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Lancashire Red: Seconds Out

24 September 2013

Can’t admit to ever looking forward to this one. The fact it was a rare local fixture for yours truly was probably the biggest reason for me not to pass it up, though the price of tickets for a third round tie was quite a pull as well. This is, of course a venue I know well, and (along with Preston’s Deepdale) my most visited away ground; one where we have experienced few highs and plenty of lows in one of the most hostile environments experienced.

The prospect of an all-or-nothing win or lose, even if it meant going all the way to penalties was still appealing, and I was yet to see us face The Dingles in the mortal combat of a cup tie. With Billy adopting the by-now typical cup strategy by making eleven changes to Burnley’s four, you probably got a fair idea of who wanted this tie more, so one more reason to suspect we may well lose this.  That said, our second string, for want of a better phrase doesn’t look that bad when most of tonight’s starting line-up were first team regulars this time last year, so it was good to see the likes of Gillett and Jara, and especially Dex, whilst the rested regulars get fully prepared for the much more important clash with our neighbours at the other end of BC Way (a nice controversial winner scored by Dex on Saturday would be the ideal revenge for the humungous injustice that happened twelve months ago). With that in mind it was a little surprising to see Radi in the starting line-up and Cohen on the bench, though not unwelcome by any shot.

Capital One Cup, Tuesday 24th September 2013, KO 1945
Burnley 2 – 1 Nottingham Forest

Turf Moor
Unexpectedly balmy for late September
Away fan experience
A typical Burnley one: we came, we saw, we lost. For a midweek cup match there was a healthy turnout from the Forest faithful, making plenty of noise at times in that decrepit (and disgrace of a) David Fishwick stand. Being seated on the 7th row of the allocated area (Row S, so still quite a long way up) meant being able to sit during the action along with a sizeable proportion of fans who preferred to do likewise, so something of a compromise with those who remained standing. Elsewhere, the usual ingredients of Dinglestown included some of the most vile fans around, before, during and after the match (except for the people manning the car park and cricket club bar who provided a welcome oasis in a hostile venue).
FacilitiesThe usual stuff on offer in that cavernous dump the away fans have to endure. As I had no time for tea beforehand I had to endure one of Turf Moor’s much maligned pies. The peppered steak filling was actually quite tasty (as long as you give it about 15 minutes to cool down), shame about the cardboard that surrounded it. I’m sure Hollands Pies, whose factory is only five miles down the road would be horrified at the way The Dingles murder their wares.
Was a glorified fold-up poster. Quite innovative and different, though little of interest for visiting fans. Opened out into a poster highlighting various Dingle victories.
The Match
Inevitably, Burnley’s ascendancy both as far as this game and their season to date is concerned began to tell, as the lack of match minutes among our lot (in full away kit for the first time this season) started to take its toll as space made turned to stray passes and one or two yellow cards. Paterson was difficult to handle in possession, but his crosses, like Lichaj in other games recently, were consistently over hit. Chances became fewer as Burnley defended in numbers as we allowed them to fall back. Our best chance fell to Derbyshire whose looping shot just cleared the crossbar, and we were never the same after that. Worse still, Burnley were ahead two minutes later when a Junior Stanislas (a constant thorn in our sides but now more a fringe player, I’m reliably told) free kick wide out on the left found Ings (again) who glanced it past DeVries, which ultimately was enough for Burnley to win the tie.
HT, and another blast from the past, another reminder of the dark days of nine years ago with the appearance of former frontman (for both us and The Dingles) Gareth Taylor. Just about the only good memory of his time with us was his first ever start in a Forest shirt, ironically here at Turf Moor in which he scored one of three we hit that night in our only win here in ten visits.
Sadly it was a defensive lapse which was to cost us shortly before HT when Collins yet again was responsible for allowing Danny Ings too much space before he unleashed a stinging shot which sailed into the top corner.
Forest started easily the brighter, and although not the most fluent of football being played, it was good enough to keep it in Burnley’s half of the field for the first 30 minutes or so. The climax to this phase of the game came in the 24th minute when an inswinging ball from Paterson found Dex who flicked on, and although the shot was blocked, Derbyshire was in an ideal position to smack the ball home, though I could barely see from behind one of those lovely pillars which was directly in the line of vision between me and the far goal. No matter. We erupted into celebration, launched into gleeful ‘Lost That Lovin’ Feeling’ and generally felt quite pleased. And with good reason, since this was the first time in ten years we were actually in the lead at this godforsaken dump.
The usual pre-match pint at the cricket club. On the pitch, the first half-hour of the game was easily the most enjoyable from a Forest perspective.
Miller breaks free, just Heaton to beat (albeit from an angle), pulls the trigger and hits something upright – a corner flag, no less. How the Dingles howled in as much laughter as we did in despair (though it was really one of those situations you just had to laugh in order not to cry buckets.
Paterson was a thorn in the side, quite literally down Burnley’s left.
Collins – a defensive liability. Again.
Darren Drysdale – Slight homer tendencies, though nothing outrageous. Could have been a little fairer with the yellow cards: they deserved at least three compared to the one they got.
Entertainment Value Did the changed side strategy work? You could argue that it served its purpose, though Saturday’s result will dictate whether the gamble worked. We simply must win on Saturday. Five games since the last one is far too long.
The comments on Forest’s style of play continues unabated, especially from various work colleagues, some of them Burnley fans, inevitably, given the proximity of our office to Dinglestown. With comments such as ‘dirty’, ‘hard’ and a ‘typical Billy Davies outfit’ are they justified? Whatever the case, the likes of Lichaj will have to tread carefully with one card short of a suspension. Doesn’t bode well ahead of Saturday, a game guaranteed to see a flurry of cards. Let’s just hope they’re not waved at us for a change. On a more positive side we do at least seem able to counter opposition sides’ more physical tendencies much better than previously, so I guess that’s the price you pay for being accused of allsorts.
The commentator at Radio Lancashire was obviously colour blind when describing Forest’s kit as black, and the way he was describing about Burnley’s win you’d think it was their first win of any kind in over ten years. Some of these locals seriously need to get a life…
Those vile Dingles fans maybe didn’t know what sort of game they were watching, since chants of ‘EIEIEIO! Up the football league we go…’ could be heard from the Hargreaves Stand. Er, this is a cup match…….

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