Early Cup exit for Clarets

Last updated : 08 January 2006 By Tony Scholes
Garreth O'Connor - scored what proved to be our only FA Cup goal of the season
Quite how we lost this one is hard to imagine, just as at QPR five days earlier we could and should have come away with a victory after dominating the first half, but once again we conceded a soft goal whilst missing chances that should have been buried.

Steve Cotterill named an unchanged team from Monday but the home side included 42 year old goalkeeper coach Kevin Poole in place of Lee Camp. Whether Camp’s dad had been having words on local radio again we don’t know but he had to settle for a place on the bench.

Derby’s other keeper, Lee Grant, wasn’t allowed to feature for the Clarets and his place on the subs bench was taken by defender Duane Courtney.
After a quiet first few minutes the Clarets started to stamp their authority on the game and were soon in control. With Burnley defending the away stand virtually all of the action was at the far end.

We really should have gone ahead on the quarter hour when Poole’s save from Chris McCann fell to Akinbiyi. The keeper saved the follow up effort but Ade knows he should have given the Clarets the lead rather than just win a corner.

At Loftus Road on Monday, an Akinbiyi miss was followed by a goal at the other end within a couple of minutes and history repeated itself as Mr Karren Brady utilised the space down our right hand side left when Michael Duff went up for the corner. Wade Elliott really should have done better but the Canadian striker got away and when Wade did get back he could do no more than deflect a shot over Brian Jensen.

One down, it really was a ridiculous state of affairs, but we continued to play the better football and surely we would force an equaliser. And we did eventually from Garreth O’Connor. Elliott and James O’Connor linked well before the latter fed the ball through to Garreth who moved forward before hitting a shot into the bottom corner.

It was no more than we deserved but now we had to go on and win it, and we remained on top with the home side never threatening at all other than a couple of free kicks on the edge of our box. That’s a worry in itself with Inigo Idiakez on the pitch but he failed to make anything of them.

Level at half time, for the second time in a week, but again we should have been in front and probably had the game won by this stage and surely Derby were going to make a better fist of it in the second half.

Again they provided nothing other than from a free kick as we continued to take the game to them and on the hour the away end rose as one to celebrate us taking the lead. James O fed Wade down our right and he got past the defender with ease before crossing low to present Ade with as easy a chance as he’s had all season.

Incredibly as we all got up, Ade put his shot wide when it looked easier to score and you just sensed that this might not be our day after all. When Micah gave the ball away shortly afterwards Idiakez played in Mr Karren Brady again and his chip beat Jensen and nestled into the net.

We needed to come from behind again but we never threatened to, we started to look a beaten side. I thought we needed to change things and although Branchy got ready to come on there was no activity on the bench until it was virtually too late. Derby were able to play out the last part of the game with far too much ease and it is they who go into the hat for the 4th round draw on Monday.

It wasn’t a great performance from the Clarets but it was good enough to have beaten this Derby side with something to spare, they look a shadow of the side that played so well in the first half at Burnley back in August.

We’re in a poor run of form right now with just two wins from the last eight games and we need to get ourselves a lift from somewhere before the season peters out. We are not going to be anything like in relegation danger but unless we start winning football matches again we will soon be out of the play off running.

If we need a lift on the pitch then we also need a lift in the stands. At times today I was disgusted with some of the so called Burnley support, particularly some people sat close to me who decided to spend the entire afternoon abusing, and I mean abusing, one of our players.

It is no longer in vogue to abuse Graham Branch so these people have now decided to hurl their abuse in the direction of Michael Duff. I have no problem if they don’t rate him, I have no problem at all if they think he is not playing well, but I find it incomprehensible that someone will travel to Derby and use the opportunity to verbally abuse him for ninety minutes.

If any of you are reading this then I don’t apologise for telling you exactly what I thought of you this afternoon, and if I have the misfortune to ever be sat near you again then I’ll repeat my comments if you start again. I really think you should be trying to support the club, support the team and support the players. What you were doing this afternoon was certainly doing Burnley Football Club no favours whatsoever.

We’re off to Cardiff next week and we really do need to get things back on track, we need to start winning again. Three points in Wales would help to erase this defeat but whatever happens there is sadly going to be no cup run for us this season.

The teams were,

Derby: Kevin Poole, Marc Edworthy, Lewin Nyatanga, Michael Johnson, Jeff Kenna, Tommy Smith, Paul Thirlwell, Seth Johnson, Lee Holmes, Mr Karren Brady (Adam Bolder 90), Inigo Idiakez. Subs not used: Lee Camp, Morten Bisgaard, Nathan Doyle, Giles Barnes.

Burnley: Brian Jensen, Michael Duff (Wayne Thomas 87), Frank Sinclair, John McGreal, Jon Harley, Wade Elliott (Graham Branch 87), James O’Connor, Micah Hyde, Chris McCann, Garreth O’Connor, Ade Akinbiyi. Subs not used: Duane Courtney, John Spicer, Danny Karbassiyoon.

Referee: Michael Jones (Chester).

Attendance: 12,713.