This was no Bolton at Huddersfield for Burnley!
John Smith's Stadium
Saturday 25th August 2012 @3pm Kick-Off
Burnley suffered their first back-to-back defeat since March after going down 2-0 to Huddersfield in the John Smith`s Stadium on Saturday. The Terriers were so amazed they won the guy at the end of the tannoy after the final whistle was announcing the amazing fact this was their first victory over Burnley at home for 56 years! It was also their first win in the Championship since being relegated in 2001
This was pretty much an abject performance by the Clarets against a pretty mediocre team to be honest. Most Clarets fans were left bemused as to why we seemed so sluggish and clueless after the dizzy heights of Bolton the previous Saturday. The midweek defeat against Boro probably didn`t help after narrowing going down 3-2 on Tuesday night but all the energy, motivation and determination to win against Bolton was non-existent against Huddersfield Town who only last season were plying their trade in League One. Was the Bolton win simply down to the Coyle factor and the high profile nature of the game? The motivation and determination to win? You would have to say yes based on this very lacklustre performance against the Terriers. The way we played sent shudders down the spines of a lot of Clarets fans fearful that we had returned to the mediocrity and style of play that haunted the team last season. Certainly all 3016 of them went home disgruntled and disappointed
Let`s though not be too harsh, this is only our third league game of the season and there is plenty of time yet to try and get back the consistency and style of entertaining play we demonstrated against the Trotters.
Eddie Howe showed faith in the starting eleven that lined up against Boro on Tuesday night with the only change coming on the bench. Keith Treacy made a welcome return after recovering from a recent groin injury and replaced Shay McCartan. There was also a change in the scheduled referee. Sunderland referee, Geoff Eltringham was replaced by David Webb from Lancashire which was rather surprising considering this was a War of the Roses clash!
Burnley made the much brighter start with Huddersfield very much on the back foot in these early stages. The first chance came the Clarets way too. Ross Wallace put in some good work to supply Dean Marney but sadly his shot was deflected over the bar. Within six minutes though Huddersfield were controversially 1-0 up! Terriers` loan signing, James Vaughan was beginning to spice up the Huddersfield attack and one of his attempted efforts took a deflection for a corner taken by Oliver Norwood. As the ball came over, Joel Lynch got up to head on target. Joseph Mills on the line though looked to have cleared the danger but the officials decided in their infinite wisdom that the ball had already crossed the line before being hacked away.
Hot shot in-demand Huddersfield striker, Jordan Rhodes had been kept very quiet but after their goal he suddenly shifted into top gear and began to cause the Burnley defence all sorts of problems. In the fifteenth minute he hit the woodwork after latching onto a Sean Scannell cross only to see his header ricochet off the bar. Shortly after our defence were all at sixes and sevens failing to get to grips with Vaughan in particular who twice nearly punished our back four after mistakes by Shackell and Grant. Grant though got back in the good books after showing alertness and saving well from yet another header by Rhodes.
Burnley though could muster little response and struggled in the final third of the pitch to make any sort of impression. Austin and Vokes may as well not have been on the pitch they got such little service and Huddersfield always looked the most likely to score the next goal even though they were not particularly impressive to watch. We just seemed to make them look better than they were. Adam Clayton, who we were linked with in the summer, thought he had doubled the Terriers lead but the midfielder`s shot was deflected onto the roof of the net.
The Clarets however kept trying to get in the game and things might have been different had an attempt by Edgar not been ruled offside following a deflection off Austin in first-half stoppage time. Eddie Howe though had to be content with being behind 1-0 at half-time and no doubt tried to tell his troops to play with more urgency and vigour in the second-half. He kept loyal to the starting eleven though and made no changes for the restart.
The early signs suggested that a kick up the backside might have been heeded with the Clarets looking a little bit more direct and determined in the first few minutes but things soon evaporated and once again we began to look jaded and clueless. Things got a whole lot worse for the Clarets when Huddersfield doubled their lead in the 57th minute. Burnley`s defence could once again be blamed after failing to deal with a ball floated into the box only for the dangerous Rhodes to pounce and thump a right-footed shot past a hapless Lee Grant from twelve yards out.
That was enough for Howe and he finally decided to freshen things up or so he hoped! On came Duff to replace Vokes allowing the formation to change with both Trippier and Mills now playing further forward. The tactics though still had little effect with an increasingly isolated Charlie Austin unable to make any sort of impression. His efforts came few and far between although he did get a half-chance heading a Trippier cross onto the roof of the net. Could Keith Treacy make any difference after coming on to replace Mills in the 73rd minute? This was the Republic of Ireland international`s first appearance this season and his first in a Clarets shirt since Millwall at home last February but to be honest he had little influence on the game with the whole team struggling to make any sort of impression. The only real chance came from a free-kick with eleven minutes left on the clock. Wallace`s effort whizzed just wide of target though and that was it really; certainly a disappointing performance and result after the highs of Bolton! Things can only get better and we all have to hope that Paterson can make a full recovery because unless we sign any more strikers in the transfer window (and we have been linked with Brett Pitman again) we could really struggle with Ings out for about six months and Pato once again still not fully fit. Sam Vokes too badly needs a goal; he looked lacklustre and ineffective against the Terriers. Burnley quickly need to get back on track and victories against Plymouth at home on Tuesday night in the Capital One Cup second round clash followed up by a Championship win against Brighton at Turf Moor on Saturday could restore confidence. If only we could play like we did against Bolton every week!
Huddersfield Town: Smithies, Dixon (Gerrard - 83), P Clarke, Hunt, Lynch, Norwood, Clayton, Southern, Scannell (Ward - 23), Rhodes, Vaughan (Novak - 77)
Subs Not Used: Bennett Woods, Arfield, Spencer
Booked: Yellow Card for Clayton 38 minutes
Goals: Lynch 7, Rhodes 58
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Shackell, Edgar, Mills (Treacy - 73), Wallace, McCann, Marney, Stanislas (MacDonald - 90), Vokes (Duff - 64), Austin
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Mee, Bartley, Stock
Possession: 55% Huddersfield, 45% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: David Webb(Lancashire)