Dross and Defeat at Home to Hull City!
Monday 11th March 2013 @7:45 pm Kick-Off
The Clarets terrible form, especially at home continued in front of the live Sky cameras last night at Turf Moor. In an absolutely awful game played under cold, wintery conditions with little action at either end, Burnley were effectively outclassed by Hull City and unable to break through their three centre halves defence and 3-5-2 formation which at times even became 5-4-1. The first half was memorable for one Wallace effort and the second half for no efforts whatsoever worthy of a mention! To boos from the home crowd, Burnley walked off the pitch at the end having lost to Hull for the first time in eight games. A Quinn goal in the 66th minute was enough to seal all three points for the Tigers and finally dash any realistic hopes of Burnley reaching the play-offs. Sean Dyche was simply left open to criticism and questions will be asked as to why he made so many changes, five in all whilst dropping players like Lafferty and Long who had been solid, reliable and improving in recent games. Wallace, Duff and perhaps most surprisingly Mee all made a return to the starting eleven after returning from injury. Basically the ploy didn`t work and in the end Hull enjoyed 58% of the possession and never looked in danger of conceding a goal. The defeat sees the Clarets still in 11th spot but with a mountain to climb now. Sixth placed club, Nottingham Forest having now played the same number of games are a massive nine points clear of the Clarets with only nine games left to play this season. Perhaps most depressing for Clarets fans is our shocking home form with no win at Turf Moor now in five games. It looks like the season is over. The only thing that Burnley fans can now look forward to is perhaps finishing in the top ten above Rovers whilst hopefully beating them at Ewood Park in our next game this Sunday! We need a massive tonic somehow; it`s all too depressing at the moment.
Sean Dyche certainly made some controversial changes for this clash and both Danny Lafferty and Kevin Long must have wondered what they had done wrong to be dropped to the bench to make way for a returning Michael Duff and Ben Mee. Ross Wallace too made a surprise return after suggestions he was still not fit to play. The line-up was as follows:
Grant, Trippier, Shackell,Duff, Mee, Kacaniklic, McCann, Edgar, Treacy, Wallace, Austin
Subs: Jensen, Lafferty, Long, Bartley, Vokes, Ings, Paterson
Full Match Report
It was a cold, cold night in Burnley with snow flurries threatening as Tyne & Wear referee, Eddie Ilderton got the game underway in front of Burnley`s lowest gate of the season. The fact it was a wintery night and the live Sky cameras were there anyway probably contributed to the low turnout although it might also have had something to do with the fact that performances have been generally poor of late especially at home. Whatever the reason the atmosphere suffered and Burnley just couldn`t seem to get into top gear. The game soon deteriorated into a scrappy, dire affair with Hull`s three centre backs effectively snuffing out what few attacks Burnley could muster. Austin was crowded out and the approach play was basically non-existent with the midfield seemingly running into brick walls time-and-time again. This was certainly not the spectacle Sky would have been hoping for and most neutrals watching this game not to mention Burnley and Hull fans were probably finding it difficult to keep awake. The freezing conditions were not helping and to be honest both sides suffered with Hull also creating few chances in a dire first half performance. Hull though nearly took the lead as early as the first minute when Quinn headed wide after just 33 seconds. That however was virtually Hull`s only meaningful attack until late in the first half when Michael Duff came to the rescue to block a George Boyd effort heading towards target. Alex Bruce also fired a volley wide just before the half-time whistle blew. So three memorable attempts by Hull to break the deadlock effectively that`s two more than Burnley! A shot unleashed by Wallace from distance was the only memorable effort Burnley fans could enjoy in the entire 45 minutes. His 25 yard effort forced Tigers keeper, David Stockdale into making a good save after diving high and to his right to deny the Scottish winger. McCann from the resulting corner then headed over. Hull City effectively closed shop in the first half and were quite happy to sit back and watch the Clarets struggle to break down their defence. Burnley were knocking the ball sideways and backwards but rarely forwards and the flow was pedestrian at times and extremely boring to watch. The Tigers got men behind the ball with some ease and found no difficulty in soaking up what little pressure there was. It was a relief when the first half whistle brought an end to a drab, depressing first 45 minutes.
The second-half started positively for the visitors who now sensed they could take the initiative and get their noses in front against an ineffective, lacklustre Burnley side. Grant was forced into save at his near post after Boyd touched the ball to Gedo and with Austin looking increasingly isolated and frustrated up front, Hull gaffer, Steve Bruce sensed blood and just past the hour mark made a double-substitution bringing on Koren and Simpson to replace his son, Alex and Gedo. The change had almost an instant impact. Koren found Simpson on the edge of the box and with his first touch he squared the ball to Quinn who thumped the ball home past Grant in the 65th minute to give Hull a 1-0 lead. Now it was all uphill for the Clarets who 'huffed and puffed` but rarely looked like getting the equaliser. Burnley`s attacks now seemed to rely on deep crosses into the box, a tactic which Hull soaked up with some ease. Sam Vokes who had come on from the bench in the 54th minute saw a header loop just wide of the far post and then he got in a dangerous cross that found Austin at the back post. Austin though in his only memorable effort in the entire game headed the ball into the ground and wide of target. That was it; another game lost on home soil and no win now at the Turf in five games. Not an inspiring set-up for Burnley`s next game away to deadly rivals, Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park this Sunday.
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Mee, Kacaniklic, McCann, Edgar (Bartley-63), Treacy (Vokes-54), Wallace (Ings-84), Austin
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Lafferty, Long, Paterson
Hull City: Stockdale, McShane, Hobbs, Chester, Brady, Elmohamady, Bruce ( Koren - 64), Meyler, Quinn (Rosenior - 86), Boyd, Gedo (Simpson - 64)
Subs Not Used: Jakupovic, Faye, Fathi, Proschwitz
Goal: Quinn 66
Booked: Yellow Card for Bruce 62
Possession: 42% Burnley, 58% Hull City
Ref: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne & Wear)