A League Win at Last!
Saturday 31st January 2009 @3pmKO
The Clarets finally got back to winning ways at Turf Moor against Charlton yesterday after a sequence of five defeats on the trot in the league. Burnley though for most of this game trailed 1-0, thanks to a Charlton goal in the first half, very much against the run of play with Bailey scoring after 41 minutes. Despite having by far the most of the possession, we just couldn`t seem to get the ball in the net and it looked like once more, we might lose yet again to a bottom club until an inspired substitution by Coyle saw Steven Thompson come on for Chris Eagles in the 63rd minute.
Thirteen minutes later and a neat assist by Paterson allowed Thompson to equalise from close range Phil Parkinson`s men were now trying everything in the book to wind down the clock to secure a point but there was a cheer from the Clarets fans when the fourth official indicated there would be six minutes of added time. All that time-wasting by Charlton was finally punished and rightly so. Burnley by now were doing all the pressing and they made their dominance count in the fourth minute of added time when Kevin McDonald found space on the right to cross for Thompson to shoot and score from six yards out. Thompson`s brace was enough to secure victory 2-1 and this win also ensured that we keep in touch of the play-offs positions.
We are now 8th in the table just 2 points now behind 6th placed Preston who could only manage a disappointing draw at home to Sheffield United yesterday. It will be a great relief to Owen Coyle and his men, that this awful run of defeats in the Championship is finally at an end.
As expected, Owen Coyle gave a debut to our new loan from Middlesbrough, Rhys Williams at right back. Michael Duff was also fit enough to play, so moved into the centre back position partnering the skipper, Steven Caldwell at the expense of Clarke Carlisle who was dropped from the sixteen after some recently poor performances. Christian Kalvenes another injury concern before this match also made the starting eleven completing the back four at left back. The back four changes allowed Owen Coyle to play Alexander in the holding midfield role, a position that the gaffer prefers Alexander to play.
We therefore lined up as follows:
Jensen, Williams, Duff, Caldwell, Kalvenes, Alexander, Elliott, McCann, Eagles, Blake, Paterson
Subs: Penny, McDonald, Gudjonsson, Thompson, Rodriguez.
Controversial Northamptonshire referee, Richard Beeby got the game underway.
Rhys Williams showed his potential as early as the fourth minute putting over a superb cross into the box for McCann to shoot from six yards out. The ball was however deflected away for a corner.
The Clarets had started the brighter of the two sides and were enjoying most of the possession but on 17 minutes Charlton came close to scoring. A Tom Soares cross was met by Lloyd Sam, who just failed to score hooking his shot over the bar.
It was the Clarets now though who looked the most likely to score with the ball it seemed almost continually in Charlton`s half
After 28 minutes, Wade Elliott came close but shot just over the bar and then McCann got in a shot from close range two minutes later but the Addicks` keeper, Rob Elliott got down well to turn the ball round the post.
Elliott then shot over the bar again with 32 minutes played after linking well with Blake and picking up the through-ball.
Paterson tried a shot from 12 yards on 37 minutes only to see the keeper tip the ball over.
It looked like it would only be a matter of time before the Clarets got the lead they deserved but then totally against the run of play, Nicky Bailey popped up to score with just four minutes to go until half-time. So 1-0 to the visitors at half-time with the Clarets looking frustrated and angry, well the fans certainly were!
Neither side made any changes for the start of the second half.
It was the Clarets who would continue to turn the screw in an effort to get the equaliser as they once more pressed forward on the attack. Strong appeals for a penalty were ignored after it looked like Darren Ward had handled the ball following an attempt by Paterson.
With 56 minutes played, Elliott down the right linked well with Paterson but Alexander picking up the ball fired over.
The Clarets were by now getting more and more frustrated, being unable to make the pressure count so Coyle decided to make some substitutions and introduce some fresh legs.
Kevin McDonald came on for Kalvenes after 58 minutes and then Thompson for Eagles five minutes later.
A Clarets substitute had scored sixteen times so far this season and Thompson was about to make it seventeen!
On 76 minutes, Blake and Alexander linked well to open up the Charlton defence and as the cross came over, Paterson headed the ball back into the danger area with Thompson ideally placed to slide the ball home from a few yards out.
Burnley nearly made it 2-1 a few moments later but Murty was on the line to clear the header by Caldwell.
Charlton by now were being totally outplayed and it was getting difficult to remember when they were last in our half. All they seemed to be able to do was to resort to any number of delaying tactics in an effort to frustrate the Clarets and try and get something from the game by winding down the clock in an effort to secure a point.
Their tactics though had not gone unnoticed and the Clarets fans frustrations were rewarded when six minutes of added time were announced.
Four minutes into the added time and the Clarets fans were ecstatic!
McDonald cleverly weaved in and out down the right to get in a pin-point accurate cross for Thompson to slot the ball home from six yards out giving Elliott no chance.
Elliott though was able to deny Thompson getting his hat-trick after stopping his shot in the dying seconds of the game but it didn`t matter, the Clarets had once more come from behind to secure a valuable three points.
Burnley: Jensen, Williams, Duff, Caldwell, Kalvenes (McDonald 58), Alexander, Elliott, McCann (Gudjonsson 85), Eagles (Thompson 63), Paterson, Blake.
Subs Not Used: Penny, Rodriguez.
Goals: Thompson 76, 94.
Charlton: Elliot, Murty, Holland, Ward, Youga, Soares, Bailey, Spring, Sam (Basey 85), Dickson (Kandol 70), Burton.
Subs Not Used: Randolph, Ambrose, Racon.
Goals: Bailey 41.
Ref: Richard Beeby (Northamptonshire).
A special mention too must be made about our debutant defender, Rhys Williams. He slotted in well at right back considering he had only just met his team mates and barely had chance to train with them. He looked solid and set up some delightful passes whilst not being averse to going on the attack himself.
However we give our Star Player award to Steve Thompson. He transformed this match and although his goals were not spectacular, he was there in the right place twice.