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1959/60 Series - Match Fourteen

August 1 2006

The big derby against Blackburn Rovers is next up in our fourteenth article in the 1959/60 series. Unfortunately, the game ended 3-2 and bragging rights went to Rovers.

1959/60 Series - Game Fourteen

Blackburn Rovers v Burnley Saturday 17th October 1959

Well here we are, the match every Rovers and Clarets supporter looks forward to. It's the BIG ONE the first encounter of the season against local rivals Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Referee: Mr.N.N.Hough (Macclesfield)
Linesmen: Mr. W. E. Haynes and MR. G. Stevenson.
Crowd: 33,316


Blackburn: Leyland, Bray, Pickering, Smith, Woods, McGrath, Douglas, Dobing, Dougan, Vernon, McLeod.
Burnley: Blacklaw, Angus, Elder, Adamson, Seith, Miller, Pilkington, McIlroy, Pointer, White, Harris.

Burnley were going into this game just one point and one place above Rovers, so the Clarets fans were hoping beyond hope that their heroes could pull this one out of the bag and stay ahead of their rivals, but it was not to be, as Rovers picked up both points and became the second team in as many games to put one over on their near neighbours.

It is mid October and the stand pipes are still prominent on the streets of Burnley as the long drought continues.

Due to England playing a full International at Cardiff this afternoon, both teams will be without key players, Ronnie Clayton for Rovers who today is having his first game as captain of his country and John Connelly who is making his England debut.

Harry Potts took his team into this game with a change of tactics, he decided his defenders should attack as much as possible and Alex Elder was to stick to Bryan Douglas like the proverbial **** to a blanket.For the defenders this was very unusual as in those days, attackers attacked and defenders defended, players did not usually stray out of position.

Early on in the game Rovers went into the lead when Dougan fired home. This was the signal for the tackles to start flying and the game soon turned into the usual local derby with the football suffering at the expense of the fouling. The game continued at full pace, but the football wasn't pretty, but it was Burnley who were doing most of the pressing. As a result of this pressure, Pilkington brought the game level when he fired in at the far post.

Adam Blacklaw was having a bit of a mare, seeming to be lacking in confidence, and it was Dobing who sent a very hopeful shot goalwards which a very forlorn Blacklaw managed to fumble into the net. With Rovers now 2-1 up it seemed to give them a spur and it was they who went in at half time playing the much stronger of the two teams.

Burnley came out at the start of the second half and Harry's game plan appeared to start working when the defenders joined up with the attackers reigning shots on, and wide of the Rovers goal. Douglas managed to get his name on the scoresheet but it was for Burnley not Rovers as he spooned a goalmouth clearance over the head of Leyland.

Totally against the run of play Rovers went back into the lead when once again Blacklaw misjudged a lobbed free kick from Vernon and allowed the ball to go feebly into the goal.

The Clarets pressed hard for the equaliser but it wasn't to be and it was the Rovers fans who had the bragging rights as the game finished 3-2 to Blackburn.

Programme Review

Teams as printed in the programme apart from Vernon in for McEvoy and Seith and White in for Cummings and Robson.

Rovers programme was a 14 page standard affair costing 3d

Good to read the positive comments with their congratulations going to John Connelly for achieving his first International cap, and also praise going in the way of Jimmy McIlroy, Ray Pointer and Jimmy Robson for their skilful play.

References were also made to Rovers recent run of poor form but they were in no way blaming it on the long list of injuries which made 9 or 10 players unavailable for selection, they just felt that they had to remark on it.

One small advert in the programme that made me smile was this one.

"If you support Blackburn Rovers you will be a good judge of all that is finest in football"

Next game Burnley v Manchester City Saturday 24th October 1959.

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