2 Stings,3 Swats,4th Place!
30th September 2008 @ 7;45 pm
The Clarets were stung twice by Watford last night in our match at Turf Moor and twice had to come from behind before finally swatting the pesky, buzzing Hornets 3 times to come out victors 3-2.
The resilience shown by the team in a generally scrappy match with lots of stop-starts with countless throw- ins ensured we continued our march up the table hitting the play-offs positions for the first time.
The Clarets are now fourth and the victory was made even sweater with Preston losing at home to Swansea as we leapfrogged over them!
One man in the Watford team seemed to be causing us all the problems. Striker, Will Hoskins was determined to get the better of our defence and he could have had three goals in the first 15 minutes as the shell-shocked Clarets just couldn`t seem to get out of first gear. Luckily for Burnley he only managed one goal but with only 6 minutes on the clock the Clarets were 1-0 behind.
Alexander restored some sanity, scoring from the spot to equalise after the Clarets were awarded a penalty for handball after 25 minutes. However, with seconds remaining of time added on in the first half, the Hornets stung again and it was Hoskins again! 2-1 at half-time to Watford.
Whatever Coyle said to his men at half time must have worked! Within one minute Paterson had equalised as the Clarets now looked to put on the pressure and try and get ahead for the first time in this match. Some stunning play by Eagles feeding a superb pass to McCann led to Elliott heading home on 69 minutes from the Irish man`s cross.
So it was 3-2 final score for the Clarets as we notched up now nine games without defeat. We can look forward to our visit to high-flying Reading on Saturday now before a well earned rest during the two week International break.
The Clarets fielded an unchanged sixteen for this match after their stunning victory against local rivals, Preston at Turf Moor last Saturday. We therefore lined up as follows:
Jensen, Jordan, Carlisle, Caldwell, Duff, Alexander, Gudjonsson, McCann, Elliott, Paterson, Thompson.
Subs: Penny, Mahon, Rodriguez, Blake, Eagles
Former Hornets player and Watford born defender Clarke Carlisle would therefore have a point to prove to Aidy Boothroyd, as would substitute Chris Eagles who made his debut for Watford in Aidy Boothroyd`s first game in charge against? Yes, you guessed it, Burnley!
Our former left back, Jon Harley was in the starting eleven for Watford but he lined up left of midfield. Watford played 4-5-1 with the dangerous Hoskins alone up front.
Referee Steve Blatt got the match underway
It was Watford who started the brighter of the two teams with the Clarets looking somewhat tired. We were not at the races in the early stages of this game and could have been three down in the first fifteen minutes of play with Will Hoskins causing all sorts of problems for the Hornets. Maybe the number of games we had played in recent times was beginning to take its toll as the Clarets found themselves one goal down with just six minutes on the clock.
Hoskins got the better of Clarke Carlisle and heading clear towards goal slotted the ball in the net through Jensen`s legs.
The on form striker nearly made it 2-0 five minutes later only for his shot to be saved by Jensen as the referee`s assistant got a rollicking for not indicating offside.
The first Clarets attack did not come until 13 minutes of play with Chris McCann going a run and shooting from distance. It was McCann again on 23 minutes who nearly scored this time from a free kick. The ball however went just over the bar.
We were soon however about to get the equaliser. On 25 minutes, Watford defender Leigh Bromby handled an Elliott cross in the area and the referee had no option but to award a penalty. Mr Cool, Graham Alexander made no mistake from the spot to record his fourth goal of the season to date, three from the spot.
Long distance shot expert, Joey Gudjonsson probably recalling his stunning 35 yard screamer against Preston on Saturday tried another on 38 minutes but Watford keeper Lee managed to save at the second attempt under pressure from Paterson.
Hoskins had a shot deflected onto the roof of the net as the match entered injury time but he didn`t have long to wait to notch up a brace with seconds remaining of the first half. Watford got a corner and the Clarets defence, looking shakier than recently could only half-clear. The ball came back across the six yard box to Hoskins who made no mistake as he slid the ball home to give the Hornets a 2-1 lead at half-time.
The Clarets in general had a subdued first half in a scrappy game, despite 3 goals in a half which had seen 10 free kicks in the first 30 minutes and countless throw ins.
Owen Coyle probably had strong words to say to the team in the dressing room but didn`t make any changes for the start of the second half.
However the Clarets came out in attacking mood in the second half and within 35 seconds had equalised for the second time. Paterson picked up the ball from Elliott in the box and beating the defender shot to give the keeper no chance
Watford though to their credit looked dangerous throughout this match and always looked capable of scoring on the break. The Hornets responded immediately after the goal but John-Joe O'Toole fired over the bar after collecting a cross from Adrian Mariappa.
Chris Eagles came on for Steven Thompson after 56 minutes with the striker having a rather more subdued game compared to Saturday.
Carlisle got in a header on 67 minutes but the ball hit the crossbar as the Clarets pressure now began to mount. Two minutes later though and the pressure was rewarded with a goal after some delightful approach play involving Eagles and McCann. Eagles showed fantastic control to amazingly keep the ball in play with his chest to get in a great pass to McCann. Heading for the by-line, McCann then drove a delightful ball into the box to find Elliott at the back post to head home and put the Clarets in front 3-2 after 69 minutes.
Watford however did not give up and the Clarets could not rest on their laurels.
Hoskins on 74 minutes nearly got his a hat-trick after getting in a free header from a corner but thankfully he fluffed it putting the ball wide.
Rodriguez for Paterson after 86 minutes and Blake for Elliott after 90 minutes each got a few minutes to shine.
The Hornets however continued to look for the equaliser although Jensen never really had much to do and the Clarets held on as the final whistle blew.
Burnley: Jensen, Duff, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Alexander, Elliott (Blake 90), Gudjonsson, McCann, Thompson (Eagles 56), Paterson (Rodriguez 86).
Subs Not Used: Penny, Mahon.
Goals: Alexander 25 pen, Paterson 46, Elliott 69.
Watford: Lee, Mariappa, Bromby, Darren Ward, Harley, Eustace (Priskin 79), Williamson (Ainsworth 90), O'Toole, Sadler, Hoskins, Smith.
Subs Not Used: Tyler, DeMerit, Bangura.
Goals: Hoskins 6, 45.
Ref: Steve Bratt (W Midlands).
Awesome performance by the midfielder and he continues to show more and more maturity with good performances week in, week out.