It's in the distant past
Feature by Tony Scholes
Updated Tuesday, 28th March 2006
Usually, ahead of each game, we look back at the same fixture over recent seasons. That's not quite so easy when Southampton are the visitors given that last time they played at the Turf was in February 1978.
Geoff Nulty - scored in the 3-0 win in 1974
We didn't go into that 1978 game in the best of form and were struggling in the division we find ourselves in now, although it was called the Second Division then. We were third from bottom, Southampton
were third from top and they'd already beaten us 3-0 earlier in the season at the Dell.
Four days before the game we'd gone to Chelsea
for an FA Cup 4th
round tie and scored in the first and last minutes. Unfortunately we'd conceded six goals in between our two and missed out on another trip to London to take on Orient.
The BBC Match of the Day cameras were making something of a rare visit to the Turf and it looked as though we were going to upset them by defying form and winning after going into a two goal lead. Lawrie McMenemy's team, on their way back to the top division, clawed their way back into it and eventually won themselves a point in a 3-3 draw.
Steve Kindon got two goals for Burnley and Terry Cochrane was also on the scoresheet whilst the Southampton scorers were Ted MacDougall, Phil Boyer and David Peach.
In the previous season, goals from Peter Noble and Ray Hankin had given us a comfortable 2-0 victory whilst our last clash in the top flight set us up for a chance of European football and helped condemn the Saints to relegation.
That was in our first season back in the First Division, 1973/74, and the game was played on a Monday, just five days before the end of the season. We were very much the favourites, going into the game in 5th place in the table whilst Southampton were hovering just one place above the drop zone.
It proved to be an easy win with Geoff Nulty, Paul Fletcher and Leighton James getting the goals in a 3-0 win. Just days later there was bad news for both of us, a home draw against Newcastle meant we missed out on a UEFA Cup place on goal average whilst Southampton dropped into the bottom three and were relegated.
Southampton's last win at Burnley was a 1-0 win during our disastrous 1970/71 relegation season. Paul Fletcher made his debut for the Clarets that day, whilst in the 60s we always seemed to have the upper hand.
None of us there will ever forget the game played on a mud bath in 1968 when Brian O'Neil had the game of his life. He scored the first in a 2-0 win, with Willie Morgan getting the other, and that must have been the game that prompted Southampton to come and sign him two years later.
They are all so long ago, but tonight Southampton are back at Turf Moor for the first time since that Match of the Day encounter over 28 years ago.