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Match Report Team Burnley 1-0 Plymouth

Home Debut Goal!

By The Match Reports Team
February 5 2006

A debut goal from loan signing Michael Ricketts gives the Clarets their first three points of the year. Look out for our Longside Analysis later........


Ricketts (24)

J Harley (87)


12 Brian Jensen
6 Michael Duff
4 John McGreal
5 Frank Sinclair
21 Jon Harley
14 Garreth O'Connor (72)
8 Micah Hyde
7 James O'Connor
9 Graham Branch
15 Gifton Noel-Williams
10 Michael Ricketts

3 Danny Karbassiyoon
11 Wade Elliott (72)
22 Duane Courtney
16 Chris McCann
19 John Spicer

1 Romain Larrieu
2 Anthony Barness (75)
13 Mathias Doumbe
21 Elliot Ward
22 Paul Connolly
7 David Norris
4 Lilian Nalis
15 Paul Wotton
14 Tony Capaldi
9 Micky Evans (76)
11 Nick Chadwick

23 Luke McCormick
8 Akos Buzsaky (75)
16 Hasney Aljofree
20 Lee Hodges
26 Chris Zebroski (76)

Referee: Trevor Kettle
Asst. Referee: Eddie M Evans
Asst. Referee: Mark Haywood
Fourth Official: Andy C Newell
Star Rating: ****
Star Rating: ****
Star Rating: ****
Star Rating: ****

Attendance: 11,292
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
3 / 8
2 / 3
14 / 13
6 / 1
3 / 6

It has been getting better all week! Ricketts didn't look to bad on Tuesday night, we started to hear more from SC about his feelings over the last few days and then at the end of the week we get great reassurance of Steve's commitment and fans are slowly starting to accept looking towards a building period for next season.

With well over 60% of the possession and several chances, the First Half also saw a 24 minute debut goal from Michael Ricketts! YES, you know the one everyone says will be no good, has a bad attitude etc! Well on the first half performance of his home debut I think we may have unearthed another gem. Straight from the kick off it was obvious SC had done his homework and found a Plymouth weak spot. With Gifton and Ricketts up front, playing 4-4-2 with Garreth on the right and Elliott dropped to the bench, we immediately discovered their French keeper does not like high crosses! Things took a few moments to settle and then slowly but surely we increased our hold on the game. With Hyde having a much better game than recent weeks, lovely passing play and Plymouth rocking, we showed our intent as early as the 4th minute when Garreth hit a lovely free kick causing a save from their keeper. Other free kicks came and went, some good play, and not too much to worry us from Plymouth. Then Hyde, running through, found Ricketts who slipped it way. We had complete hold at this stage. In the last few minutes a Frank error was smartly kept out by Beast and there were a few tense attempts by Plymouth, but all in all a great first half, a clean sheet and a goal to the good.

The Second Half started with an extremely quiet Turf Moor. No surprise the game itself was rather subdued. Plymouth came out carrying on with their rather "physical" game, and apart from a couple of slight chances, Burnley maintained possession quite well. Plymouth started muscling their way into it, long throws being a slight problem but us discovering how good Ricketts can cover in defence with his headers out. Plymouth were now on top. We got back into it, and the game became quite disjointed, probably due to Plymouth being intent in decapitating as many of our players as they could!!! Our first substitution saw Elliott taking over from Garreth on the right on 72 minutes. A second head injury to John McGreal reminded us how small a squad we do have, with Sinclair suspended next Saturday, but was ok to continue. Not much happening with 5 minutes to go and Beast makes a good save, in fact we saw him do it again right on the goal line! After hanging on for the last 8 or so minutes, we then had FOUR added on! It's fair to say there was relief at the whistle!

Well a better performance today that in many weeks. Ricketts sounds a great loan, he tracked back and defended really well and even made Gifton sound worthy of his place! Hyde was given MOM, we know he can do it, he makes all the difference sometimes, just wish he'd do it more! Branch had a good game on the left. But all in all, it was a great team effort and maybe even lets us look up at that 6th spot?


Steve Cotterill
"I thought Michael deserved his goal and we were pleased for him. It was a fantastic finish and we know that if we get him those areas, he will score goals. I fancied him as soon as he got the ball from Micah. We've had a couple of training sessions when we've looked at him and he can finish if we get him in those areas."

"It was a gritty, dogged and determined performance and I think it was a difficult pitch for both teams really. The only way I felt they would score was through a long throw into the box.."

"It was fantastic (the reception from fans) because some of the letters and faxes that have come through the club, overwhelmed me and the way the fans got behind the team was very, very important to me and I thank them all for that."
Tony Pullis
"We let ourselves down today in the final third.
We had enough possession, enough opportunities, and we've got to start taking out chances.
Maybe, that's our weakness - when we get up there, we haven't got that clinical finisher that scores the goals.
We're disappointed about having so much play in the final third and not really creating the most of our opportunities.
We lacked quality in the final third to turn all the possession and area-dominance into better chances. 
For an hour, we completely dominated made but made their goalkeeper save only about three times"

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