Eddie Suffers First Clarets Defeat
Tuesday 1st February 2011 @7:45pm Kick Off
New manager, Eddie Howe tasted defeat for the first time since becoming gaffer in his fourth game against Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat last night. Burnley succumbed to an own goal by Duff in the 59th minute after the unfortunate centre back headed into his own net following a cross from Coppinger.
The 1-0 loss brought to an end Burnley`s run of five games without defeat and also gave Donny a rare victory after losing their last four matches. It was a bad night for the Clarets with Martin Paterson also pulling up injured with 10 minutes of the match remaining after coming on from the bench in the 71st minute. It is feared he has had a recurrence of the troublesome thigh injury which kept him sidelined for so long; an injury he picked up in the corresponding match against Rovers at Turf Moor back in November. He must be gutted and sick to the site of the South Yorkshire team.
Howe made just one change from the starting eleven that faced Burton Albion in the FA Cup fourth round tie at Turf Moor last Saturday. As expected in came new boy, Charlie Austin recently signed from Swindon to make his debut. He replaced Steven Thompson who had to be content with a place on the bench along with our other strikers, Chris Iwelumo and Martin Paterson.
Our eighteen then was as follows:
Burnley: Grant, Mears, Duff, Carlisle, Fox, Cork, Marney, Elliott, Eagles, Rodriguez, Austin
Subs: Jensen, Alexander, Bikey, Wallace, Iwelumo, Paterson, Thompson
It was not a particularly good start for our debutant striker on a night with the strike force seemed to suffer from a lack of penetration and influence. Our chances were few and far between despite having the lion`s share of the possession and exerting some pressure trying to find the equaliser in the second half. Our best chances came from a low drive by Dean Marney and Jay Rodriguez's looping header but in the end it was not enough and we paid the price. Most of the teams above us also picked up points to make it worse for the Clarets and the defeat sees us drop to 11th place, now six points adrift of 6th placed club, Leeds United and 11 points behind 2nd place club, Norwich City who we play next this Saturday at Turf Moor. We do though have a game in hand over both clubs.
The search then for our first back-to-back win of the season frustratingly continues and it is probably this more than anything and the lack of ability to play consistently well that is likely to scupper our promotion hopes in the end. At the moment, I fear we are just not going to make it but I hope I am wrong. Maybe instead this will be a time for Eddie Howe to consolidate, get to know his squad better and then plough on to better things in 2011-12. If we don`t reach the play-offs, a failure in Barry Kilby`s eyes, then really there will only be one man to blame and that will have to be Brian Laws for his ineptitude in the first half of the season.
Doncaster Rovers: Woods, O'Connor, Friend, Chambers, Hird, Stock (Guedes 84), Oster (Shiels 89), Coppinger, Keegan, Sharp, Hayter (Brooker 46)
Subs Not Used: Bradshaw, Webster, Mason, Fairhurst
Goal: Duff (og) 59
Booked: Yellow Card for Shiels
Burnley: Grant, Mears, Duff, Carlisle, Fox, Cork, Marney, Elliott (Iwelumo 65), Eagles, Rodriguez (Wallace 75), Austin (Paterson 71)
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Alexander, Bikey, Thompson
Booked: Yellow Card for Fox
Possession: 47% Doncaster, 53% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Oliver Langford (West Midlands)