Not a Massacre but Burnley Tykes It!
Tuesday 14th February 2012 @ 7:45pm Kick-Off
On this St Valentine`s Day night, the Clarets may well have been hoping for a massacre against Barnsley at home. That did not quite happen, but we were in complete control for most of the game, kept yet another clean sheet and collected three vital points in a 2-0 victory. The win sees the Clarets climb to tenth in the table and more importantly keep our play-offs dreams on track. Burnley are now just four points behind Reading in 6th place who we play next at the Madejski Stadium this Friday in front of the live Sky Sports cameras! The Royals are just behind fifth place Birmingham on goal difference although both teams have a one game advantage over the Clarets.
Burnley came storming out of the blocks at the start of the first half and were ahead within 3 minutes after Ross Wallace crossed from the right, Josh McQuoid knocked the ball down at the far post and Rodriguez routinely slotted home to score his 18th goal of the season, his fourth in four games! The Clarets were rampant at this stage and threatened to set up that massacre after all. Burnley may well have been on track too but for some poor refereeing decisions most notably when a Charlie Austin header was ruled not to have crossed the line despite strong protests from the fans in the Jimmy Mac that it clearly had.
The game quietened down a bit after that but Burnley never really looked threatened and easily contained the few attacks Barnsley managed to muster. It was never comfortable though only being just the one goal to the good and it was with some relief that Burnley doubled their lead in the 63rd minute. Dean Marney released Rodriguez and, although he struck the post, Austin tapped in which was a great relief for him after a mini-goal famine of late.
In the end then a good, convincing win with the Red Rose team the victor in this War of the Roses clash! Quite an appropriate Rose for St Valentines and there was certainly a lot of love shown by the fans both to the team for this performance and to our Chairman, Barry Kilby. He was warmly applauded in the 13th minute in a very emotional round of clapping for 60 seconds culminating in Barry waving to the fans from the Director`s box. He had of course sadly announced he would be stepping down as chairman in May due to illness after 13 years at the helm! Get well soon Barry.
Eddie Howe made just one change to the starting eleven following the 2-0 defeat away to Southampton on Saturday. Josh McQuoid returned to make a start with Treacy returning to the bench. There was one further change on the bench with Danny Ings being selected for the first time for the first team after recovering from the cartilage injury that had kept him sidelined for most of the season.
We therefore lined up as follows:
Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Mee, Wallace, McCann, Marney, McQuoid, Rodriguez, Austin
Substitutes: Jensen, Easton, Bartley, Treacy, Ings
Full Match Report
West Midlands referee, Oliver Langford got this game underway on a relatively mild night compared to recent sub-zero temperatures and Clarets fans were soon enjoying an even warmer glow with Burnley storming out of the blocks and taking the lead as early as the third minute.
A lively Ross Wallace had seen quite a bit of the ball already in these early exchanges and from one of his telling deep crosses, Josh McQuoid towered above the rest to head on target. The ball already looked to be on its way into the back of the net before Jay Rodriguez decided to make sure by sliding in to score.
Burnley now looked to turn the screw and were in complete control with Barnsley wondering what had hit them. Somehow though they weathered the 20 minute storm! Rodriguez set up Marney but his low shot skidded just wide of target. Trippier then charged forward from defence to test a hesitant-looking Tykes keeper but once again they survived. It was Trippier again who was in the action getting over a cross in the best move of the half that finished with Charlie Austin heading just over. It was all Burnley now. Rodriguez came close to getting his second but his volley flew wide.
It is difficult to remember any meaningful Barnsley attack in the first half although Craig Davies did get in a shot which Grant dealt with quite easily. The Clarets kept up the pressure having a spate of corners to test the shaky looking Barnsley defence. It looked like we had finally doubled our lead when Austin got in a header from a Wallace delivery and the keeper spilled it. The ball looked to have crossed the line before David Perkins cleared it. The referee though waved play on much to the annoyance of a section of the Jimmy Mac crowd who were convinced the ball had crossed the line. The television pictures confirmed this later on proving once again that we really need to introduce goal-line technology as soon as possible.
Burnley had to be content with just the one goal then at half-time with Barnsley manager scratching his head wondering how he could stop the onslaught in the second-half. He started by making two changes for the start of the second-half but it had little effect with the Clarets continuing to enjoy the lion`s share of possession. They now just had to make it count with the fear that the Tykes might still catch us out on the break and equalise.
Trippier was in stunning form and Burnley nearly scored from two of his crosses in the first five minutes of the second half. Both McCann and Rodriguez though headed off-target.
There was always the danger though that Barnsley could get the equaliser and Burnley were reminded of that fact when Craig Davies hit a 25-yard strike against the bar. We badly needed another goal to steady the nerves and just past the hour mark we got it.
The build-up was simply quality with Marney and Wallace linking well to set up Rodriguez. Jay Rod`s shot though came back off the post but Austin was ideally placed to tap home and score his first goal since the Leeds match at Elland Road back in January.
The Clarets now scented blood and stepped up a gear. Almost immediately after the second goal, McQuoid volleyed just wide and then Austin was put clear by McCann but should have done better with his attempt. That would be Austin`s last action of the game and he was replaced by Danny Ings in the 82nd minute giving the former Bournemouth striker his first team debut at long last following his long recovery from the cartilage injury he had picked up in training at the start of the season.
Ings looked quite lively and impressive in his first run out which all augers well for the future. He could not influence the score line though and Burnley in the end had to be content with a 2-0 victory. So a workmanlike performance from the Clarets in the end and a victory they thoroughly deserved
The Post-Match Eddie-torial
Eddie Howe said after the game
'We wanted a reaction and we got one. The lads were excellent tonight. I thought we played very well against a good side. We looked dangerous all night and our front two worked very hard.
'From a physical point of view we have had a lot of games in the last few weeks and Barnsley didn't play on Saturday but it didn't show.
'Barnsley are a good team. It was good to keep up the momentum for 90 minutes. We rode our luck a little bit when they hit the bar but I thought we deserved that.
'Charlie Austin will have been pleased he scored tonight. In the games against Derby and Peterborough he had chances and it was pleasing that he was able to take them.'
Burnley: Grant, Trippier (Easton - 90), Duff, Edgar, Mee, McCann, Wallace (Bartley - 81), Marney, McQuoid, Rodriguez, Austin (Ings - 82)
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Treacy
Goals: Rodriguez 3, Austin 63
Booked: Yellow cards for Duff and McCann
Barnsley: Steele, Edwards, Wiseman, McNulty, Golbourne, Done (Dagnall - 46), Perkins (Doyle - 46), Smith, Tonge (O'Brien - 29), Davies, Gray,
Subs Not Used: Preece, Foster
Possession: 55% Burnley, 45% Barnsley (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Oliver Langford (West Midlands)