Sad and Sorry Day at the Turf
Saturday 10th March 2012 @3pm Kick-Off
On a sad day at the Turf following news that Eddie Howe`s mother, Annie had died, it would have been nice if the lads could have risen to the occasion and bagged all three points for the absent gaffer against a pretty mediocre Crystal Palace side on Saturday! In the end though Burnley had to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw against the Eagles and to be honest it was a pretty uninspiring performance despite taking an early 2 minute lead following a Jay Rod penalty. The advantage was wiped out in the second-half when the Eagles were awarded their own penalty, somewhat controversially just past the hour mark with Ambrose slotting home. Although Palace were then later reduced to ten men following the sending off of Zaha, Burnley simply did not have enough in their locker to force a victory.
This was quite frankly yet another sorry, lacklustre performance by the Clarets who have now gone four games without a win although at least this time we didn`t lose and picked up a point. It is not enough though and this poor result confirmed our play-off dreams were simply in tatters. Burnley are now 13th on 48 points, nine points adrift of sixth placed club, Cardiff and the Clarets play them next Sunday in the Cardiff City Stadium so if we get beat there our chances will look even more hopeless.
The team annoyingly looked to be playing like they knew the season was over already with some players it seemed already dreaming of their summer holidays! There was no passion, no desire to win and to be honest no creativity. It was dire to watch at times with Burnley plodding along slowly, passing sideways or backwards unable to build up any meaningful attacks. The annoying thing was Palace were no great shakes and were there for the taking but no doubt they will be cock-a-hoop having maintained their current undefeated record of now eight games.
It has been this sort of game that has convinced me all season that we were never going to be anything other than average despite some encouraging results at times against promotion-chasing top class opposition. We now look to be heading for a mid-table finish barring a miracle; a miracle which would involve a consistent winning run and the demise of Pompey! Again I say never-say-never but I sensed everyone at the Turf on Saturday, even the most glass-half-full types felt it was all over for the season. A shame but there you have it! Now we need to rebuild in the summer and we need a Board sympathetic to achieving that without a knee jerk reaction to seek the usual short term sticking plaster solution! We have to learn from this season and realise that just like like Coyle`s promotion season we have to push the boat out a bit more financially to achieve the top flight status that we all feel we deserve. Hopefully we can be back where we belong before the parachute payments dry up and the full effects of FIFA Fair Play kicks in.
Michael Duff was thankfully fit enough to play following his dead-leg injury in the last game away to Watford. There was good news too for Junior Stanislas who returned to the sixteen for the first time since picking up a hamstring injury against Middlesbrough at the Riverside back in January this year.
He was named as one of the substitutes on a bench which surprisingly contained no defenders!
There were also perhaps a few surprises in the attack with Austin dropped to the bench in favour of Michael Paterson. Danny Ings too made a start in preference to Josh McQuoid who also had to be content with a place on the bench.
Our line-up was therefore as follows:
Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Mee, Wallace, McCann, Marney, Ings, Treacy, Rodriguez, Paterson
Substitutes: Jensen, Bartley, Stanislas, McQuoid, Austin
Full Match Report
It all started off on a sombre note with a one minute silence for Eddie Howe`s mother, Annie after the news was announced that she had sadly passed away. With Eddie Howe absent on compassionate leave, it was now up to assistant manager, Jason Tindall supported by youth team supremo, Terry Pashley to see if between them they could plot the downfall of Crystal Palace!
The Clarets came out it seemed, full of gusto and within two minutes found they were 1-0 up after a penalty was awarded when Jonathan Parr , trying to make amends for a terrible back pass, fouled Martin Paterson in the area. Jay Rod confidently took the penalty to score his 21st goal of the season.
It looked like we were now going to dominate proceedings but somehow it all fizzled out with the game soon deteriorating into a scrappy, uninspiring affair. Just after the penalty though, Burnley continued to look strong with both Paterson and Ings looking lively and determined to increase the lead. On 12 minutes Ings nearly doubled the lead to score his first goal for the club at Championship level. Linking well with Rodriguez, Ings darted into the penalty area only to be denied by the legs of Eagles keeper, Julian Speroni.
