Cup Exit at County Ground
Tuesday 25th September 2012 @7:45pm Kick-Off
Burnley were taught a lesson by Swindon Town in the Capital One Cup last night after going down 3-1 to the League One side at the County Ground. The Clarets could have no complaints after being beaten by the better team and putting in in a generally poor, depressing lacklustre performance. The Robins reputation for being giant-killers continued following their victory over Premier League Stoke City in the previous round although based on last night`s performance describing the Clarets as 'giants` could be somewhat of a joke.
Eddie Howe was forced into a number of changes for this clash with Stewart cup tied plus both Shackell and Stanislas out injured. Martin Paterson was also noticeably missing from the eighteen with the official site stating the reason has 'being given a breather`. Brian Jensen made a return to the starting eleven and Michael Duff was deemed fit enough to start after being recently sidelined with an Achilles problem. All in all, Howe made five changes to the team that beat Derby County last Saturday at Pride Park with Dean Marney being given a rest on the bench and Bartley and Stock given the chance to shine in the starting eleven. Mills also made a return to the starting eleven in a side that contained five recognised defenders with three playing in the centre of defence.
Our line up in summary was as follows:
Jensen, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Mills, Mee, McCann, Wallace, Bartley, Stock, Austin
Subs: Grant, Lafferty, O'Neill, Long, Marney, Porter, Vokes
Charlie Austin of course was making a return to the ground for the first time since January 2011; the month when Burnley signed him from Swindon. He was always going to receive a pretty hostile reception from the Robins fans and there were soon scoffing in the third minute when their former striker just failed to give the Clarets an early lead. It was from the old corner routine too with Edgar dummying the Wallace corner setting up Austin. His drive though flew just wide of target.
Burnley were looking quite impressive in the opening few minutes with Austin in particular looking keen to prove a point against his former club. From another corner taken by Wallace, Austin got up to head towards goal only to see his effort blocked on the line by former Stanley winger, Gary Roberts. Austin also should have done better after latching onto a pull-back from Bartley. He scuffed his shot though and although the ball fell to McCann, he was deemed offside despite putting the ball in the net. Burnley were certainly the better of the two teams in the first eighteen minutes but things were about to change when the Robins took the lead in the 19th minute in virtually their first meaningful attempt on goal.
Once again, the defence have to be held to account for failing to deal with the danger. This time they looked like statues from a short corner as a low cross from former loan, Jay McEveley was allowed to reach Bensen. The striker turned and shot past Jensen into the bottom corner of the net to put the Robins 1-0 up. Burnley tried to respond and came close to an equaliser when McCann latched onto an Austin cross but could only head straight at the keeper.
The Clarets were now getting more-and-more frustrated with Austin in particular seeing less- and -less of the ball. Even when he did, the close attention of defender, Archibald-Henville gave the former Swindon man limited opportunities to get on the score sheet. Three minutes before the end of the first half things got far worse for the Clarets when Swindon increased their lead. Once again it was down to a shaky defence after Edgar`s attempt to pass to Wallace was intercepted by Tommy Miller. In a clinical finish, Miller found Williams who slid the ball past Jensen giving Burnley a mountain to climb against the so-called underdogs.
Austin continued to huff-and-puff but his only real chance came in first half added time when a testing cross from Stock could have given the Clarets a lifeline if only the frustrated striker had managed to get the better of Archibald-Henville with a better first touch. He didn`t so 2-0 Robins at extra time!
Howe had to try something to get back into this game and for the start of the second half, Mills made way for Vokes giving the side a more attacking feel with two recognised strikers up front and a change in formation to 4-4-2.
It made no odds though and if anything Swindon looked the most likely to score. They came close to making it 3-0 when a flick-on from Benson found Williams. His shot though flew inches wide saving Burnley`s blushes.
The Clarets found it more-and-more difficult to string together any meaningful attacking moves although a long throw from Mee gave McCann a chance to shoot but his volley flew over the bar. After 30 minutes of the second half, Burnley were awarded a free kick. Taken by Trippier, the ball flew over into the danger area where Vokes was ideally placed to attempt a header. His effort though was blocked on the line and the score remained a depressing 2-0 to the Robins!
Swindon were not going to surrender their lead easily and began to frustrate the Clarets even more tackling hard and forcing the away side into making mistakes. An error by Wallace let in Roberts allowing him to cross for Williams to head on target. Jensen though was equal to the danger beating the shot away.
Out-of-the-blue though in the 74th minute, Burnley suddenly got a chance to get back in the game, thanks to a goal by Charlie Austin. It was a superb cross by Vokes on the right wing into the penalty area that caused problems for Swindon`s defence. Austin was there to pounce in typical fashion getting the better of Foderingham to roll the ball over the line and clock up his tenth goal of the season in all competitions.
Any hope that Burnley would now make a fight of it was short-lived though with Swindon regaining their two goals lead just nine minutes later with the Clarets defence yet again making a hash of things from a set-piece.
McEverley`s free kick was once again allowed to fly across the penalty area with the defence unable to deal with it. Archibald-Henville got down to head home at the far post.
Swindon were now cock-a-hoop determined to try and punish the Clarets even more. If Jensen had not been on top form, Burnley could have been licking their wounds even more. Williams came close to scoring but was denied by Jensen and Trippier also came to the Clarets rescue clearing a Robert`s attempt off the line. Paolo Di Canio`s men were giving the Clarets a lesson on how to play football and Burnley only had themselves to blame.
The final score then 3-1 to the Robins with Swindon progressing to the fourth round completing a miserable night for the Clarets. Burnley are finding it increasingly difficult to string two back-to-back wins together and that will have to change if we are to make any progress this season.
Swindon Town: Foderingham, Archibald-Henville (Flint - 84), McEveley, Thompson, Navarro (Ferry - 81), Ritchie, Roberts, McCormack, Miller, Benson (Collins - 87), Williams
Subs Not Used: Bedwell, Bessone, Bostock, De Vita
Goals: Benson 19, Williams 42, Archibald-Henville 83
Booked: Yellow Cards for Archibald-Henville, McEveley, Miller and McCormack
Burnley: Jensen, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Mills (Vokes - 46), Mee, McCann, Wallace, Bartley, Stock (Marney - 56), Austin
Subs Not Used: Grant, Lafferty, O'Neill, Long, Porter
Goal: Austin 74
Booked: Yellow Cards for Mee and Austin
Possession: 54% Swindon Town, 46% Burnley
Ref: James Adcock (Nottinghamshire)
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