It Snow Posh Spice for Clarets!
Saturday 4th February 2012 @3pm Kick-Off
The Clarets missed an ideal opportunity to move closer to the top six on Saturday after only managing to draw 1-1 to Peterborough United in the cold, icy, snowy blizzard-like conditions at Turf Moor.
This in the end was a disappointing and frustrating draw. Posh clearly adapted better to the terrible conditions in the first half and could easily have been 3-0 up at half-time had they taken their chances. We simply failed to turn up in the first 45 minutes and it was certainly the Burnley fans who were feeling the cold more so than the brave souls who had made the journey up from Cambridgeshire.
The Posh fans had been warmed up from the 12th minute after their side took the lead following an uncharacteristic defensive blunder from Ben Mee. The mistake allowed Paul Taylor to pounce and he smashed the ball past Lee Grant to make it 1-0. Only the woodwork prevented a determined looking Posh from doubling their lead after David Ball`s shot hit a post. The Clarets had no answer to the first-half onslaught that continued and we were extremely luck to go into the break only the one goal down.
Whatever Eddie Howe said at half-time clearly worked and we looked a different team in the second half. We completely dominated right from the restart and by the end of the game we had had the lion`s share of the possession (54%) We seemed permanently camped in the Posh half and it is difficult to remember one solitary Posh attack in the second half. You certainly had to feel sorry for Lee Grant who had very little to do to keep warm as the blizzard conditions, snow and icy chill got worse and worse as the half progressed. Burnley remarkably also had 13 shots on target to just the one from Posh (the one they scored from in the first half!) and won the corner count by nine to one. Until the 87th minute though, it was our dominance and lack of goals that was beginning to frustrate both team and fans alike. It looked like it was going to be one of those days with nothing going in until Jay Rodriguez popped up on 87 minutes to score a stunning goal, his 17th of the season.
A point saved at least then but it really is becoming a worry that we can`t kill these sort of games off at home against let`s face it pretty mediocre opposition especially now with our away form so impressive. Had we won we would now be in 7th spot just one point off the play-offs so this really was a missed opportunity.
The draw instead sees the Clarets drop two places to 11th on 44 points but at least we still remain just three points off a play-offs spot with sixth placed club, Middlesbrough on 47 points. We will certainly have our work cut out next Saturday though when we travel to St Marys to play second placed club, Southampton.
Eddie Howe named a team sheet very much as expected with only one change from the sixteen selected for the game against Forest at the City Ground in midweek. Ross Wallace returned to the starting eleven with Keith Treacy dropping back to the bench. There were concerns that Treacy may have been unavailable after coming off with a back injury in the Forest match but at least he was now deemed fit enough to play.
In summary then we lined up as follows:
Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Mee, Wallace, McCann, Marney, McQuoid, Rodriguez, Austin
Subs: Jensen, Easton, Bartley, Treacy, Hines
Full Match Report
By gum it was cold as Tyne & Wear referee, Colin Webster got the game underway and the icy conditions seemed to be getting to the Burnley defence who looked shaky in the opening few minutes. Nothing much might have been expected from Peterborough, a team clearly struggling having gone five matches without a win and no clean sheets but they came out fighting and began to look impressive on the attack. Darren Ferguson`s men were clearly on a mission and we had no answer to it falling behind as early as the 12th minute.
Joe Lewis, in goal for Posh had just easily saved a headed attempt from Austin before pumping a long clearance up field. The ball was flicked on and Paul Taylor pounced after hesitation from Ben Mee to thump home the ball past Lee Grant. It was nothing more than Posh deserved after playing some attractive football and not allowing Burnley to settle. It was hard to believe our shaky defence had previously managed to keep six clean sheets from their last seven matches with Posh continuing to threaten and our back-four having no answer to the onslaught.
Peterborough almost doubled their lead after a mix-up between Duff and Edgar let in David Ball. Charging forward he unleashed a low shot which rattled the inside of the post much to the relief of the cold, bedraggled home crowd. Tommy Rowe was then given far too much time as he cut through our lacklustre defence before passing the ball to a lively, George Boyd in the penalty area. Thankfully, he thumped the ball wide and once again Clarets fans could breathe an icy sigh of relief!
Clarets fans were now clearly getting very frustrated with Posh relentless in their possession and Burnley finding it hard to mount any meaningful attack of their own.
Burnley`s build up when they finally got the ball seemed slow and laboured although we did have one or two chances. A shot by Ross Wallace bounced awkwardly for the keeper and it was deflected off him with the ball falling to Mee who shot wide of target. The only meaningful save the Posh keeper made during the entire 45 minutes though came in the latter stages of the first half from a rare impressive build-up by the Clarets. At long last we seemed to be passing the ball effectively eventually setting up Trippier to cross the ball over into the danger area. There was Austin to attempt a header only to see the keeper parry the ball away at close range.
