Clarets seal Final date with destiny

Martin Paterson
Martin Paterson - his 35 yard shot was worthy of winning any game
Those words seemed all too familiar to Clarets fans, after we were cruelly knocked out of the Carling Cup semi final 2nd leg against Tottenham Hotspur following one of the greatest 90 minute comebacks in the history of English football.

The Clarets, 4-1 down from the 1st leg at White Hart Lane, had made a spectacular comeback in 90 minutes with three magical goals and a team performance to be proud of, but as the chants of "we're going to Wem-ber-ley" got more and more frequent and a cup final at Wembley seemed certain, Tottenham drove a painful dagger through Burnley hearts.

However, the team took the defeat to heart, and it seems to have done them more good than damage. The squad have been a tight close unit as ever, gifting the Championship some spectacular performances and goals and ensured a very close fight to the death for the Championship Play off positions.

The more and more games Burnley played, the more inspired they became through the season.

Heartache in the League Cup could have upset the team, but they turned any upset into inspiration, and got on with the task at hand...to push up the table.

A defeat at playoff rivals Cardiff City after Robbie Blake's 84th minute equaliser was to be our only defeat in the last eleven games of our Championship campaign and that meant we could have sealed a place in the play offs at Southampton. But we had to wait until the home game against Bristol City on the last day of the season.

That final game saw us having to equal or better Preston's result at home to QPR in order to guarantee a place in the playoffs. It really was a beautiful sight to see the entire home sections jam packed with supporters; even better to see it explode in ecstasy as the Clarets went on to win 4-0.

So by this point, Burnley had been guaranteed the Championship Playoffs, and local rivals Preston pipped Cardiff City to the last spot, thanks to equal points, equal goal difference, and +1 goal scored difference. How much that 6-0 drubbing by Preston will come back to haunt Cardiff.

We were paired with Reading and after a 1-0 win at home we went to the Madejski and won 2-0. Martin Paterson unleashed a spectacular 35 yard shot which was worthy of winning any game. The Burnley fans were delirious with joy and excitement.

Now was the time to kill them off and book a date with Wembley bound Sheffield United. The game was Burnley's for the taking. A free kick taken by Brian "Beast" Jensen made its way to Steven Thompson who hit a magical dipping shot over American Goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, clipping the underside of the crossbar as it went in. Burnley were Wembley bound.

Burnley had done it. After cup heartbreak in the semi final against Tottenham the super Clarets will be going to Wembley after all, and even better knowing we have 36,000 to support the boys on. Next Monday the Clarets will battle it out in a Roses derby with Sheffield United in what is described as the most lucrative game in football, believed to be worth £60million to the winner.

Next season will be the 50 year anniversary of us becoming Division 1 champions, and what a better way to celebrate it than the potential of playing in the top Division once again, our first return since 1976. Our destiny is in our hands. It is time to make our return to the promised homeland. Dare to dream.