A lousy night to be a Claret

Last updated : 27 September 2015 By Tony Scholes

There aren't too many positives I can find to report other than having a trouble free journey down to Burslem and back. Our performance was nowhere near good enough and, in the end, we could have no complaints at an immediate cup exit.

Sean Dyche had suggested there would be changes and he made four from the team that had started against Leeds last Saturday. In came Matt Gilks, Stephen Ward, Matt Taylor and Sam Vokes. That meant bench places for Tom Heaton, David Jones and Lukas Jutkiewicz with Michael Keane not involved at all.

Port Vale had an early effort at goal and probably started and ended the first half the better side. There was a period in the middle of the half when I thought we were getting into it but other than a woeful effort from George Boyd from just outside the box there was precious little to enthuse about.

That was about it from a tedious first half with the Burnley fans looking stunned during the interval at what they'd seen.

It really was poor stuff and I think most of us expected something of an improvement in the second half.

Ben Mee's performance was a positive on a poor night for the Clarets

We did appear to start more brightly; Michael Kightly had an effort blocked and a Jelle Vossen overhead kick almost found Ben Mee at the back post but none of it came to anything and the game again descended into some desperately poor football.

During most of this time, a group of Burnley fans had opted to sing about Blackburn and Leeds with very little in the way of supportive efforts, but they then thought it was appropriate to start belittling Marvin Sordell as he warmed up.

Sordell came on for Vossen but the chanting and singing continued right through to the end of the game. I found it shameful. I have to say I have never heard anything like that before aimed at one of our players and I sincerely hope I never hear anything like it again.

Whatever Sordell has done for us or whatever he hasn't, he most definitely doesn't deserve what happened last night.

As for the game, it certainly didn't improve and it looked to have 0-0 stamped all over it. Moving into the last ten minutes we realised we might have to endure a further half an hour, but that all changed when Vale scored.

A shot from the left was parried by Gilks but only to Byron Moore who shot back at goal. We got the ball away but I do think, even from the back of that away end, it clearly looked to have crossed the line.

Apparently the assistant, well positioned, said no but the badly positioned referee Trevor Kettle, after consulting with him, awarded the goal.

Kettle got that one right. He'd had another of his nights waving cards around while still looking so clearly unfit he can't run. I do wonder how he is still permitted to referee.

But he didn't cost us; we deserved nothing more than the defeat we got.

We did throw things forward towards the end but the Burnley fans by now were struggling to see what was going on at the far end due to the inadequate floodlighting.

I thought a Boyd shot had fired hopelessly over only to learn it had hit the bar and bounced up,

But, as former manager Stan Ternent would say: "We got what we deserved. Nothing!"

It's time to concentrate on the league again but this was nowhere near good enough.

The teams were;

Port Vale: Jak Alnwick, Ben Purkiss, Carl Dickinson, Remie Streete (Ryan Inniss ht), Richard Duffy, Louis Dodds, Sam Foley, Byron Moore, Ajay Leitch-Smith (Uche Ikpeazu 70), Enoch Andoh (Sam Kelly 81), Anthony Grant. Subs not used: Sam Johnson, Chris Birchall, Colin Daniel, Michael Brown.
Yellow Cards: Anthony Grant, Remie Streete, Uche Ikpeazu.

Burnley: Matt Gilks, Tendayi Darikwa, Michael Duff, Ben Mee, Stephen Ward, George Boyd, Scott Arfield, Matt Taylor (Lukas Jutkiewicz 84), Michael Kightly, Jelle Vossen (Marvin Sordell 65), Sam Vokes. Subs not used: Tom Heaton, Cameron Dummigan, Tom Anderson, David Jones, Brad Jackson.
Yellow Cards: Scott Arfield, Matt Taylor, Tendayi Darikwa.

Referee: Trevor Kettle (Leicestershire).

Attendance: 4,634 (including 909 Clarets).