Burnley v Scunthorpe United

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Football League Championship

Burnley2 (2)Scunthorpe United0 (0)

Blake 9, Akinbiyi 32

Burnley :
Jensen, Alexander, Varga, Unsworth, Harley, Elliott, James O'Connor, Gudjonsson (Spicer 77), McCann, Blake (Garreth O'Connor 89), Akinbiyi (Caldwell 89)
Subs not used:
Kiraly, Jordan

Scunthorpe United :
Murphy, Hobbs, Butler, Martis, Williams, Sparrow, Cork, McCann, Morris (Goodwin 46), Paterson (Forte 65), May (Hayes 46)
Subs not used:
Lillis, Hurst


by Jim Billinger at Turfmoor

HAVING come all the way from Canada to see my mother, I completely fouled up the chance of seeing the Iron at home during my stay.

I was faced, therefore, with a trip to Burnley on the Holloways supporters’ coach. With my youngest daughter with me, we departed Glanford Park at 11.30 am.

Sitting behind me on the coach was Simon Wright, the official photographer for the Official Iron Website. We struck up a conversation and I was proud to declare I had never seen the Iron lose since I left for Canada in December, 1997. Next time I will keep my mouth shut. The trip to Turf Moor was uneventful and even included a slow crawl through downtown Halifax on the way. We arrived before 2 pm.

We found plenty of room in the away end at Turf Moor and decided to sit right at the front. The pre-match warm up ensued and once the Burnley cheerleaders departed the pitch, the teams kicked off at 3 pm. The Iron wore their change strip and I must confess the blue and gold numbers on the shirts looked good. The Iron were still holding Burnley to a draw at this stage. Good effort.

The Iron’s new loan signing Jack Hobbs immediately impressed with a strong header to clear away danger. Hobbs was to turn in a decent performance on his debut. The Iron supporters were in good voice and good spirits from the outset. For nine minutes, the Iron held their own before Blake struck for Burnley following poor coverage in front of goal. The Iron defence (Williams and Martis) started poorly and continued downhill from there. An obnoxious Iron ‘fan’ decided he had paid to voice his opinion even if that meant hurling abuse at Joe Murphy and any Iron player within earshot. The idiot was finally convinced to calm it down.

Ben May headed over from an Iron corner on 19 minutes. A further Iron corner six minutes later saw Hobbs head over.

On 28 minutes, Grant McCann hit a speculative shot that came back off the base of the Burnley upright. That proved to be the only real chance of the game for the Iron.

The absent Iron defence let in Akinbiyi for Burnley’s second on 32 minutes.

Ian Morris proved he could put a good long throw over but otherwise he, too, was unimpressive.

Andy Butler headed at the Burnley goalie Jensen from one of Morris’ throws, while Jack Cork busied himself around Turf Moor for most of the game. Cork’s efforts were wasted, however, as the Iron continued to play badly alongside him.

Hobbs got the better of Akinbiyi with a timely tackle. Paterson had a half-chance in time added on but the score remained 0-2 at half time. Jimmy McIlroy was introduced at half-time to the approval of the 14,500 Turf Moor crowd.

More cheerleader stuff before both teams came out for the second- half. Much to my amusement, the referee and his linesmen came out at least a minute after the two teams. Perhaps he had considered abandoning the game as a non-event.

Two substitutions saw Hayes and Goodwin come on for May and Morris. With no defensive replacements available, Williams and Martis were allowed to maintain their low standard for the full 90 minutes. Williams had been booked in the first-half and Matt Sparrow’s only contribution to the game was getting booked in the second-half.

Some 19 minutes in, Paterson was replaced by Forte. Paterson had not been bad, he just did not have the service he needed.

Murphy’s best save was 24 minutes in to prevent a certain third for Burnley. The Iron fans amused themselves with “score in a brothel, we couldn’t score in a brothel” to the tune of Juantanamera. This was immediately followed by “here for one season, we’re only here for one season” (same tune).

Aah, the joys of supporting Scunthorpe. Three agonizingly long minutes of added time saw the whistle finally blown. Now back to the bus.

Sitting behind me and my daughter all second-half were two half-cut idiots supposedly supporting the Iron. Their repertoire consisted of abusing any Iron player close enough to hear.

At the end of the game, they shouted abuse so loudly that Nigel Adkins was stopped in his tracks. Stupid idiots, both of them. Supporters they are not.

On the way back to the bus, another half-cut idiot, accompanied by his toddler son, told me he had “wasted a hundred quid coming here today”. Obviously 80 quid of that was spent in the pub.

I tried to help him by offering advice: “If you feel that way, then stop spending money and stop supporting the team.” Apparently I was born out of wedlock and never knew my father.

One last highlight saw the Burnley Constabulary come on board our coach and offer to house a fan for the night. The guy’s excuse was that “the Burnley fans provoked me”. No? Really?

Note to self: I am not a lucky talisman.

Note to so-called individual Iron fans as highlighted above: you are a disgrace and an embarrassment to the good name of Scunthorpe United.

Up The Iron!