Another Draw, Another Disappointment for Burnley!
Saturday 15th December 2012 @3pm Kick-Off
The Clarets simply can`t seem to win at the moment and after yet another disappointing frustrating draw on home soil against Watford in Saturday`s clash they have now managed just one win from seven games in a sequence of results which has also included three defeats and three draws. Sean Dyche would have been hoping his luck might have changed against his former club but the Hornets stung and took the lead as early as the 11th minute. Following a period of sustained pressure from a sequence of corners on loan Chelsea midfielder Chalobah volleyed into the back of the net from 20 yards out.
Although the goal seemed to take the stuffing out of the Clarets for a while, they gradually regained their confidence and began to impress. From a corner, Marney was pushed to the ground by Abdi in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. Austin made no mistake from the spot kick and Burnley were level with just 28 minutes played. Both teams had chances after that but in the end Burnley had to settle for a draw and another point for the third time in four games. Losing points at home is becoming too much of an habit in recent games and Burnley have not won at Turf Moor now since they beat Leeds United 1-0 on the 6th November. The lack of a win is taking its toll on our promotion chances and after the Watford result we are in 16th spot with 29 points, now seven points behind the new sixth placed club, Millwall. At least we are now level on points with Blackburn who lost 2-0 away to Blackpool
Sean Dyche surprised a few folk with his team selection. Michael Duff and Chris McCann were both suspended after picking up their fifth yellow cards in the game at Forest last Saturday so changes were forced but the replacements shocked many Clarets fans. Kevin Long was given his full debut at centre back with David Edgar also returning to the side playing a more defensive midfield role. Danny ings was also included in the starting eleven partnering Austin up front and there was a further surprise on the bench with Keith Treacy making a welcome return. Our line-up then was as follows :
Grant, Trippier, Long, Shackell, Lafferty, Edgar, Wallace, Marney, Paterson, Ings, Austin
Subs: Jensen, Mills, Stock, Bartley, Treacy, Stanislas, Vokes
Full Match Report
West Midlands referee, Phil Gibbs got the game underway and Burnley had the first chance to open the scoring when Ings latched onto an Austin knock-down following a Wallace set piece. He just couldn`t get enough contact on the ball though and Watford survived the early scare. It would be the Hornets though who would celebrate the opening goal and it came in the eleventh minute. Burnley had been under some pressure from a sequence of three corners. The Clarets defence simply could not clear the danger and when Edgar attempted to do so with a header the ball dropped kindly for Chalobah to unleash a shot from 20 yards out giving Grant no chance. Burnley now looked a bit down-hearted and their play suffered for a time. But gradually the midfield engine room began to kick in, with Marney in particular charging forward and causing Watford problems. A Wallace free-kick nearly set up Ings and Edgar at the far post but both failed to get the equaliser with the Watford defence conceding a corner. That corner though would lead to Burnley getting back on equal terms after being awarded a penalty. Marney from the short corner was simply felled by Almen Abdi in the area and the referee had no hesitation but to award a spot-kick The Watford keeper, Almunia was clearly an unhappy man and he was even more unhappy when the referee booked him for time-wasting with Austin on the spot ready to take the penalty. Austin was not affected by all the goings-on around him and steered the ball home with confidence to put the Clarets level in the 28th minute. This was Austin`s 22nd goal of the season and his third from the spot.
Now it was Watford on the back foot with Burnley in the ascendency and the Clarets nearly got their noses in front after Almunia spilled a shot from Trippier with ings ready to pounce. Watford defender, Tommie Hoban then saved the day for the Hornets four minutes from the break when he just beat Austin to the ball following a Paterson cross. It remained 1-1 at the end of the first-half with Dyche making no changes for the start of the second half. Zola though was forced into making a change for Watford with their goal-scorer, Chalobah clearly struggling with injury in the first half being replaced by Yeates.
Watford had done very little attacking after their opening goal in the first half but five minutes into the second-half, Burnley survived a scare. On the break, a deep cross found Troy Deeney and he had two attempts but could not get the better of Grant. The Watford striker was looking for a seventh successive goal to equal a club record but Grant was not going to make it easy for him.
Whoever got the next goal would now most likely go on to win the game and it was the Clarets who upped the ante in a remarkable ten minute spell when they had three chances to go ahead all of them involving Austin. The first chance came when Ings cleverly released Trippier to put over a cross. There was Austin diving to head on target and had the ball gone either side of Almunia, it would have given the keeper no chance but it didn`t much to the relief of the former Arsenal stopper. Austin`s next chance came when he put a shot just wide following another impressive build-up from midfield but he would have been most annoyed with his third attempt following an error by Watford`s Fitz Hall. His attempted flick past the keeper was not enough to beat Almunia and once again the keeper saved the day for Watford.
Watford were riding their luck at times and when the ball struck the arm of Marco Cassetti in the penalty area, claims for yet another spot-kick were turned away by the referee. Dyche decided to bring on some fresh legs in the form of Junior Stanislas with twenty minutes to go but it was Watford very much against the run of play who nearly stole all three points! A rasping shot from Joel Ekstra from fully 35 yards out rattled the crossbar and then Grant had to deny Deeney yet again after stopping his effort with some panache!
Burnley though just could not find that elusive winning goal either and Stanislas should have done better with a late effort but his finish was too weak . The last chance for Burnley came in stoppage time. Watford conceded a corner after Vokes flick-on for Austin to shoot led to the ball being blocked. From the corner, the busy Almunia then tipped over Vokes header to once again deny the Clarets victory.
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Shackell, Long, Lafferty, Edgar, Wallace (Vokes - 90), Marney, Paterson (Stanislas - 72), Ings (Treacy - 84), Austin
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Mills, Bartley, Stock
Goal: Austin 28 (pen)
Booked: Yellow Card for Treacy (88 mins)
Watford: Almunia,Hall, Pudil (Anya - 90), Cassetti, Hoban, Chalobah (Yeates - 46), Ekstrand, Hogg, Abdi, Deeney, Geijo (Vydra - 72)
Subs Not Used: Bonham, Neuton, Battocchio, Beleck
Goal: Chalobah 11
Booked: Yellow Cards for Chalobah(26 mins) and Almunia (28 mins)
Possession: 56% Burnley, 44% Watford (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Phil Gibbs (West Midlands)