Burnley 3 Cardiff City 3. Match Report

Last updated : 26 April 2008 By Michael Morris
The ratings guru thought one City player worthy of an 8 today. Aaron Ramsey got the 8 on the day he netted his first league goal. Four Bluebird starters got 7s; six got 6s. Burnley's ratings were nearly identical. One 8 (to Carlisle), three 7s and seven 6s.

What is it about City and crowds under 12,000? Today's match drew 10,694, the 12th league match City have played before a crowd short of the 12,000 mark. The Bluebirds have managed only 12 points from the 12 games (two wins and six draws, to go with four defeats). It's not that they've all been away from home either as five of the 12 were home games.

The stat of the day, though, has to be City's conceding three goals for the third straight game. Last Saturday City lost at Scunthorpe 3-2, then fell 3-0 at Wolves on Wednesday. Today's 3-3 draw makes it three in a row. To find the last time City conceded at least three in three consecutive league games you have to go back 23 years, to the ill-starred 1984/85 campaign. City had a 9-8-25 mark that year and a goal-difference figure of -32 (netting 45 and conceding 79). They wound up 21st, relegated along with Notts County and Wolves.

The 1984/85 season, the Bluebirds' last in the second flight for 18 years, saw City concede three or more in three straight games on two separate occasions. They lost 3-2 at Fulham on October 20, then fell 4-2 to Grimsby at home on October 27 and 3-0 to Wolves at Molineux on November 3. Lee Smelt was the goalkeeper for City in all three games. A month later they were at it again, losing 3-1 at home to Wimbledon on December 15, at home to Sheffield United by the same score on December 22, and 4-0 at Oxford on Boxing Day. David Felgate was the netminder for the first two of these three matches, with Lee Smelt returning for the third.

Report from FootyMad

The stoppage-time dismissal of Cardiff City's central defender Darren Purse completely overshadowed the six goals which were shared between these two sides at Turf Moor.

The home side had an early opportunity when James O'Connor won possession on the halfway line and sent Ade Akinbiyi clear of the defence but the striker's shot was pushed behind by City goalkeeper Peter Enckelman.

The game was brought to life with a quality goal totally out of context as Graham Alexander played the ball in to Andrew Cole who flicked the ball over his head and back into the path of Alexander who scored with a left-foot volley.

Even then referee Hall had to consult his assistant who had raised a flag before deciding that the goal stood.

Burnley increased their lead eight minutes into the second half when Akinbiyi received a return pass from Robbie Blake and squared for Cole to guide the ball into an empty net.

Cardiff got back into the game straightaway as veteran winger Trevor Sinclair was brought down by Stephen Jordan and substitute Joe Ledley converted the spot-kick with ease.

Cardiff equalised on 68 minutes as Wade Elliott and Alexander failed to clear their lines and young Aaron Ramsey took full advantage to dispossess Alexander and fire beyond a helpless Brian Jensen.

Burnley should have gone in front when Cole's shot was blocked by Enckelman but Akinbiyi fired the rebound wide of the target.

The Clarets did strike the front just five minutes from time as a Blake corner was eventually headed home by Clarke Carlisle but Burnley's joy was short-lived as Steven Caldwell scored an own goal just two minutes later under pressure from City striker Steven Thompson.

But the touch-paper was lit in stoppage time as City skipper Purse was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Cole who appeared to sprint after Purse down the players tunnel.

External Reports
Burnley FC (inc a pic of Andy Cole's injury after Purse's challenge)