Palace seemed now though to be gathering their composure after going behind early and they were certainly keen to take advantage on the break. Playing into the wind, they struggled a little with their passing but Glen Murphy came close after being teed up by an impressive-looking Wilfried Zaha. His angled shot though was too weak and Grant easily mopped up the danger.
The Clarets though continued to look the stronger of the two teams at this stage. Trippier on a run from his right back position charged forward to unleash a low shot which flew just wide. He then pulled the ball back for Jay Rodriguez to pounce. Jay Rod though could only fire over from the edge of the penalty area and the score remained a frustrating 1-0!
Eight minutes before the break, the Clarets were reminded not to rest on their laurels when Murray got his head on an Ambrose cross. The ball was heading for the top corner before Grant came to the rescue from nowhere to spectacularly palm the ball away to safety. An on-form Grant then saved an effort from Chris Martin to concede a corner. As the ball came over there was Grant again to this time deny Paddy McCarthy.
Palace then finished the half looking the most likely to score next with the Clarets annoyingly having lost their grip on the game. It remained though 1-0 to the Clarets at half-time.
It was bad news for Clarets fans though for the start of the second half following news that Jay Rodriguez had picked up a tight groin strain. Although the injury was not serious, he was not risked for the second half with Josh McQuoid coming on to replace him.
Burnley had won just one game at home since the turn of the year and now they were looking to make it two but somehow you just sensed there was not enough grit and determination in the team to ensure victory.
The game was now deteriorating badly into a scrappy affair and it was hard for Clarets fans to keep awake and motivated let alone confident. Pato tried his best with a half-chance following a McQuoid cross but his shot on the turn was not accurate enough. Palace slowly looked to be gaining advantage and with just 30 minutes of play to go, they managed to get an equaliser following a somewhat dubious penalty decision. Zaha was the instigator after jinxing his way into the penalty area. After seemingly getting the better of Trippier he went down in the box. The right back was harshly adjudged to have brought the Eagles winger down and the referee pointed to the spot much to the annoyance of Burnley players and fans alike! There looked to be nothing in it but it didn`t stop Ambrose shooting low past Grant to make the score 1-1.
There was clearly some tension now between Zaha and the Burnley players and it all 'kicked-off` just ten minutes later. Zaha was clearly involved in an off-the-ball incident after clashing with Edgar and with tempers boiling over the assistant referee had to intervene. A section of the crowd in the James Hargreaves Lower were clearly convinced Zaha should be sent off and after some deliberation between the referee and linesman, the same conclusion was drawn and Zaha was given his marching orders.
Could the Clarets, now take the upperhand now they had a one man advantage with 20 minutes to play? The short answer was no!
They tried at times but we simply did not have enough creativity to make our efforts count despite the best efforts of Dean Marney and Ben Mee. Further substitutions by Jason Tindall with Austin and Stanislas now on had very little effect to be honest and the game fizzled out into an inevitable and disappointing draw.
The Post-Match Tindall Talk
Jason Tindall, in the absence of Eddie Howe said after the game:
"It was a tough day obviously, none more so than Ed himself.
"It's disappointing we couldn't get the win for him and his family.
"We started the game well but after that they got a hold in the game and it was an even contest.
"We're disappointed not to have won the game, but we have stopped the rot with a point."
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Mee, Wallace (Austin - 75), McCann, Marney, Rodriguez (McQuoid - 46), Paterson (Stanislas - 88), Ings
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Bartley
Goal: Rodriguez (pen) 2
Booked: Yellow Cards for Duff (58 minutes) and Marney (62 minutes)
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Clyne, McCarthy, Gardner, Parr, Ambrose, Jedinak, O'Keefe, Zaha, Murray, C Martin (Moxey - 73)
Subs Not Used: Price, McShane, Garvan, Easter
Goal: Ambrose (pen) 63
Booked: Red Card for Zaha (72 minutes), Yellow Cards for Parr (1 minute) and O'Keefe (68 minutes)
Possession: 55% Burnley, 45% Crystal Palace
Ref: Dean Whitestone (Northampton)