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Football: NICE CLASS OF CLARET, COYLE; Coca Cola CHAMPIONSHIP Burnley 0 Stoke 0.


OWEN Coyle didn't pick the side, there were no goals to cheer - and it was hardly the 125th anniversary party the Clarets had dreamed of.

But the 41-year-old who hot-footed it from St Johnstone must have been happy with his first proper day's work at Turf Moor.

Coyle is already the talk of the town north of the border after reshaping St Johnstone and turning his back on the Scottish Premier.

Now he's brought his winning philosophy, coupled with flair and spirit, to Burnley.

It was there for all to see from the first to the final whistle.

Yet while his new charges faced a side defeated in four of their past six outings, Stoke will never be an easy touch under Tony Pulis.

Moment of the match was Alan Mahon sending away the irrepressible Robbie Blake. He could have shot, but instead set the ball up for Kyle Lafferty - who blazed over.

Before that, Mahon had given keeper Steve Simonsen a serious test, while a raft of players came close to taking the honours with what would have been a deserved Burnley winner.

Blake always took the eye, but home confidence was evident everywhere.

It just didn't bring the points the performance deserved - but credit to a flat Potters side for hanging on.

How they escaped being punished by late sub Joey Gudjonsson, who missed a great chance, Pulis will never know.

BURNLEY: Kiraly 6 - Alexander 6, Carlisle 6, Unsworth 7, Harley 6 - Elliott 7, Mahon 7 (Gudjonsson, 80mins), McCann 6, Lafferty 6 (Akinbiyi, 76mins) - Gray 5, *BLAKE 8 (Jones, 86mins).

STOKE: *SIMONSEN 7 - Wright 6, Cort 6, Shawcross 6, Pugh 7 - Delap 6, Eustace 6, Matteo 6, Cresswell 6 - Pericard 5 (Parkin, 51mins, 7), Sidibe 5. Ref: M Jones 7.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Nov 25, 2007
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