2 September 2012


The low number of away supporters at Turf Moor yesterday was mitigated by a few obvious reasons, but would more Albion fans have witnessed a fantastic away win if last year hadn't have been such a miserable day out?

We noted in August that Burnley would be one of the 5 worst away trips this season. How wrong we were.

Last year, on a cold Saturday afternoon, we saw a troubled Albion side lose 1-0 in a game that saw the team and manager venomously, and monotonously referred to as a 'disgrace' - a slight that continued after the game, in the pub and on the way home. It was a crap day out and we feared that our style of play would again rile the locals into producing an en cour of angry southern-bashing.

From early on, with poor old Jonny Cantor having to apologise on air for one mans tired old homophobic bollocks being shouted within earshot of the BBC Sussex microphones, we thought it could be a long afternoon.

The only way for this fixture to dissolve into the anonymous duel that it has been for the last century was for either of the teams to produce a display that would have the opposition fans berating their own lot rather than those in the different colours. Luckily it was Albion who had that performance in them, and the spittle-soaked moans from the aforementioned Claret were soon for the ears of the Lancastrian team, not us.

This game will be remembered for a pair of Craig Mackail-Smith goals that will go down in Albion folklore. CMS, as popular and potent as he is, has a tendency to score the sort of goals that have him reeling off with an embarrassed smile. Just last week his brace against Barnsley were the results of a touch  on Ashley Barnes shots, and last season he managed to score goals that, even after numerous replays on Seagulls Player, still seemed to go in off the most non-football body parts.

Goals at Fratton Park and The Keepmoat come to mind in the list of CMS goals filed under X-files.

On the other hand, he can also produce something of the sublime. Leeds and Derby last term witnessed this, but yesterdays efforts have been some of the best we've seen in years.  The first at Turf Moor was fantastic, and while the finish was lovely, the build up play would have some of the most pedantic of tiki-taknocrats dribbling. The second we'll see for years to come, a very un-Brighton Brighton goal, with technique, athleticism and power all involved in what will go down as the strikers best ever goal.

Two weeks off for Albion now, and the buzz is already building for the next game, a Friday night Amex bonanza against an in-form Sheffield Wednesday who fell foul of a Murray brace at Palace yesterday. The city will be close to bursting point by the time that one kicks-off and if it goes well, if it goes really well, we think it might one of the best nights at the Amex yet.

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