A goal and a win

Last updated : 23 July 2005 By Tony Scholes

Burnley fans behind the goal

It was three goals to be precise and the Conference side were never really in it once we’d gone two up in the first twenty five minutes but there was much to admire after this performance from the Clarets.

The news we brought you this morning was confirmed when Macedonian Artim Sakiri was named in a side that showed three changes from the starting line up at Cheltenham. Sakiri replaced the injured Micah Hyde whilst Brian Jensen started in goal whilst Graham Branch played down the left hand side with Garreth O’Connor named amongst the substitutes.

Sakiri was involved in much of the good work early in the game and in the opening minute he played in Wade Elliott whose cross was finally pushed out for a corner but the Clarets didn’t have to wait too long to get the first goal.

It was Sakiri who crossed the ball after it was played to him by Elliott from the corner. It was headed back across goal for John McGreal to head home from close range.

Burnley were well on top and the two strikers linked up well as Gifton flicked the ball on for Ade who finished superbly. The only thing to spoil it was an over eager assistant waving his flag for offside.

There really was only one team in it and Elliott hit a cross shot against the inside of the far post. It was unlucky for the former Bournemouth winger who was already making a big impression to follow on from his good performance on Saturday.

Another goal looked certain and when it came it was no surprise that Elliott was involved in it. His cross from the right was met by Akinbiyi whose shot was blocked and it fell for Branchy to volley home.

For the rest of the first half the Clarets remained on top and could well have gone in at half time with a bigger lead – but 2-0 it was and the fans looked more than happy with what they had seen.

Wade Elliott - impressive performance
Steve Cotterill had received a superb reception from the Burnley fans before the game, just as he had done a year before at the same ground. Things were going so well that it got even better as he and Dave Kevan came out for the second half.

Danny Coyne and Garreth O’Connor were both introduced and it brought about a reshuffle with John McGreal going off with Graham Branch moving to left back as Frank Sinclair moved into the centre.

Garreth was soon into the action with a good shot and then Elliott again came close. He’d been so unlucky not to get onto the scoresheet but twenty minutes into the second half he did get his first Burnley goal, and what a goal.

Again Sakiri was involved as he played the ball to him but after that it was all Elliott as he run at the Accy defence before hitting home a left foot shot from about fifteen yards. You can put this one down as a goal of the season contender.

It was all over as a contest and Accy did come at us in the closing minutes and twice probably should have scored. There was time too for further substitutions that saw the two youngsters Kyle Lafferty and Chris McCann get another run out as well as the familiar figure of Paul Cook coming on for the home side, and receiving a good reception from the Burnley fans.

All in all it was another good work out, and it was definitely the name of Wade Elliott on everyone’s lips at the end of the game. I suggested after Saturday that he might prove to be a popular player with the Burnley fans, and he did nothing to dispel that last night.

So Steve has got his clean sheet (two of them now), a win and certainly some goals as we build up towards Crewe in just over a fortnight. Now we can bring on Malaga as we prepare to play on the Turf for the first time since we beat Plymouth last April.

The teams were,

Accrington Stanley: Collings, Williams, Flynn, Tretton, Butler, O’Neill, Brannan, Craney, Mullin, Noone, Roberts. Subs: Cook, Barry, Nay, Brown, Alcock, Lloyd, Jagielka, Millighan, Lathorn.

Burnley: Brian Jensen (Danny Coyne 45), Michael Duff, Wayne Thomas, John McGreal (Garreth O’Connor 45), Frank Sinclair, Wade Elliott, James O’Connor, Artim Sakiri (Chris McCann 84), Graham Branch, Ade Akinbiyi (Kyle Lafferty 84), Gifton Noel-Williams.

Attendance: 2,580.