That was it for the first half and Burnley marched off to the dressing room at half-time knowing they had a lot of work to do if they were to now get anything from this game. Meanwhile the Burnley fans marched off to the gents where most had difficulty finding what they needed it had shrivelled up so much in the arctic conditions!
The second half was played under even more atrocious conditions with a snow storm now descending on Turf Moor. The blizzard seemed to stir the Clarets into action though and we began to take control of the game putting Peterborough at long last on the back foot.
Jay Rodriguez, who had a pretty quiet first half by his standards, was now beginning to get into the action more-and-more. He had two early attempts after finding space on the edge of the penalty area a couple of times but they came to nothing. With the weather deteriorating making playing conditions difficult, the most hopeful chance of an equaliser looked likely to be from a set-piece.
McQuoid just failed to get the right contact on a Wallace free-kick and then Chris McCann headed just over in front of goal from another taken this time by Trippier. It was all Burnley now with Posh defending deep and looking unlikely to mount any meaningful attacks of their own. They had to withstand relentless pressure as the Clarets continued to surge forward desperately seeking that all important equaliser. A shot from Rodriguez took a deflection and from the resulting corner it was Jay Rod again who almost took advantage from the corner kick but it just failed to reach him.
At long last the blizzard abated with 20 minutes still to play and a sense of relief prevailed. Burnley however continued to press a now tired looking Posh back four and they were certainly riding their luck at times as frustration began to set in with the clock ticking down and time running out for the Clarets.
Howe decided to bring on Treacy for McQuoid in the 70th minute in an effort to add some pace to our attack and he was soon into action getting in behind the Posh defence only to see his effort pulled across the face of goal.
With five minutes to go there was a penalty appeal after Mark Little appeared to block a Wallace shot with his hands that looked to be clearly raised. The referee waved play on though and once again it looked like Burnley`s luck had deserted them. The Clarets continued to attack though, McCann thumped an attempt over the bar and then Lewis saved an effort from Austin. We still looked set though to suffer our sixth home defeat of the season with just four minutes to go and nothing it seemed going our way.
However we did not take account of Rodriguez`s determined effort to get that equaliser and he did just that after a superb bit of individual skill following his solo effort in the 87th minute. Picking up the ball just inside the Peterborough half, he charged past a number of Posh players leaving them for dead on his way towards goal. He then calmly and nonchalantly steered the ball past Lewis into the corner of the net to at least make sure we got a point from the game. That is five goals in five games for Jay Rod and what a time to get his fifth!
Clarets fans could now finally head home for the warmth they were now desperately seeking. At least there was a little comfort knowing we had rescued something from this match albeit late in the day but as I skidded my way back to Rossendale in the car at an average of 20 mph, I did wonder whether it had all been worth it!
The Post-Match Tindall Box
Jason Tindall took over the post-match press comment responsibilities from Eddie Howe for this one and he seemed baffled by our inability to pick up all three points.
"I don`t know, I think as a player you look forward to playing at home in front of your own fans, that`s what you want to do and it does excite you," he said.
"A lot of our sloppy play in the first half was due to our own individual mistakes, we weren`t quite at the level we should have been at.
"But you`ve got to give the players credit because I felt they were fantastic in the second half.
"It was a matter of just sorting out a few problems at half time, showing a little bit more composure on the ball, getting the ball wider a little bit quicker.
"The result is very frustrating because it was a game we were more than capable of winning and we felt we should have won.
"It`s difficult really to answer why we`ve done better away than at home, if we knew hopefully we`d perform a lot better at home.
"When you go away the home teams tend to feel they have to be on the front foot and commit maybe more bodies forward, and it leaves a little bit more of an opportunity to break them down.
"Maybe that may be one of the reasons but it`s a question that probably we can`t exactly answer.
"We showed great character in the end though to get ourselves back into the game and to get a point.
"Who knows how valuable that point might become the end of the season?"
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Mee(Bartley - 76 ), Wallace, McCann, Marney(Hines - 83 ), McQuoid(Treacy - 70 ), Rodriguez, Austin
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Easton
Goal: Rodriguez 87
Peterborough United: Lewis, Little, Bennett, Zakuani, Alcock, McCann, Rowe, Frecklington(Tunnicliffe - 70 ), Ball(Tomlin - 75 ), Boyd , Taylor
Subs Not Used: Jones, Kearns, Sinclair
Goal: Taylor 12
Possession: 54% Burnley, 46% Peterborough (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Colin Webster (Tyne & Wear)
So for me it would be either Trippier or Rodriguez for our Star Player award. Rodriguez just edges it!