|I first got interested in football at junior school and, although I don’t actually remember Burnley winning the old Div 1 title in 1960, I preferred them to both Wolves and Spurs who were the other top sides back them. The first match I remember watching on TV was the 1962 Cup Final where Burnley lost to bloody Spurs – who I have hated with a passion ever since. (Incidentally, the second match I remember seeing was Chile 2 Italy 0 in that summer’s world cup: the so-called Battle of Santiago where both sides went from kicking lumps out of each other to full-on fisticuffs. British ref Ken Aston was so traumatised by the experience he came back and invented Red and Yellow cards.)
I retained my fondness for Burnley FC down the years but have only ever seen one game at Turf Moor. In the meantime, my allegiance changed to Saints in 1974 and was sealed forever on 1/5/1976.
This fixture marked the end of the “winter break” for both sides. Burnley had played Arsenal on 2 Feb but Saints were at Spurs in the Cup replay on the 5th. Burnley made just one change with Bardsley in for the injured Lowton. With Barnes still out, Wood and Jay Rod were up top. McCarthy and Vestergaard came in for Gunn and Bednarek and Walker-Peters made his debut at right back. This allowed Ward Prowse to return to midfield where Armstrong replaced the injured Redmond.
Simon Hooper is a relative new boy as referee, but our old Friend Kevin was on VAR duty. Boo! BT were covering this lunchtime kick off with Messrs Cole and Crouch as studio pundits. Crouchy visited Staplewood during the previous week and didn’t recognise the place. He did a decent interview with Danny Ings who is hopeful of an England recall. With Storm Dennis approaching, the teams went out into a rising wind but no rain – yet.
Jenas was our gantry pundit and Burnley were in a dark green kit I’d not seen before. Apparently, they were 6 games unbeaten against us, yet Lawro went 2-0 Saints.
James Ward-Prowse - Saints own Superman. Awesome just over a week after being carried off the pitch at Tottenham Hotspur on a stretcher
IBO Reporter : Spot51
|Burnley took the lead after about 90 seconds. Wood pulled onto Walker-Peters and bullied him into conceding first a throw and then a corner. Westwood took an in-swinger that Ings should have cleared but he moved aside, and McCarthy stopped the ball a good foot over his line. 0-1. Bugger!
To be fair, Saints went straight at it, closing Burnley down and winning the ball back well upfield. Boufal’s cross found Long but his downward header was cleared. Armstrong’s shot was blocked by Tarkowski. Bertie’s corner was headed away.
On 8m Stephens mazy run from our box to theirs earned a second corner. JWP’s kick was headed clear. The wind was now starting to impact play. On 12m Burnley won a free-kick in our half but Charlie Taylor’s cross drifted behind the goal.
With heavy rain now falling, Vestergaard gave the ball away. Hendrick found Jay Rod but he was crowded out by R&W shirts. Didn’t see any incident but Vestergaard was carded for something. Then McNeil found Jay Rod, but McCarthy was able to catch his header.
On 18m Armstrong bundled towards their box. The ball broke to Ings, who carried it right before firing low and hard past Pope from outside the box. 1-1 and game on!
Chris Wood went down and, after treatment, was unable to continue. Vydra came off the bench. On 24m Pope’s long clearance found Jay Rod but his header on was collected by McC. Hendrick was then carded for tripping Boufal. With JWP over the ball, both sides lined up along the edge of Burnley’s box. But the ball was rolled wide to Boufal and his cross was met by Jack Stephens whose header crashed down off the bar. Pope gratefully grabbed it.
Cork was lucky not to be booked for his challenge on JWP before Ings was cheered to the rafters for sprinting 40 yards to close down Bardsley. Both sides made chances, Armstrong’s effort was blocked and Vestergaard’s challenge on Vydra allowed McC to collect his tamed effort.
Ings and Long drove forward, playing in Boufal on the left, but his low cross went behind the forwards. Saints recovered the ball and Boufal’s next cross deflected to Long but he planted his header wide. Boufal was hurt in that action and Ralph was obliged to replace him with Djenepo.
Armstrong and Ings then worked the ball forward but JWP had stopped running so the final ball was wasted. On 43m KWP skinned McNeil who was lucky not to be carded for his foul on the defender. PEH then tried to find the right back with a cross from the left, but Pope came to collect. Ben Mee was the carded for a foul on Ings.
In 5 added minutes, it was mostly Saints getting forward but in gale force winds nothing was achieved. HT = 1-1.
No further changes for the second half. Saints were again camped in the Burnley half and on 48m Bertie collected a Djenepo pass but fired into the side netting. Burnley mounted some unproductive attacks before Ings and Long broke upfield, but Tarka cleared the danger. Then a 50 yard ball from Vestergaard almost reached Ings, but Pope got there just in time.
Taylor was next to escape a booking for his foul on Armstrong, but the game was becoming increasingly scrappy. Of the 3 competing sides, Storm Dennis seemed to be well on top. The rain pouring down did not help and when Ings, at last, outpaced Tarka his cross went high above the onrushing Long.
On the hour, Hendricks collected the ball in midfield and looked forwards. Vydra came away from his markers to collect the long pass. Chesting it down, he broke left and unleashed a left footed drive past KWP’s attempted block. The ball flew past McC’s drive to put Burnley back in front. 1-2 and that, sadly, was that.
The officials didn’t help Saints either. Tarkowski clearly deflected Bertie’s shot past the post but the ref gave a goal kick. Saints kept attacking but the Burnley centre-backs got to most balls into the box before our lads. Burnley were also doing more attacking too. We started presenting them with the ball and the home crowd’s nervousness seemed to be transmitted to our players. Fortunately, Burnley did not capitalise. One period of pressure ended when Bardsley let fly from 40 yards: missing by a similar distance!
Chasing the game, Ralph went 3-4-3 with Obafemi replacing KWP. Ings misplaced a cross which went for a throw then McNeil found Jay Rod in acres of space, but he was well offside. Armstrong had a couple of speculative efforts, the first was blocked and the next flew over the bar.
On 80m, Burnley should have killed the game when Cork found Jay Rod on the left. His low driven cross flew across the goal area but neither Taylor or Hendrick moved when either could have had a tap in. Up the other end, Kevin Fiend finally got a chance to influence the game by not giving Saints a penalty when Ben Mee appeared to handle the ball. Seen plenty of these given (but not, of course, when we need to grab a point on a horrid afternoon).
On 85m Vydra got another shot away but McC was able to save this one. Adams replaced Long before PEH won us a corner. Again, Burnley headed it away and Obafemi was then carded for a supposed elbow on Bardsley. Really?
Both keepers were called into action in the final minute. First McCarthy tipped away Jay Rod’s shot and, when the corner was cleared upfield, Hojbjerg drew a save from Pope.
In the 4 added minutes, Jenas gave the BT MoM to Tarkowski. BBC gave theirs to Ben Mee which shows where the game was won and lost. Saints had lacked a cutting edge in the second half and had looked, quite frankly, piss poor for most of it.
The final whistle put the home fans out of their misery. Burnley were now 10 points from the last 12 and had secured their first double over Saints in my lifetime. Saints had just their win at Palace and two more home defeats in the same period.
Man of the Match
This match was so disappointing as we should have won it at a canter. Our profligacy (again) in the first half, and no show in the second, handed the points to a delighted Burnley. The one player in stripes I cannot fault, both for his work-rate and scoring another gem, is the rightful KING OF THE SCUMMERS: