Better but Nowt for Effort in Posh Defeat!
London Road Stadium
Saturday 17th September 2011 @3pm Kick-Off
Burnley were unlucky not to come away from London Road with at least a point after going down 2-1 to Peterborough on Saturday. The Clarets fell to an early sucker punch with Posh taking the lead after just 3 minutes when Emile Sinclair hit home from the edge of the area. Despite the early pressure, Burnley though survived the onslaught and showed quite a bit of resilience to try and recover from that early blow but Posh once again knocked them for six when Sinclair got his brace in the 38th minute. Credit once again to the Clarets though, they kept plugging away and were finally rewarded on the stroke of half-time thanks to a stunning 25 yard shot from Keith Treacy which soared into the back of the net to make the score 2-1 at the break.
Clarets fans were nervous ahead of this game after a shocking performance in our previous match at home to Middlesbrough a week ago but at least this time the exact same starting eleven showed more desire and passion to get something from this clash. At times we played some good football and enjoyed long spells of possession, especially in the second half but we simply could not make the pressure count and get that all important equaliser. It was probably also a sign of how close we came to getting something from this game when it was announced that Posh keeper, Paul Jones was deemed to be their Man of the Match!
Having said that, there are still many areas of concern and the lack of experience in the side is all too clear to see. Our error-prone defence once again looked shaky when Posh caught us out on the break and our midfield engine of McCann and Marney again at times were not firing on all four cylinders although our captain at least this time put in a much better shift. Getting the ball up to the front two especially in the first half seemed a tall order and when they did get the ball both Austin and Rodriguez struggled to make any impression. Both of them really have to find their goal-scoring touch again and soon or if not Zavon Hines will have to be given his chance up front, perhaps alongside his former West Ham teammate, Junior Stanislas or maybe even Alex MacDonald.
There was a moment in the second-half when it looked like we may have lost another defender to injury. Ben Mee went down unconscious in what looked like a serious injury with the stretcher coming on with back support facility. Thankfully in the end, the physio worked his magic and Mee carried on, but it brought home the fact of how stretched we now are in the back four with limited options to change things around. Amougou, had we not already used our third substitute could have come on from the bench but that would currently be our only option with Duff out injured. Another problem for the Clarets could be the injury to Brian Jensen. He limped off holding his groin in the 17th minute to be replaced by Lee Grant and now looks set to be sidelined for a spell giving our third-string goalkeeper, Jon Stewart the chance to perhaps enjoy a little bit of first team bench warming.
We can certainly expect some changes for the Carling Cup clash then against MK Dons at home on Tuesday night with Jensen likely to be out, maybe Mee rested after his ordeal and with Marney too also suffering from a stomach complaint. There is some time though for all of them to recover in time for our next Championship game which will be against high-flying Southampton at Turf Moor next Saturday. It is vitally important we get our first home league win of the season against the Saints with the club now just one place off the drop zone. We are currently in 21st spot with just five points from six games. Forest and Bristol City below us have the same number of points as Burnley but have both played a game more and have an inferior goal difference to the Clarets. Doncaster Rovers prop up the table with just one point from seven games. Anything less than a win, could further alienate the fans and ensure confidence within the team plummets even more. Somehow we have to stop the rot and quickly return to winning ways unless we want a relegation struggle on our hands for most of the season.
Full Match Report
All Clarets fans had been wondering ahead of the Posh game whether Howe would stick with the same starting eleven for the third game running. The dilemma for Eddie Howe must have been that the same starting eleven had played with such contrasting styles in their last two games. A thumping impressive 2-1 victory away to high-flying Derby County before the international break was followed by a shocking, terrible performance at home to Middlesbrough with virtually every player except possibly David Edgar simply not at the races!
In the end, Howe gave the same starting eleven (in fact the same sixteen) the chance to redeem themselves and we therefore lined up as follows:
Jensen, Trippier, Edgar, Mee, Easton, Wallace, McCann, Marney, Treacy, Rodriguez, Austin
Subs: Grant, Amougou, Bartley, Stanislas, Hines
South Yorkshire referee, Jock Waugh in charge of a game featuring the Clarets for the first time got the match underway on a generally sunny, but showery day in East Anglia.
Posh came storming out of the blocks before the Clarets had time to settle and found themselves 1-0 up after just 3 minutes. Bit disappointing really since this was the first time they had managed to score in the first half-hour of any game this season and in fact it was the first time they had even taken the lead. Lee Tomlin flighted the ball over a sleepy-looking Burnley defence for Emile Sinclair, making his full debut to angle the ball home past Jensen. Posh had their hackles up now with the game in danger of becoming another nightmare for the Clarets. They nearly doubled their lead after the Clarets failed once again to control the lively Sinclair. Sinclair latched onto a through-ball from George Boyd and got the better of David Edgar before unleashing a shot that had Jensen well-beaten. Thankfully though Ben Mee came charging back to clear the danger at full-stretch on the goal-line! Phew!
