joe Royle made a number of changes to his squad over the summer, with Nicky Forster and Sam Parkin coming in to replace Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi upfront, who now play their football in the Premiership. Royle has also had to delve in the transfer market to replace goalkeeper Kelvin Davies and midfielder Tommy Miller; two influential players who were snapped up by Mick McCarthy at Sunderland in pre-season.

Burnley went into this fixture last season after having just beaten Leeds United at Elland Road in one of our finest displays of the campaign. On the day though, a superb performance by Darren Bent proved to be the difference between the two sides as he ran the game and scored two excellent goals in the process.

After only five minutes of play, Burnley’s injury crisis worsened, as Frank Sinclair was withdrawn from the action. With few options available to Steve Cotterill, Amadou Sanokho was the man chosen from the subs bench.
On the 10 men minute mark, Ipswich almost took the lead when Kevin Horlock struck the crossbar with a sweet left footed free kick. It wasn’t long though until the deadlock was broken.

Richard Duffy had made a fine run into the Ipswich box but was tackled just as he brought his foot back to shoot on goal. Davies in goal immediately launched a long kick up field, which bounced viciously on the greasy Turf Moor surface. John McGreal was unable to read the bounce and straight from the keeper, Darren Bent had now found himself through on goal with only the keeper to beat. Bent finished with aplomb, slotting the ball past a very frustrated Brian Jensen in goal.

Moments later Burnley thought they had found the equaliser as Robbie Blake drilled a low shot into the net from 18 yards. Unfortunately, Blake had been the recipient of a pass from an offside standing Tony Grant, so the score remained at 0-1. Burnley came close again just before half time, as Blake, just as Horlock had, saw a finely struck set piece rebound off the upright.

The second half was poor in quality. Both teams cancelled each other out and clear cut chances in front of goal were few and far between. However, on 65 minutes Darren Bent scored a wonderful goal which hundreds of Burnley fans were left applauding. Stealing the ball from a poor Burnley pass, Bent made a run from the touchline away from goal. Just when he looked as if he was about to pass the ball, he turned Graham Branch and let fly. His shot was watched by turning Claret heads as the ball flew across the box and into Jensen’s top right hand corner. It was a special goal from a very clever footballer.

In 2002/2003 the Tractor Boys had taken the lead against the Clarets through a Pablo Counago strike, but then we hit back in the second half when Robbie dispatched a penalty following a foul on Ian Moore inside the 18 yard box. It was a match where Burnley defender, Drissa Diallo, impressed Joe Royle in Town’s dug out - so much so that the ex Man City, Everton and Oldham boss later lured the Guinean away from Turf Moor, much to the annoyance of Burnley fans.

Glen Little - starred in the 4-2 win in February 2004
Thirteen goals were shared in our two games with Ipswich in 2003/2004; seven at Portman Road in a humiliating 6-1 away defeat, and six at Turf Moor, this time in a fine 4-2 Burnley win. After going out of the FA Cup at the new Den one week previous, the Clarets responded well by putting in a spirited performance and getting their first win against Ipswich in thirty years.

Glen Little gave a relegation threatened Burnley the lead after 25 minutes, following in a Paul Weller effort which had been parried by Davies in goal. Moments later, David May headed the Clarets into a 2-0 lead, getting on the end of a Robbie Blake corner.

In the second half, two became three as Richard Chaplow scored arguably his best goal in a claret and blue shirt, rifling home a volley from the edge of the box into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.

Burnley were now cruising, or were they? Ian Westlake struck back with 25 minutes left to play, with a weak shot which crept under a humiliated Brian Jensen. Not long later and in typical Burnley fashion, the home fans were left biting their finger nails, as Martin Reuser’s free kick sailed high into Jensen’s top left corner with 3 minutes to play.

Just when we thought that Ipswich would nick a most undeserved equalising goal (and they did have a chance to do so), Burnley managed to break away through Chaplow. He sprayed the ball out wide to Little, who beat his marker, before crossing low across the box, where Robbie Blake rolled the ball home for 4-2 at the back post.

It was a really entertaining game of football and one of our better league performances of the season. It’s always nice to see football played in the right way, but come Tuesday night, I think it’s fair to say that most Burnley fans would settle for a win of any sorts, no matter how good the quality of football.

We have to go back quite a few more years for our previous home win against Ipswich, apart from the past three seasons we hadn’t met in league action since our relegation from the First Division in 1976.

That previous win was in 1974, a 1-0 win, which came courtesy of a goal from striker Paul Fletcher. It was a fourth successive win that saw us in 6th place in the old First Division whilst Ipswich, under Bobby Robson, were behind leaders Liverpool only on goal difference.

Neither of us are close to the top of English football now but a repeat of that 1-0 win would go down very nicely right now.