Football / Coca-Cola Cup: Burnley fall foul of alert Fowler

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Liverpool. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Burnley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

WHEN you have been beaten by the likes of Peterborough, Bolton and Bristol City in the past two seasons, no cup tie can be treated as a formality but Liverpool extracted most of the sting out of this Coca- Cola Cup second round, first leg last night.

Goals from John Scales - his first since his pounds 3m transfer from Wimbledon - and Robbie Fowler ensured the Premiership team will travel to Turf Moor on 5 October with a reasonably comfortable cushion.

Liverpool dominated the second half, but it was not until Fowler struck with typical efficiency six minutes from time that they achieved an advantage over opponents who are not exactly setting the First Division alight since they were promoted last May.

The ball bounced invitingly around the Burnley area but while others seemed mesmerised by it, the 19-year- old prodigy reacted swiftly, hitting a sharp shot that squeezed through a narrow opening of no more than two feet from a range of eight yards. Fowler's tally for the season is now six.

'The big difference between the teams was the quality of the finishing,' Jimmy Mullen, the Burnley manager, said. 'I thought we matched them from area to area but they took their chances, we didn't'

In the early stages the visitors' play matched that of Liverpool's, and they probably felt aggrieved that they arrived at half-time a goal in arrears. Adrian Heath, a former Evertonian with a memory of derby matches as an extra incentive to score, was twice denied by excellent saves from David James, in the 29th and 31st minutes.

But Liverpool, elegantly marshalled by Jan Molby, were busy making in-roads into the Burnley defence and they took the lead after 42 minutes. Stig Bjornebye took a short corner on the left and Jamie Redknapp curled a cross into the area that hovered menacingly until Scales - 33/1 to score the first goal - made contact, his powerful header going beyond Marlon Beresford's dive to his left and into the top corner.

Liverpool (4-4-2): James; Jones, Scales, Ruddock, Bjornebye; McManaman, Molby, Redknapp, Barnes; Rush, Fowler. Substitutes not used: Babb, Clough, Stensgaard (gk).

Burnley (4-4-2): Beresford; Parkinson, Davis, Winstanley, Vinnicombe; McMinn, Harrison (Deary, 77), Harper, Eyres; Heath, Robinson (Philliskirk, 85). Substitute not used: Russell (gk).

Referee: R Dilkes (Mossley).