3-0 to Burnley not Barnsley!
Tuesday 19th October 2010 @7:45 pm Kick-Off
The Clarets came away with a convincing win last night although no doubt the error prone papers will have Barnsley beating Burnley 3-0 instead of the correct way round! It was a slow start for the Clarets and indeed in the first 20 minutes or so of the first half, Barnsley had the greater amount of possession and looked the most likely to score, especially on the break with the Clarets looking lacklustre and a little bit clueless although they did have their moments! The second half though was a totally different story with the Clarets dominating throughout especially after Chris Eagles broke the deadlock on 50 minutes. Sixteen minutes later and we had doubled our lead this time from the penalty spot. It was our new penalty king, Chris Eagles who thumped the ball home to get himself a brace on the night. Barnsley responded a little bit after that goal but to no major effect and it was game over for the Tykes when iwelumo continued his impressive goal scoring record at home by drilling in from close-range on 82 minutes.
We have now gone seven matches without defeat and the victory also keeps our unbeaten record at home this season intact with five wins from the last six at Turf Moor. We have also jumped four places moving from 8th to 4th with 20 points now from 12 games. With another home game coming up on Saturday against Reading, we have an ideal opportunity to keep the top two clubs under pressure. League leaders, QPR could only manage a 0-0 draw away to Swansea last night and we are now just eight points behind them. Burnley also have chance to catch up and take points off them soon when we play them at Loftus Road at the end of this month. Cardiff, in second spot though did beat Coventry 2-1 at the Ricoh so we are still six points behind them.
Brian Laws was forced to make one change from the side that drew with Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in our last match. Danny Fox failed a late fitness test after suffering a dead leg and a booking for a challenge in the Blades game so Brian Easton came in to deputise for him at left-back and make his long-awaited league debut.
Clarke Carlisle of course was still suspended for this game following his red card at Millwall and Leon Cort retained his place at centre back but Michael Duff was at least named on the bench suggesting he had recovered enough from his troublesome calf injury.
Once more we played 4-5-1 with Iwelumo alone up front supported by Eagles and Rodriguez with Jack Cork playing in his now familiar holding midfield role. In summary then we lined up as follows:
Jensen, Mears, Cort, Bikey, Easton, Cork, Marney, Elliott, Eagles, Iwelumo, Rodriguez
Substitutes: Grant, Duff, Edgar, Alexander, Wallace, Paterson, Thompson
Tyne & Wear referee, Andy Haines got the game underway and the first chance fell to the Clarets after just 2 minutes when Jay Rodriguez sliding in just failed to get on the end of an Eagles cross. This was the first sign of what would be a frustrating half for the Clarets with our attempts on goal coming to nothing time-and-time again. Dean Marney was in the thick of things and he too just failed to connect after Tyrone Mears had done all the hard work on a run down the flank. Marney looked keen to add to the goal he scored at Bramall Lane in our last match when Barnsley keeper, Luke Steele was tested by two powerful shots. Tykes` defender Jason Shackell came to their rescue after 30 minutes, clearing off the line following an Iwelumo attempt from an Eagles cross. Steele had failed to gather the cross and Iwelumo was there to try a hook shot towards goal before Shackell intervened.
The Clarets had begun to slowly influence the game but it was Barnsley who always looked most likely to score on the break and at times they seemed to be in control during the first half. Andy Gray, our former striker was clearly their target man but in all honesty he had a pretty quiet, ineffective game and seemed a shadow of his former self. Barnsley midfielder, Goran Lovre was looking particularly lively and made a couple of threatening runs into our penalty area. Leon Cort did well with a covering tackle to snuff out the danger on one occasion and Brian Jensen easily saved Lovre`s second attempt. Jensen again came to our rescue parrying away a shot from Hammill that was swerving towards him as Barnsley looked for their first away win of the season.
The first half though remained goalless and the Clarets would need something extra for the second half if they were to break the deadlock. There were no changes for the start of the second half and it was Barnsley who took the early initiative with the Clarets under pressure after Easton was robbed by Kieran Trippier, on loan from Manchester City. His shot though was dragged across the face of goal and Burnley could breathe a sigh of relief.
The Clarets finally broke the deadlock on 50 minutes. Iwelumo knocked down the ball to Elliott and the stand in skipper got the ball to Eagles. He let rip with a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area and it whistled into the top corner of the net to put the Clarets 1-0 up.
This was the lift the Clarets were looking for and now they were in for the kill. Jay Rodriguez came close with a shot that was thumped just wide and then the industrious Jack Cork tried a shot from long-range that was just over the bar.
On the hour mark, Barnsley lost the services of former Claret loan, Jay McEveley who had to be stretchered off with a bad looking injury but one minute later the Clarets nearly doubled their lead. Eagles got in yet another cross and there was Iwelumo to head down, Steele though got his fingertips to the ball before it hit the underside of the bar.
Barnsley`s relief though was short-lived when on 65 minutes Nathan Doyle was adjudged to have handled the ball in an attempt to block Eagles cross. Chris Eagles duly took the penalty and duly scored to put the Clarets 2-0 up.
The Tykes had a short spell trying to get back into the game after our second goal but in all honesty it was the Clarets who were now in complete control with Eagles trying to get his hat-trick and with others looking to put Barnsley out of their misery. Eagles got the ovation he deserved after being replaced by Wallace on 79 minutes. By now though Burnley were peppering the Barnsley goal and it would only be a matter of time before we extended our lead. Rodriguez was unlucky to hit woodwork after his shot from a narrow angle was deflected onto the post but moments later it was 3-0 after Iwelumo got on the score sheet for the eighth time at home this season. This time the big Scot side footed home into the bottom corner of the net from 12 yards out and that was it game-over for the Tykes with the Clarets marching up the table to 4th spot.
Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Cort, Bikey, Easton, Cork, Marney (Alexander 89), Elliott, Eagles (Wallace 79), Iwelumo (Paterson 84), Rodriguez
Subs Not Used: Grant, Duff, Edgar, Thompson
Goals: Eagles 50 and 66 (pen), Iwelumo 82
Booked: Yellow Card for Mears (16 mins)
Barnsley: Steele, Hassell (O'Brien 69), McEveley (Potter 61), Shackell, Foster, Trippier, Doyle, Lovre (Wood 74), Hammill, Colace, Gray
Subs Not Used: Preece, Butterfield, Arismendi, Dickinson
Possession: 50% Burnley, 50% Barnsley (Source: BBC Sport)
Shots on target: Burnley 12, Barnsley 4 (Source: BBC Sport)
Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear)
We should though give a special mention to the midfield engine room of Dean Marney, Wade Elliott and especially Jack Cork. I don`t think Cork made one bad pass all night! Praise too for Brian Easton who apart from one dodgy moment when he was robbed, looked pretty solid at left back after standing in for Danny Fox.