Confidence Boosting Cup Win

Last updated : 21 September 2005 By Martin Heys
Graham Branch - Man of the Match
Although we are in the bottom two of the Championship and Barnsley are in the top 6 of League One from the off there seemed to be a big gulf in class between the sides with Graham Branch starting as Akinbiyi’s partner up front and Garreth O’ Connor came back from a 3 match suspension in place of the injured Wade Elliott.

In the first twenty to twenty-five minutes the Clarets did not make much of an impression on goal and neither did Barnsley. Although Martin Devaney on the left wing was a menace to us in the opening exchanges with his wide range of passing and his running at defenders, Burnley managed to snuff him out of the game and on twenty-eight minutes they took the lead from a well worked corner.

Garreth O’ Connor floated the ball to the near post where Branch flicked it on and, Keith Lowe, making his full home debut for the Clarets nodded home from about two yards. From that moment on we were on top and should have been two-nil up at least by the break as a last ditch tackle on Graham Branch, who looked certain to score, kept the score down.

At half time I was content with a 1-0 lead but I hoped for more clinical finishing in front of goal. Then came the second half, where we really did show that we were a class above them. Something we did not do against Carlisle.

We came out for the second half determined to score more goals and within the hour, we had added two more to the score sheet. Ade brought down a long ball from the back with a sublime piece of skill which left the Barnsley defenders wondering how he had managed it, and he rounded the ‘keeper and slotted home into an empty net.

No more than 4 minutes later, Ade turned from goalscorer to provider for our third goal of the evening. Garreth O’ Connor who was as good as I have seen him in a Burnley shirt last night, set Akinbiyi free into space and as he drew three defenders round him he played it through superbly to John Spicer who slotted it home from 12 yards.

That was it for the scoring but it could easily have been 6/7 with the Barnsley ‘keeper finding his form and keeping out shots from Branch, Micah Hyde and both O’ Connors. Branch, for me was Man of the Match for me last night as he did nothing wrong and played well alongside Ade, and that partnership looked better than the one of Noel Williams and Ade.

Every player played well last night and with a bit more luck in front of goal the score line could have been close to a cricket one! Barnsley may be a league below us but they are a top 6 side and are unbeaten in the last 3 on the bounce so if we can take this win into Saturday’s game against Brighton then we can get a positive result and possibly turn our season around.