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Burnley 2015

Our 2015 match at Turf Moor was an incredible, end to end encounter, with a succession of chances created by both sets of Burnley players. The Home side ran out 5-2 winners, however if it hadn’t been for fantastic goalkeeping and stout defending from both teams, the goal tally could have been much higher, and the watching fans certainly got value for money for their entry fee! 

Date: Monday 18th May 2015
Venue: Turf Moor
Burnley (Home) vs Burnley (Away)
Kick Off: 18:00 pm
Legends/Managers: Frank Casper & Jim Thomson
Match Officials: Matt Phillipson, Phil Hewitson, Sean Kelly & Harry Clegg

The weather was fair and the Turf Moor pitch was in fantastic condition when the Away team kicked off our 2015 match, wearing the Black Away strip.

There was certainly a continental flavour to the match, with a number of Italian fans on both sides and it was one of the travelling players who created the 1st opportunity after just 3mins. Home No 2 Emanuele Fratini did well to work an opportunity to cross the ball on the right, the 1st chance fell to No 11 Tom Smith, his effort was brilliantly saved by Away keeper Roberto Modena and when Marco Pignotta squared the ball to Captain Damian Bradley, the striker looked like scoring, however is effort from 8 yards out was just too high.   

The Home team continued to press and the combination of Emanuele Fratini and Fabrizio Galasso created another chance soon afterwards, with Galasso running onto Fratini’s through ball and firing in an effort, however it was just off target and the scores remained 0-0.

The Home team weren’t to be denied for long though and when Home No 11 Tom Smith was put clear on goal on 10mins by Marco Pignotta’s perfectly weighted through ball, the pacy striker made no mistake, firing the ball past the keeper’s despairing dive to open the scoring for the Clarets (1-0).  

The Home team maintained their pressure and Shane Gunstone was unfortunate not to increase their lead when his header flashed just wide of the target. Then Damian Bradley was denied by the keeper’s feet when he looked to work room for a shot on the edge of the box, however they didn’t have to wait long and a well worked goal doubled their lead on 19mins. A quick free kick played out from the back from Robert Thorpe started the move and when a neat one two between Dean Thorpe and Fabrizio Galasso saw the Home No 10 gallop clear on the left side of the area, the midfielder showed his class, sliding the ball past the diving Modena into the far side of the goal (2-0).

The Away side responded well and after club coach Steve Obertelli raced down the left wing and played a ball inside, the rebound fell to him on the edge of the area. However his 1st time effort was gathered comfortably by Home keeper Matt Smith. The team in Black continued to press and forced a couple of quick corners, however the Home defence dealt with them comfortably and the danger was cleared.

Back came the Home team and when Tom Smith raced onto a through ball from the ever lively Fratini he looked destined to score his 2nd of the game, however his clever shot with the outside of the foot was brilliantly saved by Away GK Roberto Modena.

It was a fantastic game to watch now, with both teams playing a quick passing game which was easy on the eye, however the Home continued to enjoy the lion’s share of  efforts on goal. The next chance fell to Home Captain Damian Bradley after he was set free by the impressive fullback Fratini, however Modena stood up well made another excellent save. Dean Thorpe then played in the lively Tom Smith, however his attempted chip just sailed past the far post. Pignotta and Galasso then combined to create opportunity for the skilful No 6, however his curling right foot shot narrowly evaded the far post. The same combination created another opportunity in reverse a few mins later, however Pignotta’s shot from distance was too high and flew over the net.

The Away team were still pushing hard to create their own opportunities and brothers Vanni and Valerio Spinella were becoming increasingly influential, however despite their efforts to gain a foothold in the game they couldn’t breach the Home defence.

The Home team roared back and they increased their advantage right on the stroke of half-time. Home No 11 Tom Smith demonstrated his fantastic ball control and pace to race clear on the halfway, and when he received a return ball from Marco Pignotta he fired in an effort from close range, his initial shot was saved however the striker made no mistake from the follow up, slamming the ball home from close range (3-0).

The ref’s whistle went soon seconds later, bringing an excellent 45mins to an end, the Home side were playing excellent football and were well on top, however the Away side looked determined to turn things round in the 2nd half. 

Half Time: Burnley (Home) 3 - 0 Burnley (Away)

There were some personal changes at half-time with danger men Galasso, Fratini and Pignotta swapping sides to don the shirts of the Away team, and the changes saw an instant uplift in the fortunes of the team in Black!

