No Pilgrims Progress as Beast Saves Blushes!!
Tuesday 28th August 2012 @7:45pm Kick-Off
Burnley scraped through into the third round of the Capital One Cup last night but they needed extra time and a penalty shoot out to achieve it against League 2 side, Plymouth Argyle. This was a pretty grim game and a disappointing one for the Burnley fans who had to endure more pain following a last minute Plymouth equaliser from the spot at the end of normal time. A Charlie Austin header in the 37th minute was enough to give Burnley a 1-0 half-time lead but it was a struggle at times to exert any sort of authority over the lower league opposition and in the second half there were few opportunities to extend the lead. In the 90th minute with many Clarets fans wanting to go home on a pretty grim night, the inevitable happened. A foul on Paris Cowan-Hall by Sam Vokes in the area gave the referee no option but to award a penalty and Plymouth`s Robbie Williams (no not that one!) converted the spot kick forcing extra time and more pain for the frustrated Clarets fans. Burnley could not get the winning goal in the 30 minutes of extra time forcing a penalty shoot out but at least we won that battle coming out victors 3-2 thanks to three saves by Brian Jensen denying Williams, Luke Young and Hourihane. Even then it was memorable for some shocking penalties by Wallace and Stanislas but at least Sam Vokes, Steven Hewitt and Brian Stock thumped home their spot kicks to ensure a Burnley victory.
Eddie Howe certainly wrung the changes for this clash and indeed put out effectively a Burnley B team giving a number of fringe players and young guns a chance to shine. Club captain, Jason Shackell was not even named in the eighteen and indeed only one player Charlie Austin was present from the starting eleven that lined up against Huddersfield last Saturday. The eighteen selected by Howe this time was as follows:
Jensen, O'Neill, Duff, Mee, Lafferty, Bartley, Treacy, Stock, Hewitt, Austin, MacDonald
Substitutes: Grant, Trippier, Edgar, McCann, Wallace, Stanislas, Vokes
Maybe in light of all the changes, Clarets fans were expecting too much but actually they got very little in the way of entertainment as the game progressed. Plymouth although being workmanlike also offered little in the first half, the nearest they came was towards the end of the half when Robbie Williams put his free kick well over the bar. Alex MacDonald, on loan at Plymouth last season nearly scored against his old team mates from a set piece but Argyle keeper, Jake Cole was equal to the effort and saved comfortably. Burnley plodded on but just could not get the breakthrough and then with eight minutes to go they finally got the upper hand. Bartley charging forward got over an excellent cross for Austin to head home and finally put the Clarets ahead after a long, frustrating first half.
A very unconvincing lead then at half-time and one which forced Howe into making a change for the start of the second half. A lacklustre and underperforming Keith Treacy was replaced by Ross Wallace but it made little difference. Nine minutes later, Howe made another substitution taking off Charlie Austin, who had just been booked and bringing on Sam Vokes. Burnley simply couldn`t increase their lead and Plymouth on occasion began to have belief they could still equalise. Williams woke up the Burnley defence when his drive skidded just past the post. That effort raised the Pilgrims spirits and although Vokes and MacDonald came close to increasing Burnley`s lead with well-taken headers, it was Plymouth who got the goal they were seeking although it needed a penalty to do so in the 90th minute. Vokes bundled over Paris Cowan-Hall in the penalty area and Williams duly converted from the spot to deny Clarets fans a hoped for exit even with five minutes of added time. Although playing with more urgency, the only real chance for the Clarets came when Vokes shooting on the turn saw his shot deflected over the top. The whistle for the end of normal time duly came and Clarets fans now had to ensure another 30 minutes of extra time.
In the 100th minute, Vokes was denied again when his shot from distance flew wide. At the other end, Plymouth substitute Bhasera put his header into the side netting as both sides desperately tried to avoid a penalty shoot out. Seven minutes into the second period of extra time, Daniel Lafferty`s header was intercepted by Bhasera and diverted over the bar. Jensen saved the Clarets blushes in the dying seconds of extra time when he held onto a long range effort by Hourihane but now the game would have to be decided by the dreaded penalty shoot out.
First penalty taken by Plymouth and Jensen saves from Williams! So far so good! Oh no, Wallace effort from the spot is saved, as you were! Beast saves again, get in! Vokes scores, Stanislas skies one and Beast saves another. Hewitt takes a brilliant penalty, Plymouth score a couple and Stock puts the last one away to make it 3-2 Burnley! Now we can at last all go home! Phew but yuk! Simply not good enough and now the recriminations will start
Burnley: Jensen, O'Neill, Duff, Mee, Lafferty, Bartley (Stanislas - 98), Treacy (Wallace - 46)), Stock, Hewitt, Austin (Vokes - 54), MacDonald
Subs Not Used: Grant, Trippier, Edgar, McCann
Goal: Austin 37
Booked: Yellow Cards for Bartley(88 mins) and Austin(50 mins)
Plymouth Argyle: Cole, Berry, Blanchard, Nelson, Williams, Hourihane, Young, Gorman (Bhasera - 67), Cowan-Hall ,Chadwick (Lecointe - 55 ), Sims (Lennox - 67 )
Subs Not Used: Chenoweth, Richards, Gurrieri, Feeney
Goal: Williams 90 (pen)
Booked: Yellow Cards for Williams (108 mins), Hourihane (35 mins) and Lennox(76 mins)
Possession: 50% Burnley, 50% Plymouth (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Andy Madley (Wakefield)