Clarets Corner by John Greenwood: Carve out the chances, goals will come

Clarets Corner
Clarets Corner

You could see, in the late flurry of saves he made in the final minutes of the game, why Chris Kirkland’s dad once placed a bet on his young lad one day playing for England.

On another day Danny Ings would have had a hat-trick and Sam Vokes would have fancied his chances too, while instead supporters had to settle for a point from the 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday.

It may have been like an Owls Alamo at times, but Clarets will face this more often as opposition fear the potency of Burnley’s attack, now strengthened by Ashley Barnes, the element of surprise they had at the start of the season now sprung.

But as Burnley proved they can still carve out the chances as we hope next opponents Brighton, at Turf Moor on Tuesday, and especially Queen’s Park Rangers in the Sky televised 12.15 kick-off at Loftus Road a week on Saturday will find out.

These are certainly different days to those experienced by two former players who have passed away recently, Paul Comstive before Christmas and, this week, stalwart Arthur Bellamy.

Comstive was a member of the post-Orient game reconstruction side which made the 1988 Sherpa Van Final against Wolves (don’t mock it, there were more than 80,000 people at Wembley watching the game that day) while Bellamy saw life at all levels through his Turf Moor links which stretched for decades.

A midfielder who played 250 first division games for the Clarets in the 60s and early 70s, I missed his playing career and remember him most clearly as Brian Miller’s right hand man in the dugout during the 86-87 season when, potless and with a small squad of rookies, journeymen and four key veterans, the two dedicated men were charged with effectively saving the club.

They did, just, and Arthur also coached at the club and then picked up his fork to keep the playing surfaces at Turf Moor and Gawthorpe in tip-top condition as groundsman.

The times Arthur and Paul remind me of make me realise we should appreciate on-pitch seasons like these.