At this stage, it was all Peterborough with Clarets fans fearing the worst. In the 15th minute with Burnley it seemed permanently camped in their own half, Posh were awarded a corner and nearly scored form it when Ryan Tunnicliffe latched onto Boyd`s corner kick only to head wide.
Nothing seemed to be going right for the Clarets and we had to suffer another blow when Jensen limped off with a groin injury after taking the goal-kick. On came Lee Grant and he was soon breathing a sigh of relief after seeing a Boyd attempt fly into the side netting before he had even touched the ball.
Thankfully though we had survived the pressure without going further behind and now at long last we gradually got back into the game. Rodriguez finally seemed to wake up and suddenly we looked like scoring. Jay Rod first headed down a cross from Easton to set-up Austin but the keeper managed to block his attempt. Rodriguez then attempted a shot of his own after thumping a Wallace pass towards the keeper. Jones kept the ball out but it fell to McCann and he too was thwarted by the in-form stopper. It was Jones again who then came to Posh`s rescue from a Treacy corner. David Edgar got up to head what looked like a certain goal before Jones somehow got a touch to send the ball just over the bar.
Now Burnley were in the ascendancy and we nearly equalised again when Rodriguez put his shot just wide after latching onto a ball pulled back by McCann.
Posh looked to be on the back foot but they still had a killer blow to offer in the 38th minute when somehow they managed to double their lead in their first attack for ages. It was indeed a cruel goal for all Clarets fans to bear after such sustained pressure by Burnley. It was also gifted to them thanks to a blunder by David Edgar. Sinclair had been giving him a torrid time for most of the game and this time he had been caught in possession and could only look on despairingly as the 23 year old former Macclesfield striker did his magic in the box to eventually wrong-foot Grant to get his brace.
It looked like it was going to be one of those afternoons for the Clarets but all hopes were raised again when Treacy suddenly reduced the arrears with half-time approaching. It was a superb bit of individuality with the former Preston winger getting the ball onto his right foot to unleash a superb shot from 25 yards out. The ball sailed into the top corner of the net and once again it was suddenly game on!
It was 2-1 then to Posh at half-time with everything to play for in the second-half.
Howe made no changes for the re-start and for the first 15 minutes or so of the second half, it looked like we were going to struggle to get the equaliser. It was clear we needed to change things round a bit and bring on some fresh legs and the first of those changes came in the 61st minute with Stanislas coming on to replace the lacklustre, Ross Wallace.
We looked to have most of the possession now in the second half but somehow just couldn`t seem to test the keeper and that elusive equaliser failed to materialise. To be honest, Posh never really looked like increasing their lead either but they had their moments and panic stations kicked in again a few times on the break.
It looked like curtains for Burnley when Sinclair suddenly found himself clear of the Burnley defence with only Jensen to beat. Thankfully though, he botched his attempt, dragging the ball wide of target.
Sinclair was again denied a hat-trick with 20 minutes still to play when his shot was blocked right in front of goal. Bartley came on to replace Marney in the 72nd minute but still we could not make the possession count. We came close though when Austin ran forward with the ball after picking up a pass from Stanislas. He let rip with an angled drive only to see the ball tipped over the bar by the impressive keeper.
That was it really and even with five minutes of added time (following the attention to Mee`s injury) we just could not find a way through. A very disappointing result in the end in a game where a draw would have been a much fairer result based on our performance and possession.
Peterborough: Jones, Little, Bennett, Zakuani, Alcock, McCann, Tunnicliffe, Frecklington (Wootton 85), Tomlin (Rowe 59), Boyd (Taylor 77), Sinclair
Subs Not Used: Lewis, Kearns
Goals: Sinclair 3, 38
Booked: Yellow cards for Taylor and Wootten
Burnley: Jensen (Grant 17), Trippier, Edgar, Mee, Easton, Wallace (Stanislas 61), McCann, Marney (Bartley 72), Treacy, Rodriguez, Austin
Subs Not Used: Amougou, Hines
Goal: Treacy 45
Booked: Yellow card for Mee
Possession: 50% Peterborough, 50% Burnley (Souce: BBC Sports)
Ref: Jock Waugh (South Yorkshire)
Brian Easton looked the most solid in the back-four and it`s really a tossup between him and Keith Treacy for our award. Treacy gets it thanks to his stunning goal after also putting in a much livelier performance than of late. We still have not seen him at his best though and that applies to many in the team.