Weary, Woeful and Worrying!
Tuesday 26th February 2013 @7:45pm Kick-Off
The Clarets slumped to a 1-0 defeat at home to struggling Huddersfield on Tuesday night in a shockingly, dire scrappy game. This was quite simply Burnley`s worst performance all season and a worrying one against a side renown for leaking goals away from home (38 in total so far!). Huddersfield came to Turf Moor without an away win since Barnsley back in November. They had not won a point away from home this year so far having lost all their four games whilst at the same time leaking 22 goals. The Terriers left Turf Moor with a double over the Clarets for the season and their first away win at Turf Moor in 41 years! Burnley`s woeful performance and defeat also meant Sean Dyche`s disgraced men had now gone six games without a win with no goal now in over 300 minutes of play!
A goal by Huddersfield`s Vaughan in the 55th minute was enough to seal Burnley`s fate and virtually condemn the side to another season of mid-table mediocrity. Now 13th they are a massive eight points behind sixth-placed club, Brighton and the Seagulls also have a game in hand. It is looking bleak and unless we stem the flow and improve confidence we could be looking at a relegation scrap. Third from bottom club, Wolves are nine points behind the Clarets so let`s hope that`s enough to keep us away from the drop-zone. The way we are playing though, anything could happen until we start winning again. We had an ideal chance too to get above Rovers after their 3-0 defeat at Leicester and even a point would have done that. Bolton`s 1-0 win at home against Peterborough also ensured both North West rivals are now above the Clarets which is all very depressing. Sean Dyche has to sort this mess out and get the team playing with confidence again and more importantly find a way to get his strikers to score! Austin alone up front is clearly not working and it is time to consider bringing in Vokes from the start and playing 4-4-2. We have to try something different that`s for sure, things are getting very tedious now and Burnley fans are getting fed up of not being entertained.
Dyche made just one change to the starting eleven that faced up to Brighton last Saturday and in fact selected the team that started the second-half against the Seagulls! That meant Junior Stanislas had to be content with a place on the bench allowing Danny Ings to make a start. It was perhaps surprising though that Dyche once again elected to adopt the more defensive 4-1-4-1 formation with Brian Stock in the holding midfield role. In summary then the line-up was follows :
Grant, Trippier, Shackell, Long, Lafferty, Stock, McCann, Marney, Treacy, Ings, Austin
Subs: Jensen, Edgar, Bartley, Richards, Stanislas, Paterson ,Vokes
Full Match Report
The game started in a scrappy fashion and to be honest didn`t get much better throughout the ninety minutes. You could argue that Burnley were the most lively of the two teams in the first-half but making the possession count was once again a uphill struggle and there was virtually just one chance created by the Clarets in 45 minutes of play! It was a low shot on the turn from Keith Treacy that gave Clarets fans the only thing to shout about before half-time and amazingly it was the only time Terriers goalkeeper Alex Smithies was tested; that`s how poor we were. In the opening few minutes, Burnley took the game to the visitors but after losing Marney to injury with just fifteen minutes on the clock, the Clarets seemed to lose direction and impetus. Dane Richards, coming on to make his league debut failed to make any sort of impression and many Clarets fans would have struggled to remember Austin being on the pitch he was that isolated. The first 30 minutes passed with little or no entertainment from either side and to be honest it was a dire, dull game all round. Burnley might have had the lion`s share of possession but there was no end product and Clarets fans were left scratching their head at the end of the first-half wondering where the next goal was going to come from. The referee didn`t help either after seemingly being determined to blow for the least thing in a stop-start game that had little flow or direction. Despite three minutes of added time in the first-half after a bizarre sequence of losing balls out of the ground and on the stands not to mention time-wasting by the Huddersfield keeper that went unchallenged, it remained a 0-0 yawn at half-time!
Sean Dyche stubbornly refused to make any changes for the start of the second half and basically things continued as they left off! Namely poor entertainment, scrappy and a massive yawn! The fear was Huddersfield would now be welcoming their good fortune at Burnley`s inability to score against a team leaking goals away from home and could fancy their chances! So it would prove! Ten minutes into the half, the Terriers got their noses in front after Lee Grant could only parry an initial shot from the edge of the box by Adam Clayton. The ball fell nicely for James Vaughan who simply toe-poked it into the net from close range to make the shock score line Burnley 0 Huddersfield 1; a disaster from which we never recovered. In the 59th minute, the ineffective Richards was himself substituted with Vokes coming on to add some firepower up front. It was all too little too late although the Welsh international did come close after his header hit the crossbar. Smithies had little to do and only came alive when Danny Ings came close to snatching a stoppage time equaliser after being sent clear by Danny Lafferty. There were boos after the final whistle blew which is not surprising after a woeful performance that saw the Clarets became only the second Championship side in 18 games to lose to the Terriers!
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Shackell, Long, Lafferty, Stock, McCann (Bartley-63 mins), Marney (Richards-15 mins, Vokes-59 mins), Treacy, Ings, Austin
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Edgar, Stanislas, Paterson
Booked: Yellow Cards for Stock (45+1), Austin (61) and Trippier (75)
Huddersfield Town: Smithies, Dixon, Gerrard, P. Clarke, Woods, Gobern (Arfield-39 mins), Danns, Scannell, Clayton, Robinson, Vaughan (Novak-85 mins)
Subs Not Used: Bennett, Hunt, Lynch, Norwood, Lee
Goal: Vaughan 55
Booked: Yellow Cards for Gerrard (3), Clayton (79) and Arfield (90+3)
Possession: 48% Burnley, 52% Huddersfield Town (Source: BBC Sport)
Referee: Mark Halsey (Bolton)