Tuesday 5th February 2019 saw Burnley FC in the Community’s Veterans team play their first friendly of the New Year away to Manchester City in the Community’s Veterans. A newly-formed veterans team themselves, this was a great opportunity for both teams to continue their momentum of building regular fixtures.
It was a very wet fixture due to the weather conditions, which made it tough for both teams to try and play slick football. However, there were many good spells of passing football along the slippy surface.
One passage of passing play led to Burnley taking an early lead. A City Veterans attack was broken down by the Burnley Veterans defence and a quick ball was played forward to start a counter-attack. Just three precise passes led to a simple tap-in from a few yards out that put Burnley 1-0 up.
BFCitC then enjoyed several opportunities to double the lead, but stubborn defending from CitC and excellent saves from their goalkeeper kept the gap at just one.
Late into the first half City started to create more frequent chances with the Burnley defence having to stay alert under constant pressure. This time it was the Burnley keeper pulling off impressive saves.
However, the momentum City had built was rewarded minutes before half time. One of their Veterans picked the ball up out wide, dipped inside and unleashed an unstoppable shot that hit the underside of the crossbar and landed in the far side-netting.
After the blow of a wonder strike, BFCitC found it difficult to get back into the game, and CitC went on to take a 2-1 lead just a few minutes after their equaliser.
From that point on, and as the rain became relentless, the game was an uphill battle for Burnley. Although a valiant effort was made to find an equaliser, this was unfortunately not going to be their night as the final whistle signalled a 2-1 victory for Manchester City.
The opportunity to play different opposition in a competitive environment is a massive appeal for veterans and helps them to stay fit and healthy.