Weather hits Clarets hopes

Last updated : 02 December 2003 By Tony Scholes

Conditions were appalling for both players and spectators alike with the weather more akin to an afternoon’s cricket in Sri Lanka as Wigan was hit by something resembling a monsoon. As the spectators struggled to keep control of their umbrellas the Clarets received their first blow of the morning and lost the toss and were condemned to play the first forty-five minutes against the driving wind and rain.

But against one of the stronger sides in the league the Clarets did well during the first half and could count themselves very unfortunate to be a goal down at the interval. The goal came when we failed to deal with a cross but other than we looked comfortable.

And we would almost certainly have been level had the Wigan keeper not taken out Alex Taylor on the edge of the box when clean through. The keeper should probably have been sent off but the referee allowed him to stay on giving him just a yellow card.

It was no surprise then after looking like scoring that the free kick came to nothing and that proved to be our one real chance of the first half as building attacks proved difficult with keeper Michael Hale having to drop kick the balls out just to avoid them coming straight back at him.

1-0 down at half time though and with the conditions now set to work against our hosts we were hopeful of getting something. That would have been the case had there not been a change during the half time break as the rain eased off and the wind dropped somewhat.

Even without the advantage though we got on top during the second half but a combination of poor finishing, bad luck and good goalkeeping kept Wigan in front.

That was until Ryan Townsend, our Australian captain with the Manchester accent, climbed high to head home and bring us back level and now looking to go on and win the game. But only a few minutes later our defence was outpaced and when Townsend slipped it let Wigan in for what proved to be the winner.

We pushed forward but we couldn’t find ourselves a second equaliser and that means for the second time this season we have somewhat unluckily gone down to defeat against Wigan.

Now it is the Lancashire FA Youth Cup tie and this competition is for Under18s rather than Under19s in the league and that means only three players have to drop out. With one of them the currently injured Paul Scott and a second being Richard Chaplow it means that only Rhys Carpenter will not be eligible to play on Wednesday from Saturday’s team and that team was:

Michael Hale; Ryan Townsend, Danny Pitham, Gary Carter, Ross Preston; Mark Pugh, Joe Booth, Tom Ince, Darrel Avery; Alex Taylor, Rhys Carpenter. Sub: Cayne Hanley.

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