Burnley V Col U - Match Report
Burnley 1 (1) V Colchester (1) 1
Point Proven - But Is It Enough?
Saturday 9th February 2008, Turf Moor
Colchester United now remain hopeful of beating a possible Championship relegation after Johnnie Jackson hit an exact replica of the free-kick he scored last weekend against Sheffield, although they also are still stuck at the foot of the table.
The club`s vice skipper rescued another vital point for the Essex side when his effort from 25 yards was spun into the middle of a rippling net, having sent Burnley`s goalie Keeper Jensen the wrong way.
That strike restored the balance after U`s man Chris Coyne had headed an intended back-pass into the path of Andrew Cole with the first 25 minutes. The former predatory Manchester United frontman wasted no time in beating Colchester`s Dean Gerken to open his account for the Clarets, for whom the 36-year-old man his first start.
The game`s second half was hardly a blockbuster, with Burnley sub Ade Akinbiyi going close as the game became a stalemate - the hard work from the Essex outfit was what cancelled out the attacks and the fact that in-form defender John White was the U`s man-of-the-match speaks volumes for the make-up of the first half.
It was in the corresponding fixture last term that Colchester began their surprise rise in the standings; they were described by Steve Cotterill as lucky to earn victory, and he claimed that Colchester "would be riding out of town with Sombreros on" after the possession stats told an altogether different tale.
History, however, did not repeat itself here.
That said, as United`s manager Geraint Williams noted, the away side are not playing like a side threatened with a lack of confidence or suffering the haunting spectre of relegation. Colchester will go into Tuesday`s game against fellow battlers Preston in need of a win to claw away at their current points deficit, which leaves them two adrift.
Yet, there was evidence of a spark on the part of the U`s; Clive Platt struck the post, going close to finding the net with an awkward attempt that was guided less with foot and more with his knee.
The U`s had made one change from last weekend`s side to draw with Bryan Robson`s Sheffield United, bringing in fit-again winger Kevin McLeod for the injured livewire Mark Yeates.
His cross unfortunately eluded both the onrushing pair of Karl Duguid and Scott Vernon, and the chance fizzled out with just half hour gone.
Vernon, making his second sub appearance inside a week, replaced the injured Kevin Lisbie, who was unable to keep up his recent one hundred per cent ratio of goals to games after a bang to his calf.
Vernon had another drive which ballooned over the bar and a Platt too could not be accused of giving up, the target-man winning his fair share of headers with a typical display of high work rate.
Burnley`s Robbie Blake, like Platt before him, was also denied by the woodwork and the game deservedly ended a draw.