You might as well go home

Danny Coyne - seriously injured last season
“You might as well go home,” sang the home fans as they taunted is with just fifteen minutes gone, and they were right. We’d already gone two goals behind and there was worse to come, before the clock had reached 3:30 we had conceded a third and lost two players, one of them Danny Coyne to a serious injury.

I recall turning to someone with just five minutes gone that afternoon and saying I was worried by the start from the referee, and ten minutes later with a series of bizarre decisions Nigel Miller had decided the result.

Twice he’d turned down clear penalties at one end before ridiculously pointing to the spot at the other end from which the home side went in front. He had his back turned to that particular incident, got no positive response from his assistant but gave it based solely on the shout from the home crowd.

It was almost immediately 2-0 and then came the injuries. Graham Branch was replaced by new loan signing James O’Connor for his debut and just before the half hour Danny Coyne collected a serious knee injury whilst almost comically gifting QPR a third goal.

Overall we turned in a poor performance but it’s not easy when you are done completely by an official in the opening part of the match, and both managers were quick to point out afterwards that the referee had turned in something of a nightmare performance.

I wrote about the referee after the game, “This is just his fourth game at this level and we have suffered two of them. Serious questions need to be asked as to how he has ever been allowed to referee at this level in the first place.”
Well some things don’t change as visitors to Turf Moor just a few days ago will agree and yet he’s still free to go on refereeing.

John Mullin - scored the winner in 2000
Our only other visit to Loftus Road to play QPR since our promotion came in the first season back up with them struggling against relegation. We’d won our previous three games and went there full of confidence.

I think it is fair to say it wasn’t a classic but we won it through a John Mullin goal around twenty minutes from the end and it was a deserved victory after we had dominated long spells of the game.

It’s not a game I can recall too readily but I can remember QPR having a striker in their side who was somewhat tall and thin, to the extent that the Burnley fans were chanting ‘freak’ at him for much of the afternoon. I can also recall that he never got a look in against Mitchell Thomas and was eventually spoken to by Ray Olivier, the smallest referee in the league, after kicking out at Mitchell.

His name was Crouch and he didn’t threaten us all afternoon. The view in the away stand was that he would never make a footballer. Does anyone know whatever happened to him?

I think we will all be hoping for the sort of result we got in 2000 rather than the one last year when we get 2006 underway tomorrow.