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Burnley Edged Out and Down by the Riverside!

3 - 2

The Riverside

Tuesday 21st August 2012 @7:45pm Kick-Off

Attendance: 15,559


The Clarets lost their first league away game of the season going down narrowly 3-2 to Middlesbrough at the Riverside last night despite Charlie Austin giving them a lead with a header in the 41st minute, his 50th career league goal. Any hope of taking a 1-0 lead into the break quickly disappeared a minute later when Bailey equalised with a low drive. In the second half, Reach put the home side in front on 79 minutes with a curler. The Clarets though fought back and in the 86th minute Stanislas scored his first goal for Burnley in a rather scrambled affair. Once again though, Burnley were to be denied any points when two minutes later substitute Luke Williams smashed a stunning goal into the back of the net from long-range to break the hearts of the 618 Clarets fans who had made the journey to Teeside.

Eddie Howe made just one change to the starting eleven that lined up against Bolton on Saturday. Martin Paterson, who ran his socks off against the Trotters, is still deemed to not be fully fit and on the road to recovery so he was rested against Boro to be replaced by Sam Vokes. Young Shay McCartan replaced Vokes on the bench. Our line-up was therefore as follows :

Grant, Trippier, Shackell, Edgar, Mills, McCann, Wallace, Marney, Stanislas, Vokes, Austin

Substitutes: Jensen, Mee, Duff, Stock, Bartley, MacDonald, McCartan

East Yorkshire referee, Carl Boyeson got the game underway and Burnley continued as they had left off against Bolton, looking impressive and taking the game to Boro in these early stages. The pace was frantic with Burnley testing the Boro defence at every opportunity setting up a number of goal-scoring opportunities. One of our best efforts came after just six minutes when Chris McCann pulled the ball back across the penalty area for Ross Wallace to pounce and shoot from 15 yards out. It was a pity it was on his wrong foot with his right footed effort flying just wide of target. Marney, Vokes and McCann then all had efforts from just outside the penalty area before Boro had even settled and mounted a meaningful attack.

The first Boro chance came from a free-kick when Emmanuel Ledesma curled his attempt wide and that seemed to lift the home side`s spirit. Debutant 19 year old on-loan Chelsea midfielder Josh McEachran signed only the day before on a season-long loan began to impress and get more in the game. Former Burnley loan defender, Rhys Williams nearly opened the scoring from a set-piece when he latched onto the ball in the penalty area only to scuff his shot.

Austin though was looking sharp and the striker who has been scoring for fun recently came close with a shot from a Joseph Mills cross. With four minutes of the first-half to go though Austin finally managed to add to his tally and put the Clarets 1-0 up. Marney was the architect managing to split the Boro defence with a searching pass to Kieran Trippier. Trips put a cross over to the near post and there was Austin ideally placed and unmarked to power home his header passed the Boro keeper, Jason Steele. This of course was an ideal time to score so close to half-time but if Burnley were hoping to take the psychological advantage it was denied less than one minute later when Boro managed to equalise. Bailey 22 yards from goal let rip with a low drive that gave Grant no chance. In first-half stoppage time Burnley nearly managed to get their noses in front again when Vokes saw his volley on the turn deflected over the top. 1-1 then at half-time.

Neither manager made any changes for the start of the second-half but now it was Tony Mowbray`s men with their tails up sensing victory. Boro were now on the front foot but Burnley still had their moments. Mills came close with a shot but fired just wide but it was only a matter of time before Boro`s pressure counted. Howe tried to calm proceedings by bringing on Bartley for Vokes in the 59th minute but Boro were relentless in their pursuit of another goal. Despite Boro`s possession, Burnley managed to soak up the pressure to a degree but had to thank Lee Grant for a superb left-handed save after a Curtis Main shot looked to be heading for the bottom corner of the net. Grant was now being tested more and more and had to get his fingertips to a Woodgate header to once again save the day for the Clarets. Grant Leadbitter then dragged a shot wide but it was only a matter of time before Boro got their noses in front and it came with 12 minutes to go.. This time it was Reach who broke Clarets hearts thumping the ball home into the top corner of the net with a stunning strike from 25 yards out to make it 2-1 Boro.

To be honest it was nothing less than they deserved with the Clarets now struggling to make any sort of impression. Suddenly though and rather out of the blue, Burnley somehow raised their game and with four minutes to go equalised. Rhys Williams cleared a headed attempt by McCann off the line but the ball eventually fell nicely for an alert Stanislas to fire home and score his first ,albeit scrappy goal for the Clarets. The ball was actually partially blocked on its way towards goal but it was judged to have crossed the line.

