This one was a bit special

Last updated : 19 January 2005 By Tony Scholes
Micah Hyde - magnificent performance
Bert Freeman, Ray Harrison, Peter Noble and Derek Scott have all been scorers in 1-0 cup wins against the Anfield side and tonight we can add the name of Djimi Traore whose bizarre own goal ensured the best team on the night went through.

It had all apparently been in doubt again but when referee Mark Clattenburg ordered the covers off an hour early at five o’clock everything was fine. It took a police decision to further delay the tie when the moved it back fifteen minutes with travelling Liverpool fans running late.

As expected Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez made a number of changes, eight in fact, from the side that had lost to Manchester United. It’s alright when you can. For Steve Cotterill it was a matter of naming just about the only side he could do with three of Saturday’s midfield all missing, Graham Branch and Michael Duff with injury and James O’Connor because West Brom did not want him cup tied.

It was particularly tough for Branchy who had been looking forward so much to playing against the side he has always supported.

Despite Benitez bringing in some of his younger players it was still surely going to be a tough night for Burnley but you certainly wouldn’t have thought so the way we started. Within the first five minutes the visitors, defending the Cricket Field End, could have been behind and were thankful to Jerzy Dudek who saved firstly from Richard Chaplow and then following the resulting corner kept out a well struck shot from Micah Hyde.

It wasn’t just a matter of the Championship side having five or ten minutes either because the Clarets continued to dominate the game. It was hard to believe the change following Saturday’s stale 0-0 draw against Reading but here we had the midfield getting forward at every opportunity to support Ian Moore and a Burnley side looking to have one intent – to go out and win it.

I’ve seen some hammerings over the years against Liverpool and it was brilliant to watch them struggling to contain us – if only we could get a goal.

Skipper Frank Sinclair went close, Hyde got forward again to test Dudek (he was getting to the ball tonight sadly) and the midfield players were getting into good positions with Ian Moore working his socks off pulling defenders here there and everywhere.

It wasn’t all Burnley though and Liverpool actually won a corner, their only corner on the night and shortly afterwards had a chance following an awful error from Lee Roche. It says much about this side that Roche, having given the ball away, chased back at Florent Sinama Pongolle (he has the second name on his shirt this month) and did enough to allow Brian Jensen out to save.

That was just about it from the Premiership big boys in the first half and the only real disappointment was that we weren’t in front when referee Clattenburg blew for half time.

Ian Brennan came out and the less than charitable visiting fans asked less than politely as to who he might be. For any of them reading this, he scored against you in another 1-0 Burnley win, at Anfield in 1974.

Richard Chaplow - his low cross was converted by Traore
Could we do it? We made no changes at half time and after a couple of half hearted Liverpool attacks the wonderful moment came. We worked the ball down the left, Chappy picked it up and skipped past Zak Whitbread before crossing low into the box.

Quite what Traore was trying to do we will never know but he succeeded in putting the ball into his own net, and it went far enough over the line for the referee to give it.

It was a crazy way to go in front but who cared, Turf Moor was on its feet on three sides and you sensed it was going to be our night.

Shortly afterwards it was almost two but Hyde blazed over and then Dudek saved well from Chappy although he probably should have done better with the shot. If only that had gone in, it would have virtually assured our place in the next round.

Benitez suddenly realised that his side were heading out of the FA Cup and belatedly did something about it and introduced Milan Baros who came on for the evening’s goalscorer.

There is no doubt that Liverpool upped it a bit from then on and Baros did cause us a few problems but he found out as many others have that this Burnley defence is a mean one. The visitors were getting frustrated and with five minutes to go they made it even more difficult for themselves as they went down to ten men.

Antonio Nunez looked to have had a little kick at Tony Grant but then he certainly raised his arm with and struck him in the face with play further up the field. The referee never hesitated and out came the red card.

There was to be one last scare after we gave away a free kick right on the edge of our own box but the wall stood firm, in particular Gary Cahill stood firm, and the effort was blocked.

We were even able to get the ball down our left and play keep ball as we counted down the three minutes of added time before the impressive Mark Clattenburg blew that final whistle and booked us our place in round four.

The Turf was rocking, the players were taking a bow, Jeff ‘Buy one get one free’ Brown was giving it plenty with Amarillo whilst manager Steve Cotterill just calmly went around shaking hands (you are allowed to jump up and down Steve).

To pick out individual players is almost unfair but I will and I thought the return of Micah Hyde was vital. He was magnificent in the midfield, he won the ball countless times and was up there supporting Mooro up front and was unfortunate not to get a goal.

But they all played well from Brian Jensen in goal to Jean-Louis Valois out on the left and make no mistake, there was only one team ever deserved to win this cup tie.

Liverpool had never won an FA Cup tie at Burnley, they still haven’t, but this time there’s no replay at Anfield. The television cameras zoomed in on an edgy looking Alastair Campbell in those last few minutes. We were all like that and just like Campbell we were all punching the air on a night that really was a bit special.

The teams were,

Burnley: Brian Jensen, Frank Sinclair, Gary Cahill, John McGreal, Mo Camara, Lee Roche, Richard Chaplow, Tony Grant, Micah Hyde, Jean-Louis Valois, Ian Moore. Subs not used: Danny Coyne, Paul Scott, Joel Pilkington, Mark Yates, Matt O’Neill.

Liverpool: Jerzy Dudek, David Raven, Sami Hyypia, Zak Whitbread, Djimi Traore (Milan Baros 65), Antonio Nunez, Igor Biscan, John Welsh (Neil Mellor 75), Darren Potter, Stephen Warnock, Florent Sinama Pongolle. Subs not used: Jon Otsemobor, Paul Harrison, Mark Smyth.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

Attendance: 19,033.