Football: Eyres applies coup de grace
Burnley 1 Walsall 1 aet; score at 90min 1-1; Burnley win 4-2 on penalties
Tuesday 24 December 1996
Saved by floodlight failure last time these two teams met, Burnley got through to a third-round tie at Liverpool after a penalty shoot-out. The final twist in a tie of many belonged to an Everton supporter, David Eyres, who made the final kick irrelevant by sending Walsall goalkeeper James Walker the wrong way. Earlier, Chris Marsh and Mark Blake had missed for the visitors.
The drama of the shoot-out was out of place in a match that rarely rose to the occasion on a bitterly cold night. Indeed, one person was heard to say of the match that he preferred watching when the floodlights failed at half-time the first time the replay was staged.
Walsall had every reason to feel aggrieved because on that occasion they were leading 1-0 at the time, and the mood was not improved by a glaring miss last night. Eyres tried a back- pass that his goalkeeper Marlon Beresford swung a boot at and made no contact with. Kyle Lightbourne, 20 yards out from an open goal, embarrassingly shot wide.
Burnley took the lead a minute before the interval. Gary Parkinson hit a shot from the edge of the area that thumped into the mass of bodies around the penalty spot and the ball fell to Paul Barnes. With a turn and scoop shot he beat Walker.
Burnley should have put the tie out of Walsall's reach after 57 minutes, but Glen Little sent his chip over the bar. Even so, Burnley would have been spared the shoot-out but for a bizarre equaliser after 74 minutes. A free-kick was conceded 20 yards out and the home defenders stood nonplussed as Darren Bradley reacted quickly to send over a cross. Adrian Viveash rose unopposed to score with his head.
Burnley (3-5-2): Beresford; Winstanley, Harrison (Brass, h-t), Hoyland; Parkinson, Matthew, Smith, Barnes, Eyres; Little (Weller, 84), Gleghorn. Substitute not used: Vinnicombe.
Walsall (4-4-2): Walker; Ntamark, Mountfield, Viveash, Evans; Marsh, Keister, Bradley (Blake, 95), Hodge; Wilson (Watson, 105), Lightbourne. Substitute not used: Roper.
Referee: G Ashby (Worcester).
Burnley have put their leading scorer, Kurt Nogan, on the transfer list. The Welsh international striker was not selected for last night's FA Cup replay after the breakdown of contract talks with the club.
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