Maidstone United 1-2 Burnley
If a match had to be selected to illustrate how far Burnley Football Club has come since the dark days of the 1980’s, it might well be this Fourth Division fixture from 26 years ago.
Maidstone were just underway in what was to be a very short stay in the Football League, having been promoted as Champions of the Conference.
United’s ground had been deemed unsuitable for league football so the club had arranged to play their home fixtures at Dartford FC’s Watling Street Stadium, more than 20 miles away.
It was the Clarets’ first-ever league encounter with the Stones and a crowd of 3,762 saw the clash, of which 1,350 were visiting fans, in a ground with a capacity of barely 5,000.
Burnley were on an unbeaten run and were too good for their opponents.
In the event they made rather heavy weather of the victory after an early goal from Brendan O’Connell, courtesy of an Ian Measham cross, set the Clarets on their way.
O’Connell should have had a hat-trick before half time, but wasted his opportunities and the Stones drew level from the spot after a heavy challenge by Mark Monington was penalised.
The introduction of sub Neil Grewcock on the hour revitalised the visitors and it was Grewcock who laid on the winner with just nine minutes left.
The winger slid an inch-perfect ball through to John Deary, who drew the keeper and lobbed the ball over him into the net for his first Burnley goal.
Team (2-3-5): Chris Pearce, Ian Measham, Ray Deakin, John Deary, Mark Monington, Steve Davis,
Winston White, Peter Mumby (Neil Grewcock), Tony Hancock (Roger Eli), Joe Jakub, Brendan O’Connell.
Barbados 0-2 Guyana
Clarets’ defender Leon Cort made Burnley FC history when he took his place in the Guyana line-up for this World Cup qualifier at the Waterford National Stadium in Bridgetown.
Cort, then aged 32 and on loan at Charlton Athletic, became the first-ever Burnley player to represent a South American country at full international level. Although born in Bermondsey he qualified for Guyana through his mother’s side of his family and went on to win a total of six caps, four of them whilst he was a Burnley player.
He also managed to get on the scoresheet during one of his international appearances as a Claret, a 2-1 victory against Trinidad and Tobago in November 2011.