Date:Wednesday February 1 2012
The City Ground
Tuesday 31st January 2012 @7:45pm
Attendance: 23,147 (2004 Clarets)
The Clarets maintained their challenge for a play-offs place in impressive style last night beating struggling Nottingham Forest at the City Ground 2-0. A brace from Rodriguez secured victory and it could have been a hat-trick had he not also fluffed a penalty kick between the two goals. The victory is our eighth of the season on the road and a double over Forest after also thumping them 5-1 at Turf Moor earlier in the season. A win sees the Clarets propelled up to 9th in the table, now just two points off the play-offs and only three points behind 4th placed club, Birmingham although they played a game more than Brum. Steve Cotterill`s men are now in deep trouble in the relegation zone second from bottom and now five points from safety. They have suffered six consecutive defeats at home their worst performance since 1913 have not scored at the City Ground since 19th November last year but who cares about them!?
This was just the sort of game we needed to win to maintain our promotion push and we did it in style without any shocks once more keeping a pleasing clean sheet. Rodriguez opened the scoring after heading home from a Kieran Trippier cross at short range after just three minutes. The Clarets were also awarded a penalty for Garath McCleary's foul on Ben Mee in the second half but Jay Rodriguez slipped when taking the spot kink
However he redeemed himself by heading his second goal from another Trippier cross just past the hour mark making his total tally now 16 goals for the season. A superb night out then for the 2004 Clarets fans braving the weather and cheering the lads on at the City Ground.
The Clarets have now won 8 out of their last eleven Championship games and now have an ideal chance to be in the play offs positions come 5pm on Saturday with a home game coming up next against Peterborough.
Josh McQuoid was given his first start in only his second game since arriving from Millwall on loan and there was perhaps one surprise with Keith Treacy also making the starting eleven. He was chosen ahead of Wallace who was named on the bench. Wallace had been suffering from a back injury but had been deemed fit to play so perhaps Howe was being cautious with the injury.
The most pleasing name of the team sheet was Jay Rodriguez dispelling fears that he could be transferred with the game being played on the final night of the January transfer window.
We therefore lined up as follows:
Burnley: Grant , Trippier , Duff, Edgar , Mee , McCann , Marney , McQuoid , Treacy , Rodriguez , Austin
Substitutes: Jensen, Easton, Bartley, Wallace Hines
Full Match Report
The Clarets came storming out of the blocks clearly determined to take advantage over a side low in confidence and it didn`t take them long to turn the screw after taking the lead with just three minutes on the clock.
A superb cross by Kieran Trippier deep into the danger area found Rodriguez ideally placed to head home into the top corner of the net from six yards out and immediately put former gaffer, Steve Cotterill and his team under more pressure. To give Forest their due though, they responded well and came close once or twice to getting that all important equaliser. A mistake by Ben Mee allowed Ishmael Miller to pounce. He may well have hit the target had it not been for Edgar rescuing the situation and getting a vital touch.
A goal-bound looking cross from Paul Anderson was then tipped away by Grant before the keeper then denied Adlene Guedioura after the new loan signing unleashed a drive on target.
Guy Moussi on 16 minutes should have done better with his header from a corner but tamely headed wide with Forest fans now beginning to despair at the lost opportunities and the dismal home form.
Burnley had a chance to double their lead when Josh McQuoid making his full debut came close to scoring on the break but the Millwall striker-cum-winger could only drag his effort wide of target.
Forest had most of the possession in the first half but couldn`t make it count adding to the home fans frustrations. Burnley were forced into a change just before half-time when Keith Treacy picked up an injury and had to be replaced by Ross Wallace and it was Wallace who began to influence the game in the second half.
Burnley came out strongly for the start of the second half determined to double their lead and knock the stuffing out of a suffering Forest even more. A Wallace free-kick was curling towards the near post and only needed a touch to steer it past Forest keeper, Lee Camp but nobody could get on the end of it. After Trippier had been fouled by Guedioura, Wallace attempted another free kick and this time from 25 yards out his effort was even closer but the score remained 1-0.
With 56 minutes, a shot by Austin flew across the face of goal and it would have been a certain goal had Rodriguez been able to get a touch on the ball.
When Garath McCleary tripped Ben Mee has he charged into the box, the referee had no option but to award a penalty. Rodriguez stepped up to the plate but just as he was about to make contact with the ball, he slipped making such a weak contact with the ball that it was sliced wide.
There was a danger that miss could have inspired Forest and Cotts sensed he could take advantage by immediately sending on Marcus Tudgay and Dexter Blackstock in an effort to boost his attack.
It soon became a hopeless situation for Forest though when Burnley finally managed to double their lead. Once again it was the in-form Trippier who set up the goal with a testing cross. There was Jay Rod again to leap up and head home from 12 yards out into the top corner of the net.
Forest would not give up though and they came close to reducing the arrears. Edgar came to the rescue blocking a shot from Tudgay and then Anderson shot over the bar.
By now the Clarets were rampant and never really looked in danger of conceding let alone surrendering a two goal lead. Bartley, who had come on from the bench nearly made it 3-0 late on but put his effort just wide after a run through the defence. That was it, 2-0 Clarets and job well done!
2004 Clarets fans could now travel back home relishing another important away win as we keep in contention for promotion. Pity those Forest fans though!
Nottingham Forest: Camp, Gunter, Moloney (Reid - 81), Lynch, Lascelles, Anderson, McGugan, (Blackstock - 59) , Moussi , Guedioura , Miller (Tudgay - 59) , McCleary
Subs Not Used: Smith, Harewood
Burnley: Grant , Trippier , Duff, Edgar , Mee , McCann , Marney , McQuoid (Bartley - 73 ) , Treacy (Wallace - 28 ) ,Rodriguez , Austin (Hines - 90' )
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Easton
Goals: Rodriguez 3, 64
Possession: Nottingham Forest 49%, Burnley 51% (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Michael Naylor (South Yorkshire)
Date:Wednesday February 1 2012
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