Double Delight for Burnley on Boxing Day
Wednesday Boxing Day 26th December 2012 @3pm Kick-
Clarets fans were given some festive cheer on Boxing Day with Burnley defeating Derby County 2-0 at Turf Moor. This was only our second win in nine games and the victory moves the Clarets to within four points of the play-off positions. We are now in 13th spot with 33 points from 24 points, four behind Watford in sixth place who have a game in hand. Burnley fans could celebrate even more after hearing that Blackburn lost 1-0 away to Middlesbrough. Although Rovers have a game in hand, they are now four points adrift of the Clarets and following the Boro defeat have also sacked their manager Henning Berg following a string of poor results! They are now in 17th spot and appear to be in freefall just seven points clear of the drop zone! On Happy days!! Enough of them though let`s return to our Boxing Day game. The victory over the Rams gave the Clarets their first double of the season having already beaten Derby 2-1 at Pride Park back in September. It was a solid victory without being spectacular but of course it is always pleasing to keep a clean sheet and for once possession and pressure from the Clarets was finally converted into goals.
Charlie Austin bagged his 23rd goal of the season just before the break to give the Clarets a well-deserved lead at half-time. He always seems to score against the Rams and indeed got a brace in the earlier game this season at Pride Park as he did there the previous season! The score remained 1-0 at half-time. The Clarets continued to battle in the second half before Duff headed home a Ross Wallace corner in the 73rd minute to make it 2-0 to the Clarets and that was enough to secure Burnley`s first win in six games and make it five wins out of the last six against the Rams. Burnley now have an ideal opportunity to become a promotion force with another home game coming up against high-flying Leicester on Saturday. Another three points could see the Clarets move to within a point of the play-offs positions and that would set up an intriguing New Years Day clash at Hillsborough when we face a struggling Sheffield Wednesday side.
Both Danny Lafferty and Brian Stock recovered in time after missing out on the Birmingham game at St Andrews due to injury. Lafferty went straight back into the starting eleven replacing Joseph Mills at left back who returned to the bench. Brian Stock though had to be content being a substitute. Lafferty was the only change from the Brum starting eleven but Stanislas was absent from the eighteen with news filtering through that he had picked up a tight hamstring. Our eighteen in summary then was as follows :
Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Lafferty, Wallace, McCann, Marney, Paterson, Ings, Austin
Subs: Jensen, Edgar, Mills, Bartley, Treacy, Stock, Vokes
Full Match Report
Tyne & Wear referee, Andy Haines got the game underway in torrential rain but the wet conditions did not seem to dampen Burnley`s spirits as they once again started brightly. Once more though in the opening minutes, we should have taken the lead having been presented with a clear cut opportunity. An inch-perfect pass from Danny Ings set Paterson free but he just failed to beat the Rams keeper, Adam Legzdins. Racing out to narrow the angle, Legzdins managed to give enough of a touch on the ball to push Pato`s attempt over the bar. An overhead pass by Paterson then found McCann on a charge from midfield. He unleashed a shot that looked goal bound but it was blocked with Clarets fans now wondering if once again the early pressure would prove fruitless.
Derby County now looked d happy to play deep, hoping to catch the Clarets out on the break by trying to get the ball to lone striker Conor Sammon at every opportunity. Derby`s time-wasting tactics took the edge off the game and it became a poor spectacle to watch. Burnley this time though found a way to break the deadlock and got their noses in front with just six minutes of the first half remaining. Derby had looked stretched with both Burnley`s full backs causing havoc with their crosses from the flanks. It was one such cross from Trippier that led to the goal from a corner. The corner was initially cleared but it fell to Trippier who this time put over a low cross to find Austin. Austin swiveled to unleash a shot from 15 yards out and the ball taking a slight deflection off Richard Keogh flew into the bottom corner of the net to give the hotshot striker his 20th Championship goal of the season. It was nothing less than the Clarets deserved and it was pleasing for a change to see the possession and pressure converted into a 1-0 lead at half-time.
The Clarets now sensed blood and almost doubled their lead three minutes into the second half. A clearance by Austin set Wallace free and despite defenders around him, he managed to unleash a shot although this time it was wide of target and Derby could breathe a sigh of relief. A lively Danny Ings then went on a mazy run but the end result should have been better.
The Rams now felt that they were being let off and began to sense they could now push on for the equaliser. On the hour mark, they nearly scored. The highly rated youngster, Will Hughes was having a quiet game but then he suddenly burst into action driving forward to set up Michael Jacobs. Jacobs unleashed a low drive which fully tested the keeper. Thankfully, Grant was once again in top form and saved at full stretch.
The ball though was not clear yet and it fell kindly for Coutts but his angled shot thankfully hit the outside of the post and flew away to safety. Both managers now tried to spice things up by making substitutions. Rams gaffer, Nigel Clough introduced Nathan Tyson and Theo Robinson into their attack whilst Treacy and Vokes had already come on to replace Paterson and a now weary looking Austin who looked to be slightly injured. Brian Stock also came on in the 72nd minute to replace Ings and protect the defence in the holding midfield role. The changes by Sean Dyche appeared to work and in the 74th minute Burnley increased their lead. Burnley were awarded a corner which Wallace duly pumped over. There was Michael Duff to head home and notch up only his seventh goal for the Clarets. The Clarets could now relax a bit but thankfully this time they did not defend too deep and indeed came close to making it 3-0. Vokes beat the Rams keeper in the air after an up-and-under to set up Keith Treacy but his shot was blocked. In the final few minutes they also had another chance when McCann, Vokes and Marney combined well but in the end we had to settle for the welcome 2-0 victory and our first three points in six games. Bring on the Foxes!
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Lafferty, Wallace, McCann, Marney, Paterson (Treacy - 62), Ings (Stock - 72), Austin (Vokes - 68)
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Edgar, Mills, Bartley
Goals: Austin 40, Duff 74
Booked: Yellow Cards for Wallace (18 mins), McCann (47 minutes), Treacy (82 mins), Grant (88 mins)
Derby County: Legzdins, Brayford, Roberts, Keogh, O'Brien (O'Connor - 83), Bryson (Tyson - 65), Coutts, Hendrick, Jacobs, Hughes, Sammon (Robinson - 72)
Subs Not Used: Fielding, Freeman, Davies, Doyle
Booked: Yellow Card for Robinson (80 mins)
Possession: 51% Burnley, 49% Derby County (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear)
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