Once again though, very much like last season Burnley could not see a game out conceding yet again in the closing stages this time with just two minutes to go. This time though it was an unstoppable wonder strike that gave the home side all three points. Teenager Luke Williams had barely had a touch after coming on as a substitute in the 84th minute but picking up the ball from fully 35 yards out, he took aim and let rip with a scorcher that flew past Grant and give Boro their first league win of the new season. Burnley now have to dust themselves down ,forget about this game and come back stronger against Huddersfield in the John Smith`s Stadium this Saturday

Match Stats

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Friend, R.Williams, Reach, Woodgate, Leadbitter, Bailey (Smallwood - 72), Ledesma (Zemmama - 69), McEachran, Main (L.Williams - 84)

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Hines, Halliday, Haroun

Goals: Bailey 42, Reach 79, Williams 88

Booked: Yellow Card for Woodgate

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Shackell, Edgar, Mills, McCann, Wallace (Mee - 77), Marney, Stanislas, Vokes (Bartley - 59), Austin

Subs Not Used: Jensen, Duff, Stock, MacDonald, McCartan

Goals: Austin 41, Stanislas 86

Booked: Yellow Card for Bartley

Possession: 59% Middlesbrough, 41% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)

Referee: Carl Boyeson (East Yorkshire)

Star Player

This in many ways was a a pretty average performance especially after the highs against Bolton and that could be reflected by predominantly average scores for a number of players on show last night. Both Marney and McCann did reasonably well in midfield although ratings seem generally equivocal with some rating them highly in the region of 8-9 with others marking them down to about 5-6. The one player who seems to rate consistently high is Joseph Mills who also had a pretty good game on his league debut against Bolton last Saturday. He seems solid with the ball at his feet both defensively and charging forward although sometimes his heading lets him down. Nevertheless Joe gets our Star Player award!

Date:Wednesday August 22 2012
Time: 10:01AM

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Mmm-frustrating game by all accounts! Wish we could stop conceding a minute or two after scoring
22/08/2012 10:06:00
Where do you get these ratings of 8-9 for players in a defeat? Would be interested to know so I can view them too. Meanwhile I will just paste my thoughts from a forum thread I have started. Just felt a little tightness after Saturday and so we decided not to take any chances and hopefully he will be in contention for Saturday. Says EH. Well blow me down at this rate he could end up playing 50%, if the guy is not fit enough to play two games back to back after all this treatment then he is a liability. The liability being you can't get a settled side and are constantly changing team and tactics to fit around the injury prone players. He was awesome on Saturday but I wanted him to repeat that against Boro, I want him to give 100% in every game not 85% just in case he gets a tightening! Lets not kid ourselves Pato did not play because he is injured and Boro away is a game not to rest players or rotate. As for Bartley being fitter than Stock or a better choice of sub.....well words fail me. I was less than impressed with the team/subs and tactics last night. ----- The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits (AE)
22/08/2012 10:40:00
Poster ratings on various Burnley websites VR
22/08/2012 13:34:00
Howe on Pato Absence-"We want Pato fit long term and he was feeling a bit tight after Bolton," said the Clarets boss. "We certainly don't want to take any risks at this stage of the season. "It did hurt us in terms of being down to two strikers, which isn't ideal. It gave us a problem in terms of bringing someone off the bench. "But that's where we are at the moment, we're quite thin on the ground and we need to get people like Keith back. Hopefully Pato will come back into the fold for Saturday."
22/08/2012 14:55:00
The 'tightening' sounds a bit worrying to me . It could be because of the incredible non-stop runnning on Saturday , but that's what Pato does, so how often can he play like that if he's nursing/trying to avoid yet another repeat injury ? Eddie probably did the right thing by resting him 'just in case' , but it still boils down to Pato not being there for only the second game of the season. I'll be up for the Huddersfield match so I hope Pato will be on the teamsheet , and producing the goods like he normally does , and without injury of course.
22/08/2012 16:00:00
We talked pre season of having a fit Pato, we have not got a fit Pato. There are no easy games now, he either plays 100% or we accept he is a liability.
22/08/2012 19:15:00
Ings has a sick note, Pato has a light duties chit already, Vokes is fit and boy do we need Austin not to fall on that shoulder. Talk about gambling and impressive squads. Owen Hargreaves was impressive so too was Ledley King and the most famous of them all Darren Anderton Mr Sick Note himself! I hope I am wrong and Pato goes on to start 40 + games this season but as I have said before I am not going to hold my breath.....yet!!
23/08/2012 08:35:00
VR - I do appreciate what your saying and you are maybe correct. To give another side - Is it not being sensible to be careful with a player who has been injured for the best part of 3 seasons - playing him in 4 competitive games in the space of 10 days is not really easing him in? I am not sure which side I sit on. I know which side I want to sit on ( but that doesnt differ from anyone else on here).
23/08/2012 08:45:00
Like CD, I expect there is a middle ground between, on the one hand, Pato being a highly prized asset who we desperately don't want anyone to buy before the window closes and, on the other, him being a crocked liability. I am also open to the idea of Eddie showing us that we need to rotate our squad rather than play the supposedly best players in every game.
Couch Potato
23/08/2012 10:21:00
If he doesn't start against Huddersfield then he is truly unfit and injured. He came on as a late sub for NI playing 27 minutes. Played 75 minutes against notloB, Rested vs Port Vale, Rested v Boro. Potentially he could have played 360 minutes in those 4 games but he played 102 minutes. I am looking at facts and the hype we read pre season about having a fit Pato back and ready to go, remember the stories and articles? I think he is a cracking lad, this is not personal at all, I am merely talking TEAM as in Ings, Porter, Treacy, Stock and Pato not really fit and who knows about Bartley and McCann!!
23/08/2012 11:22:00
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