Burnley left to count the cost of missed chances

Last updated : 10 January 2007 By Pete Waters
Ade Akinbiyi - Man of the Match
Never has this saying been more apt than tonight as Burnley wasted a whole host of chances at the Madejski Stadium - and paid the ultimate price for it.
A debut goal from Ade Akinbiyi and a late, late strike from Garreth O'Connor was all the travelling Clarets fans had to celebrate on a night when we should have forced at least a replay, if not more.

Reading started the game brightly, showing a real desire to impose themselves on Burnley. It didn't take Burnley long to settle down though and they soon set about carving out countless opportunities to score.

After a cross field ball from Jon Harley, Wade Elliott got in behind the Reading full back, he had time to look up and place his shot but unfortunately he could only shoot at Adam Federici's legs. The rebound fell kindly to Gifton Noel-Williams but he could only screw his shot wide.

Burnley kept up the pressure and soon created another glorious opportunity. This time Jon Harley swung a cross in from the by line. It reached Akinbiyi whose header was somehow tipped around the post by the impressive Federici.

The Clarets were made to pay for their slackness in front of goal when Leroy Lita latched on to a seemingly harmless ball. Wayne Thomas and John McGreal looked at each other as Lita calmly guided the ball into the net from 18 yards. It was another disappointing goal to concede.

If the first goal was disappointing then the second was a hammer blow as Long raced through the Burnley defence, went around the advancing Brian Jensen and then somehow smashed the ball in from a very tight angle.

Steve Jones and Noel-Williams then spurned further opportunities before Sam Sodje rose highest in the Burnley box early in the second half to nod home unchallenged after a ball in from Bobby Convey.

It was rough justice on a Burnley side that had created chance after chance in the first half. However, they did get some reward when Akinbiyi latched onto a through ball from Chris McCann to lob the ball over Federici. It was an excellent finish from Ade and capped a very encouraging debut from him, earning him the man of the match.

Just after the goal Steve Cotterill brought Kyle Lafferty and Alan Mahon on for Noel-Williams and Jones.

Federici then made another outstanding save from Akinbiyi and just seconds later denied Lafferty when it was surely easier to score. The Reading keeper was having a very good night and he made a further save from Mahon.

With just two minutes added time, it was clear that it wasn't to be Burnley's night but they added some respectability when Garreth O'Connor, a late substitute, volleyed home after some indecision in the home defence.

It was a disappointing night for Burnley when it could have been so much better. With a little more composure at both ends of the pitch the result could have been very different.