Look Back: Burnley 0 City 6, Division 2, 09/03/99

With a dozen games left of what turned out to be a promotion campaign, City sat well off the top; double-figures behind Preston & Ray Graydon's Walsall, and almost twenty behind runaway leaders Fulham. Eventual Halsey-victims Gillingham, and Bournemouth sat inbetween, and five sides, including future Premier League trio Stoke, Wigan and Reading were waiting for us to slip up in the hope of grabbing a Play-Off place.

Burnley were struggling, floating just above the relegation zone, a point ahead of Lincoln City and near-neighbours Oldham. Ternent's side had also been in shocking form coming into this Tuesday evening derby, winning two of their previous fourteen, only eight all season and having been hit for five in their previous home fixture. Our form had generally been good, picking up three points most weeks, the odd goalless draw at Maine Road aside, as a number of teams came to our place and successfully parked the bus infront of goal.

City, Cricket Field Stand full of Blues behind us, had the best of the game from the off, and took the lead just before the quarter hour. Andy Morrison getting his head onto a Burnley long-ball, United loanee Terry Cooke (a key player in that run-in, it must be said) crossing for Super Kevin Horlock to drill a left-foot finish past the Burnley 'keeper's far side from around the penalty spot. Shortly before half-time we'd doubled our advantage. Cooke again playing a pivotal role, whipping in a corner at pace right onto the noggin of Morrison on the edge of the six-yard box, who smashed home a header into Crichton's top corner for a two-goal lead going into the break.

The second period belonged to a certain Bermudan, who despite being the most unorthodox striker you might ever see, managed to bag twenty goals this particular season, ditto the next, and win pretty much every one of us over. Five minutes after the interval, Goater got on the scoresheet, Nicky Weaver hoofing the ball upfield, Gareth Taylor heading on and a cracking finish from Shuan, under the goalie's body from outside of the box.

Within fifteen minutes he'd won the matchball, tapping in from a Taylor cross ten minutes after his first, and wrapping up his hattrick shortly later, finishing off a greatly-worked move, starting with a Burnley throw in our half, Taylor whipping the ball out to Cooke on the right-wing via a dummy (intentional for once) from the Goat, who then made up a third of the pitch to make it 0-5, initially miskicking before ramming home from a yard. Danny Allsopp completed the rout with a late tap-in.

We'd of course follow this win up with a sloppy home defeat, this time to Oldham, but would go on to not lose again for the remainder of the season, culminating in a trip to Wembley. Burnley themselves would hit form, the following week's home defeat by Preston the last they suffered, finishing well clear of the drop-zone before going on to be promoted the following season.

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