Gawthorpe is still struggling to recover from the heavy rainfall of recent times and by the end of the game I think most of the spectators were about a foot shorter than at kick off as they started to sink.
The young Clarets lined up without the services of Earl Davis, Joel Pilkington and Andrew Waine who were all named as substitutes thus giving some of the younger players another opportunity and they took it well in what was a good performance.
Twice we fell behind in the first half but both goals were due to individual errors. With just 12 minutes gone the assistant referee on the far side failed to spot a blatant offside and the Carlisle defender went through to score. It was a poor decision but shortly afterwards he was to get worse as once again the flag failed to go up with a player clearly at least five yards offside. Fortunately on this occasion they failed to take advantage.
It was difficult to understand just how we were behind in a game when we were well on top but to be fair in the early stages we were a bit scrappy. With 32 minutes on the clock though we pulled level. We worked the ball down the right hand side very well with Mark Rasmussen and Jon Leary doing well. Eventually the ball was threaded through to Damian Hindle who made no mistake from just inside the box.
Within five minutes the Carlisle keeper did well to keep his side level as he went down to his left to tip away a volley from trialist John Alexander. Within a minute though we were behind again and it was keeper James Salisbury who failed to collect on the edge of his box that allowed Carlisle the simplest of chances.
That was the last of the action in the first half and the sizeable crowd spent the break wondering how on earth we were behind.
Four minutes in to the second half and James Salisbury redeemed himself with a smart save to his right but Burnley were set to turn the game on its head.
With 54 minutes gone we were level again when the Carlisle keeper could only parry a ball in from the left and Liam Eves from at least a yard out headed into the roof of the net. Three minutes later and we scored from a throw in. Matthew O'Neill threw it long from the right and Richard Chaplow got in quickly to turn it in.
The young Clarets now 3-2 in front we were well on top and this was proving too much for some of the Carlisle players who dived in with a couple of reckless tackles. It was to get worse for them with 62 minutes on the clock, we got a fourth, and what a good move it was. This time the build up was down the left and Matthew O'Neill burst into the box past two defenders. The keeper couldn't hold his effort and Alexander turned it in smartly.
That was it as far as the scoring was concerned but the Clarets continued to dominate against a Carlisle side who were getting more and more irate as the game wore on. The language had been bad from our visitors from kick off with three players in particular worse than the others.
It was bad I can assure you and at times you might have heard less swearing at a Chubby Brown show. To their credit I did not hear one Burnley player swear throughout the game it was all from our visitors. On one occasion Mark Rasmussen was threatened with a card by the referee for shouting "What?" after a decision had been strangely given against him. The referee, an enormous gentleman who found movement difficult, did not on one occasion threaten to take any action against them. Even the assistant referee on our side expressed his surprise that he had allowed it to happen.
It is so pleasing to see the lads improving almost match by match and the progress this season is a credit to the coaches at Turf Moor and to the lads themselves.
All in all then an excellent performance by our youngsters who also showed great discipline whilst their opponents clearly lost theirs. Our lads today really were a credit to our football club.
The team was: James Salisbury, Jon Leary, Paul Scott (Joel Pilkington 80), Steven Richardson, Sean Blakey, Liam Eves, Mark Rasmussen (Andrew Leeson 70), Richard Chaplow, Damian Hindle, John Alexander (Paul Barrett 70), Matthew O'Neill. Subs not used: Earl Davis, Andrew Waine.
Fixtures and Results