A fantastic passing move involving Obertelli, Rickeard, De Bartolo and Retsinas, set speedy winger Emanuele Fratini free on the right side of the area and when the No 16 crossed the ball into the area Valerio Spinella was in the perfect position to side foot the ball home from close range (3-1). The Away team were back in the game with 48mins on the clock! 

The team in Black were well on top now and when De Bartolo played in Fratini on the edge of the area, the No 16 let fly with a powerful shot, however his effort crashed off the cross bar and away to safety. The Home team responded well though and on 57mins they increased their lead to 3 goals again. Dean Thorpe was again the provider, playing in Tom Smith on the right side of the area, and the clinical striker showed his class, shooting past the diving GK Modena into the far corner of the net, to complete his hat-trick (4-1). 

Back came the Away team, and when Home keeper Matt Smith bravely cut out a dangerous through ball it rebounded to Augusto De Bartolo on the edge of the area. There didn’t look to be any danger, however the No 10 showed fantastic footwork to make room for a left foot shot, and he proceed to curl an unstoppable effort, over the despairing dive of goalkeeper Matt Smith and into the roof of the net (4-2).

Minutes later Fabrizio Galasso got on the end of a fantastic cross from Steve Obertelli, however surprisingly he couldn’t steer his volley on target, and the chance was gone. Obertelli followed up with a powerful effort soon afterwards, however he was denied by a brilliant saving block from the Home team’s Michael Ingham.

The Away team weren’t afraid to play the ball in dangerous areas and their over confidence got the better of them on 65mins. The skilful midfielder Galasso collected the ball on the nearside touchline and attempted to play a pass along the backline to his centre half, however Home Captain Damian Bradley showed excellent anticipation to intercept the ball and calmly side foot home from 15 yards out (5-2).

The goal came at the perfect time for the Home team, and it gave them renewed confidence they could hold on to their hard fought lead despite the Away team’s pressure. Their defence was holding out brilliantly, and their huge determination to hold onto their lead was demonstrated when a succession of last ditch tackles and blocks from Briggs, Gunstone, Dickinson and goalkeeper Matt Smith preserved their lead minutes later.

The Away team continued to pour forward with Steve Obertelli a driving force in many of their attacks. Galasso worked himself a couple of efforts on the edge of the box, however his shots were off target on each occasion. The same player looked destined to score when he fired in a shot from the edge of the area, however his net bound effort was brilliantly turned round the post by the right hand of GK Matt Smith.

Back came the Home team and Damian Bradley found himself in space on the left side of the area with less than 10mins to go, however Roberto Modena saved his goal-bound effort brilliantly at his near post. The No 9 turned provider minutes later when he played in strike partner Tom Smith with a fine through ball, however Away keeper Modena denied the No 9 with another excellent save. The same pair combined brilliantly again soon afterwards, however this time Smith’s well struck effort was just too high and the ball sailed over the goal.

With time running out both teams were desperate to add to their goal tallies, however the defences showed grit and determination to hold out for the final whistle and when it eventually came the Home team ran out 5-2 winners. It had been a breathless 90mins, with a succession of chances at both ends and both sets of players received a deserved round of applause when they left the field.                

Full time: Burnley (Home) 5 - 2 Burnley (Away)

Man of the Match (Home): Tom Smith
Man of the Match (Away): Augusto De Bartolo
Moment of the Match: Matt Smith

Home Team: Matt Smith, Emanuele Fratini, Peter Briggs (BFPA), Matthew Dickinson, Robert Thorpe, Fabrizio Galasso, Shane William Gunstone, Marco Pignotta, Damian Bradley (C), Dean Thorpe, Tom Smith, Kevin Banks, Michael Ingham, Richard Harvey-Morgan
Home Manager: Frank Casper
Home Mascot: Oliver Clarke

Away Team: Roberto Modena (C), Craig Quigley, Steve Obertelli (Club Coach), Stuart Green, Billy Eckersley, Simon Redhead, Vanni Spinella, Lee Aherne, Valerio Carmelo Spinella, Augusto De Bartolo, Michail Retsinas, Fabrizio Galasso, Terry Rickeard, Emanuele Fratini, Marco Pignotta
Away Manager: Jim Thomson
Away Mascot: Oliver Redhead