Inspired by Europe’s record comeback against the United States in a dramatic final day of the 39th Ryder Cup last night we asked you on Twitter and Facebook to suggest your favourite Burnley comebacks.
Burnley 4-3 Preston (2010)
One of the highest highs of Brian Laws’ tenure as Burnley boss was your overwhelming favourite. Trailing 3-1 with just six minutes to go two Chris Iwelumo strikes completed his hat-trick before substitute Jay Rodriguez popped up with a last minute winner. The comeback was undoubtedly assisted by the dismissal of Billy Jones for the visitors – his two yellow cards gave the Clarets a man advantage. But boy did they take it in style – and after a miserable few months the win was a well-needed boost.
Jay’s winner was a signal of intent from the young forward and soon afterwards he was given a regular place in the starting XI for the first time. The No Nay Never match report noted his exciting potential, “He looks a really big unit these days and I was really surprised how he seemed to hang in the air to win every long ball.”
Burnley (4)3-2(6) Spurs (2009)
Another particularly popular comeback was actually a defeat of sorts. Despite taking an early lead at White Hart Lane a disastrous 25 minutes at the start of the second half meant we trailed 4-1 going into the second leg of the League Cup semi final back in 2009. But after opening the scoring at Turf Moor Robbie Blake wasn’t going to allow Spurs the routine victory expected of them.
He majestically set up Chris McCann for the second – something to cheer about and make for a much more respectable score. When he later hit in a free-kick from the half way line that young kid who would two years later hang in the air to clinch a last-minute winner against Preston did the same to take the game to extra time. 3-0 on the night, 4-4 on aggregate.
There would be heartbreak when two minutes from Wembley but nevertheless it was a stunning comeback – and one that quite possibly was a big factor in spurring us on to promotion a few months later. John Wilson on Facebook put it best: “Even though we lost overall the come back against Spurs in the League Cup was great and made us believe in ourselves.”
Tottenham 4-4 Burnley (1960)
We had done it all before against the North London side. @andydevanney on Twitter picked out this visit to White Hart Lane in December 1960.
A Maurice Norman goal and Cliff Jones double – all three within five minutes – were added to by Dave Mackay and the home side were sailing with a seemingly uncatchable 4-0 lead. Burnley had just a few months earlier been crowned the best team in the country (pictured, left) though and were not going to go down without a fight.
John Connelly started the unlikely comeback and it was soon our turn for a couple of quick-fire goals as Jimmy Robson and Ray Pointer reduced the deficit to just one. Connelly completed a memorable afternoon with his second to secure a point that the Clarets could hardly have dreamed of an hour earlier.
Sunday nationals gave the game the title of ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ and the Burnley Express didn’t hold back with the praise, “If there were a roll of honour whereon could be inscribed in golden letters the most meritorious deeds of any club, irrespective of whether they be in the competition embraced by Cup or League, then the performance of Burnley at White Hart Lane would be given most careful and special recognition.
“Team work, courage, the refusal to acknowledge the existence of the word defeat, made Burnley the most talked of League side on Saturday night in London.”
The Waddle season (1997/98)
Chris Waddle arrived at Burnley to great hurrah in the summer of 2007. The former Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year was tipped to bring the good times back to Turf Moor – but it didn’t quite work out that way. He will possibly be most famously remembered for overlooking Glen Little for much of the season, whom assistant manager Glenn Roeder apparently claimed was ‘not fit to lace the boots’ of the manager.
It took seven games to register even a first league goal – Paul Barnes in a 3-1 defeat at York – and we had to wait until mid-October to celebrate victory, beating Carlisle 3-1 at Turf Moor. Only Carlisle were below us as we entered the new year with little hope, collecting just four wins in the first half of the campaign.
In January Waddle brought in Andy Payton and gave Glen Little the chance fans had been calling for – and things began to look up immediately. We were soon back to form though, with eight without a win and were rock bottom and eight points from safety heading into April. The wins returned in the last few weeks of the campaign, though.
Even going into the last game of the season we were in the bottom three but a 2-1 victory over Plymouth in front of almost 19,000 fans at Turf Moor secured a narrow escape from the drop. Waddle and his team, however, wouldn’t escape the search for new jobs.
Hull 2-3 Burnley (2011)
Jay Rodriguez made a habit of snatching last-gasp winners and he was at it again last season, sinking Hull a whole three minutes after the initial 90 were up. A Matty Fryatt double put the hosts up two goals to the good with goals early in each half and everything was pointing towards another miserable afternoon for Eddie Howe’s men. Going into the match on the back of a four-game losing run, defeat here would have sunk us into the Championship bottom three for the first time since the start of the promotion season in 2008.
With just over 15 minutes left the first goal came from the unlikely source of David Edgar, who headed in a cross from Ross Wallace for only his third ever career goal. Two minutes later the equaliser was even more unlikely – Edgar’s second. He took down Sam Vokes’ throw with sublime skill, span and whacked the ball into the net like a seasoned striker. For the first time in forever we had confidence and belief – and when McCann put Rodriguez through on goal there was only ever going to be one outcome.
Burnley 4-2 Barnsley (2006)
Gifton Noel-Williams never had the best of times at Turf Moor but this is one game he’ll never forget. We began the game terribly and were deservedly two behind after half an hour. Both came from massive mistakes at the back and we didn’t look close to threatening until Jon Harley scored an excellent free-kick just before half time. The second 45 would belong to Gifton Noel-Williams, who came on as a first-half substitute. He only scored seven goals in 51 games for the Clarets - but three of them would come in a brilliant 32-minute spell at Turf Moor.
His first was one of the best team efforts of the season. James O’Connor won a crunching tackle in the middle, Micah Hyde knocked it back to Michael Duff, who set Wade Elliott up the wing. Skipping round the sliding tackle effortlessly he swung in an inch perfect cross from which Gifton made no mistake.
The second was similarly impressive, Micah Hyde slid him in, he knocked the ball past the defender with clever footwork and slammed the ball into the top of the net. The third had more than a slice of luck – Micah’s mis-hit shot hit him and ended up in the goal. How he got it didn’t matter, though.
It wasn’t just the goals that stood out but his all-round performance was outstanding. We never saw anything like it from him before of after, and he was rewarded with a pile-on – even Brian Jensen sprinted the length of the pitch to jump on top of his mate.
QPR 2-4 Burnley (2008)
Another special comebacks highlighted by you was the 4-2 victory over QPR in 2008 with a second-half hat-trick for Andrew Cole and an Ade Akinbiyi strike won us all three points despite falling two goals behind in the capital. It was @Hantsclaret’s top pick, “Out of the game and outplayed in the first half – won it 4-2 Andrew Cole hat-trick.”
What is your favourite Burnley comeback? Comment below.