Burnley Recover to Reach Last 16 of Carling Cup
Tuesday 20th September 2011 @7:45pm Kick-Off
The Clarets eventually came out 2-1 winners in the third round Carling Cup clash against League 1, MK Dons at Turf Moor on Tuesday night. Any hopes that we would convincingly beat the lower league side were virtually dashed when MK Dons took the lead after just six minutes ensuring that we had now gone 21 games without keeping a clean sheet. The rest of the first half was a struggle for the Clarets and we failed to raise our game raising many concerns about of our future prospects in the Championship. We were struggling against League 1 opposition raising fears we might have to get used to playing such sides next season on a regular basis. The doom and gloom though lifted quite a bit in the second half, when without being spectacular we crawled our way back into the game and finished on a high note. Our fight back came just on the hour mark when Kieran Trippier thumped home a beauty of a free-kick to equalise. That goal seemed to lift the team`s spirit and confidence and we began to play with far more purpose and skill. The lads were rewarded in the 89th minute thanks to the acrobatic skills of Andre Amougou. His overhead Bikey-cle kick got a nice little deflection and the ball shot into the back of the net to make it 2-1 Clarets. Thankfully this time, we held out and avoided the need for extra time unlike the last two rounds against Burton Albion and Barnet. In the end then, it was job done but you just sensed we made far too much hard work of the victory but at least the win should lift the team ahead of our tricky Championship game against league leaders, Southampton at Turf Moor this Saturday. By the time we face the Saints, we will also know who we will play in the fourth round of the Carling Cup. It is being drawn on Sky Sports at about 12 noon on Saturday. Based on the other results from Tuesday night we know at least that Blackburn and Bolton are still in the hat although I am not sure this is the right time to be playing our deadly rivals with our overall form so questionable at the moment.
Eddie Howe freshened up the team after two consecutive defeats with the same starting eleven. Captain, Chris McCann was dropped to the bench with Dean Marney, having clearly recovered from his stomach complaint, given the task of leading out the team. Ben Mee, who had been suffering from headaches during the week after being knocked unconsciousness in the Posh game on Saturday, did not feature and was replaced in the centre of defence by Andre Amougou. Lee Grant also started in goal replacing Brian Jensen who limped off with a groin strain at London Road with third-string goalkeeper, Jon Stewart therefore being named on bench. The bench was youthful to say the least with four of the seven substitutes being taken from the Development Squad. Shay McCartan was named for the first time.
In summary we lined up as follows:
Grant, Trippier, Edgar, Amougou, Easton, Marney, Bartley, Wallace, Treacy, Rodriguez, Hines.
Subs: Stewart, MacDonald, McCann, Knowles, Austin, McCartan, Hewitt
Full Match Report
Cheshire referee, Scott Mathieson got the game underway on a fairly mild night in Burnley and the Clarets started brightly against a confident MK Dons side buoyed-up by their 4-0 defeat of Premier league, Norwich at Carrow Road in the previous round. It didn`t take long though before once again we had egg on our face going behind in the first few minutes of a game! This time it was the first attack the MK Dons had managed to string together. In the sixth minute, some link-play between Jabo Ihere and former Burnley loan, Luke Chadwick set-up Powell to thump the ball home and put the Clarets immediately on the back-foot with the Burnley fans already getting restless, angry and despondent. Just when will we able to keep a clean sheet after 21 attempts?
Burnley seemed to go into their shell after the MK Dons goal and the rest of the first half was a dire affair with little for Clarets fans to cheer about. The Dons nearly made it even more embarrassing for the Clarets in the 17th minute with the trio of Chadwick, Ihere and Powell again involved! This time though Powell sliced his shot wide of target. Marney tried to rally his troops but is all seemed too much of an uphill struggle with Burnley fans beginning to fear the worst. Another former Burnley loan, Dean Bowditch then got into the action for MK Dons trying a shot from distance that flew just wide.
The closest we came to scoring during the half were from a couple of efforts from Jay Rodriguez. He could only miscue a Marney cross though and then put another effort wide from a Wallace cross. Treacy too managed to drag a shot wide as the half deteriorated into one of woe for the lacklustre Clarets. If anybody was going to score, it looked more likely to be MK Dons and they nearly did so in first-half stoppage time. Lee Grant though saved the day denying Powell his brace.
Despite the poor performance, Eddie Howe made no changes for the start of the second half and whatever the team talk was like in the dressing room at half-time, it seemed to work with the Clarets stirred into more lively action. Rodriguez had an early effort but his header was cleared off the line by Chadwick. MK Dons were not going to roll over just yet though and reminded the Clarets of their threat in the 50th minute. An error by JayRod gave Ibehre the chance to charge forward and unleash a shot which forced Grant to save at full-stretch. The ball however fell to Powell and Easton had to come to the rescue blocking his attempt.
On the hour-mark though, Burnley were awarded a free-kick after Chadwick handled 25 yards out. Trippier took the free-kick and let rip with a beauty of a right footed curler which sailed into the bottom corner of the net, to make the score 1-1. Phew, now all we had to do was try and find the winner and avoid the dreaded extra time again! Eddie Howe was of the same mindset and immediately after the goal freshened the side up making a double substitution. On came Austin and McCann replacing an ineffective Hines and a subdued Marney. The change seemed to work and we looked far more effective. Edgar came close from a Wallace corner but saw his shot scrabbled away by Baldock on the line.
MK Dons though remained a danger and Grant flying through the air had to save a deflected shot by McNamee before Bowditch was only inches away from making contact with a cross from Baldock. Thankfully, the former Ipswich starlet finished up in the back of the net not the ball!
It would be Burnley though who would have the last laugh with just one minute to go. As a cross from Wallace came over, Amougou launched himself into the air getting in a powerful overhead kick with the ball flying into the net after taking a deflection off Dons defender, Tom Flanagan!
Good end then for the Clarets who can now look forward to the 4th round draw this Saturday.
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Edgar, Amougou, Easton, Wallace, Marney (McCann 60), Bartley, Treacy, Rodriguez, Hines (Austin 60)
Subs Not Used: Stewart, MacDonald, Hewitt, Knowles, McCartan
Booked: Yellow card for Easton
Goals: Trippier 59, Amougou 89
MK Dons: Martin, Lewington, Chicksen, Flanagan, Potter (McNamee 60), Williams, Powell, Baldock, Chadwick, Bowditch (Collins 87), Ibehre
Subs Not Used: McLoughlin, Doumbe, Gysai, Milton, Powell
Booked: Yellow card for Flanagan
Goal: Powell 6
Possession: 53% Burnley, 47% MK Dons (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire)